Thanks to the cooperation of the Austrian Economic Chambers with leading international universities, international thought leaders from the world of science can regularly be invited to Austria. On 19 November 2019, at the invitation of the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce, Dr Mario Milazzo (MIT) was a guest at the Salzburg Center for Smart Materials – SCSM, a newly launched cooperation between the University of Applied Sciences and the University of Salzburg, as part of the Biomaterionomics and Smart Materials workshop.
The vision and tasks of the centre under the direction of Prof. Nicola Hüsing (University of Salzburg, Chemistry and Physics of Materials), Prof. Manfred Tscheligi (University of Salzburg, Center for Human-Computer Interaction) and Prof. Alexander Petutschnigg (FH Salzburg, Wood Technology and Wood Construction) were presented by Prof. Petutschnigg during the workshop. He was supported by Dr. Julia Spanring, who discussed the aspect of highly porous materials, followed by DI Thomas Sepperer (bio-based materials from wood) and Dr. Bernhard Maurer, who spoke about smart materials with regard to tangible user interfaces. During the workshop, Dr. Milazzo presented his work on biomaterionomics, in which he deals with the sound and the resulting properties of various biomolecules (collagen, hydroxyapatite and spider silk). For example, it is possible to make proteins audible and, by using artificial intelligence, to develop new, unique materials through music. Mario Milazzo says: “Our goal is to design new materials that integrate powerful concepts of living organisms, based on abundant and inexpensive raw materials”.
A select group of researchers, students and entrepreneurs were able to gain an insight into the world of materials and inspiration for new applications and products. For example, head of development DI Jonathan Frank from the Salzburg ski company ORIGINAL+ stated that “wood materials that can adapt to environmental conditions would open up great possibilities for us in ski construction of the future”. In any case, he would seek cooperation with research to achieve this. Prof. Alexander Petutschnigg also said that “the Salzburg Center for Smart Materials offers the latest approaches and is internationally networked. We are always open to cooperation with companies.