What do medium-sized family businesses, so-called SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), do when they want to improve their products, when they want to solve issues / problems in the business, when they want to move with the times? Most companies in the leather industry are no longer small, but they are not large either. Research very rapidly gives rise to financial and personnel expenses that these companies cannot handle on their own.
This is why the Forschungsgemeinschaft Leder e.V. (FGL) was founded 1999. Through the FGL, companies can combine their resources and initiate short-term projects. Short-term projects are research into actual problems and questions that need to be clarified quickly. The effort involved is manageable. Examples: research on leather and substitute products, sulfides in wastewater, improving test methods, etc.
If the problem is more complex, the research effort is also greater. The FGL also offers its help in such cases. As a member of the AiF (an association funded by the German government through the BMWi – Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy), it can support companies in collaborative research. The duration of these research projects is about two to three years. The costs can quickly reach between €50,000 and €300,000. What are the research topics? Examples are correlations between the genetic structure and the quality of a hide, ultrasound-assisted embossing of leather goods, leather structure simulation, and so on.
The results of these short studies are only available to members, with the results of the “big” projects being made public.
Thus, even small and medium-sized companies can afford research on relevant issues.
FGL usually issues invitations to its meetings twice a year to review the research results and interim reports from the companies and to discuss new proposals for research.
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Forschungsgemeinschaft Leder e.V.
Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen „Otto von Guericke“ e.V. – AiF
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