Cooperation Is the Key to Success

In addition to publicly funded research projects, the scientists and engineers of our institute are also engaged in contract research for various companies.

You Need Support with Your R&D Activities? We Would be Happy to Help!

Our engineering testing unit and our industrial research plant facilitate construction of large-scale experimental set-ups for a wide range of industries. Additional help can come from our engineering department, which can develop and build special machines according to your specifications in order to best implement your ideas. PFI supports you with its many years of market and industrial know-how and develops intelligent solutions – tailor-made for you and your company.

Support with Funding Programmes

We can also provide advice about current research funding possibilities and will gladly help you to apply for funding and to execute your project. Or we provide access to our large network of cooperation partners. As a member of the German Federation of Industrial Research (AiF) we are constantly involved in transnational projects.

PFI is an experienced and competent partner which will gladly place its wealth of knowledge and experience accrued over the course of 60 years of research at your disposal.

Our Research Expertise

Footwear and Orthopaedic Technology

Our institute was originally founded to serve the needs of the footwear industry, and this industry remains a mainstay of our activities. We can draw on a wealth of knowledge and experience accrued in the course of 60 years in our approach to research projects. Here weattach great importance to solutions for people with limited mobility and to the safety and comfort of workwear. Among other areas, we undertake research in: 

  • Protective and safety footwear
  • Slip resistance of soles and floor coverings
  • Cleaning and hygienisation of footwear
  • Optimum wearing comfort
  • Modern manufacturing techniques / Industry 4.0
  • Therapeutic aids for outpatient rehabilitation
  • Antimicrobial substances and bacteria-repellent materials
    in medical and footwear technology

Examples of completed projects can be found here.


Increased material and energetic utilisation of renewable raw materials and available residual biomass has become indispensable for both economic and ecological reasons. Research and development work in the field of biomass utilisation can provide the basis for an efficient and cost-effective exploitation of these resources. The main focus of our research activities is on biogas, fermentation, and biomass digestion:


  • Microbiology of the biogas process
  • Use of additives in biogas plants (trace elements, enzymes)
  • Fermentation of poorly degradable lignin-containing substrates


  • Use of lignocellulose for biotechnological production of biopolymers and platform chemicals
  • Straw-based fermentative production of PHB
  • Production of 2G fuels
  • Hemicellulose-based fermentative production of specialty products (C-5 sugars)

Biomass digestion

  • Development and optimisation of substrate-adapted digestion processes
  • Digestion of straw by thermal pressure hydrolysis (TPH)
  • Accelerated cellulose degradation by process-controlled enzymatic hydrolysis (PEH)

Further information about our research in the area of biotechnology can be found under

You can find examples of our completed projects here.

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