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next level productivity

Digitalisierung auf dem Holzweg

Der traditionelle, außer im Baugewerbe fast in Vergessenheit geratene, nachwachsende Rohstoff Holz revolutioniert die Lieferketten. Die Transformation zum digitalen Asset verschafft Holz ein hohes „Sendungsbewusstsein“ und bringt seine werkstoff- und bauartbedingten Vorteile in die Lieferantennetzwerke ein. Die ligenium GmbH unterstützt in Kooperation mit Michael Thron, CEO der Digitalschmiede „objective partner“ und Mathias Kaldenhoff aus dem CTO Office der SAP Deutschland SE & Co KG Unternehmen bei der Implementierung von digitalen, klimaneutralen Logistiklösungen aus Holzwerkstoffen und trifft damit den digitalen Nerv der Zeit und den Wunsch nach nachhaltigem Wirtschaften.

Der Vorteil von hölzernen Ladungsträgern ist in der Logistik unumstritten: Einsparungen bis zu 50 % Tara gegenüber vergleichbaren Stahlträgern, größeres Ladungsvolumen bei mindestens gleicher Belastbarkeit und geringerem Eigengewicht, vielfach geringeres Zwischenlagervolumen durch modulare Steckverbindungsbauweise und Wiederverwertbarkeit, ausgeprägte Suffizienz bzw. klimaneutrales Recycling sind Beispiele für die vielfältigen ökonomischen Vorteile. Holz bindet CO2, ist also per se klimapositiv und verbessert nachweislich die CO2-Bilanz. Jede nachweisbare Logistik-Transaktion ist damit eine potentielle CO2-Gutschrift.

Doch erst mit Integration in die digitale Lieferkette (DSC – Digital Supply Chain) – alles andere wäre wie das tollste Smartphone ohne Aussicht auf Netzwerk - lösen die hölzernen Ladungsträger des Chemnitzer Startups ligenium die Anforderungen der Unternehmen an mess- und nachweisbare digitale Logistik-Nachhaltigkeitslösungen. Aufgrund ihrer äußerst geringen bis nicht vorhandenen Signaldämpfungscharakteristik bieten die hölzernen Ladungsträger optimale Voraussetzung, entsprechende Signalübertragungseinheiten (Tracker, outfield Tags, Sensoren, RFID Tags, o. ä.) anzubringen.

Kosten und Emissionen senken

Die damit sowohl Inhouse/Near-Field als auch Outhouse mögliche digitale Übermittlung aller Inbound- und Outbound-Logistikdaten der sogenannten „digitalen Stammakte“ (Gewicht, Tara etc.) und aller Bewegungsdaten (Ort, Zeit, Inhalt, Gewicht, Entnahme, Transport, Track and Trace etc. ) - eine komplette Virtualisierung der „hölzernen Hardware“ durch Software/Daten - ermöglichen einen digitalen Zwilling des Ladungsträgers. IFTTT Analysen, OEM- und Mietmodelle werden damit hölzerne Realität, Integration in ForeCast- als auch Ordermanagement und permanente Entnahmeinventur Logistikstandard. Das  ununterbrochene Schreiben der CO2 Daten in die Nachhaltigkeitsbilanz ist der Fitnesstracker der Logistik.


Die Fa. ligenium befindet sich mit ihren Soft- und Hardwarelösungen schon länger in der Praxisanwendung bei Automobilherstellern und deren Zulieferern. Andere Industrien, andere Szenarien (Holz statt Metall) sind in Planung. Der permanente technische Vorteil der verringerten Signaldämpfungscharakteristik unterstützt und vereinfacht dabei aktuelle „Track and Trace“ Prozesse neben allen logistischen Vorteilen beim Endkunden erheblich.

Mit ihren zukunftsorientierten Lösungen unterstützt ligenium seine Kunden vielfältig – für das nächste Level der Produktivität ist Digitalisierung auf dem Holzweg!


SAP Deutschland SE & Co KG; Mathias Kaldenhoff

ligenium GmbH; Jenny Schuster

März 2022

erschienen auf connect

Digitalisierung auf dem Holzweg
Wood you believe it?

Wood you believe it?


Ligenium GmbH aims to make mechanical engineering and the logistics industry easier and more sustainable. The start-up from Chemnitz produces logistics applications made of wood-based materials, which are in no way inferior to comparable steel products. To the contrary: Wood has numerous advantages!

Sustainable lightweight construction with many advantages


The company was founded in 2018 as a result of an EXIST research transfer. The four founders met at the Technical University of Chemnitz, where they laid the foundation for their shared dream. More than ten years of research into the use of renewable materials in mechanical engineering form the base for the innovative and high-quality products.


Ligenium solves a major problem in the logistics industry: the excessive dead weight (tare) of load carriers! This increases the transport costs and does not benefit the CO2 balance. These results primarily from the fact that load carriers are still made from materials such as plastic, metal or aluminum. It is important to reduce the dead weight with the use of innovative renewable materials and not to lose sight of the aspect of sustainability. By using wood as a lightweight construction material, an average of 50% weight can be saved and so costs, energy and CO2 too.

Large automobile manufacturers from Germany now value these applications and their technical, economic and ecological advantages over steel.


Sustainable applications


The products provide everything a future-oriented user expects. Thanks to their high EMC compatibility, they are well suited for Industry 4.0 applications. Wood ensures interference-free radio signal penetration and offers optimal conditions for monitoring the supply chain. The transport of electrically and thermally sensitive components is also possible - thanks to the natural dissipative and insulating properties of the renewable material - without additional, cost-intensive protective measures. All of this enables gentle and innovative transport.


From an ergonomic point of view, there are further advantages: In the direct production environment, wood-based materials can be used to reduce noise emission. The light load carriers are easier to move and there is also a lower risk of injury for the workers. Wood products increase work safety!


Product development with and for the customer


In particular, the products are conveyor technology and conveyor aids: transport trolleys, containers and load carriers. The development is adapted according to individual customer requirements. This is ensured by a modular system - the product can be varied depending on the purpose. The example of a wooden picking cart system shows this property particularly well: the basic module and the superstructure are connected to each other by a plug-in system and can be easily, quickly and effortlessly adapted to a new task at any time.

The latest development is a flexible small load carrier that guarantees a safe transport of sensitive components. A flexible inlay enables adaptation to the goods which are transported for best transport conditions. This was developed for serial use in cooperation with a local automotive supplier. The development is far from over - the aim is a 100% sustainable small load carrier. This idea received the award "eku-innovativ Zukunftspreis" from the Saxon Ministry of the Environment.

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The ligenium products are currently competing with conventional products made of steel or plastic: with the same load capacity, an improvement in the CO2 balance and lower operating costs.


Successes and major orders despite the pandemic


The year 2020 was quite successful. With the 3rd place of the Saxon founder award and as one of the winners of the WECONOMY start-up competition, LiGenium feels confirmed in its idea of bringing the natural material wood back into the industry.


Despite the pandemic, the company's production is running at full speed. During the lockdown, the automotive industry found time to question and revise its own sustainability goals and production conditions. This fact brought ligenium many orders in which they help large companies to reduce costs and CO2 emissions. The increased production of electric cars is also contributing to the rising number of orders. The digitization of manufacturing companies is experiencing a similar trend.


Apart from the growing automotive and logistics industry, the new products from Chemnitz are supposed to cause a revolution in other branches of the economy as well as internationally. In the spirit of: Wood you believe it !?

Source:  easy engineering

January 2021

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ligenium among the ten most innovative start-ups in the Weconomy competition 2020

Tailor-made implants, mini-laboratories for space and chaos simulations for autonomous driving: these ideas convinced the jury the most

Berlin Valentine Gesché wants to "save the next generation of Albert Einstein". The sentence makes the members of the Weconomy jury laugh. But they take the founder of PerAGraft absolutely seriously. She has just shown them a clear plastic model that looks like a root - a custom-made blood vessel prosthesis. Influential physicist Einstein died of a ruptured aortic aneurysm. The engineer believes she has found a solution to prevent many patients from doing so.

"This is an idea worth promoting, and we could help her with our network," says Andreas Siebe, an expert in strategic corporate management on the selection committee. Because this special start-up competition is less about whether a founder wants to turn his company into a medium-sized enterprise or dreams of a future as a unicorn valued in billions: The organizers of the Wissensfabrik business initiative and the UnternehmerTUM start-up center at the Technical University of Munich want “out of good ideas make successful companies ”.

The competition winners win  Access to top managers from companies such as Bosch, BASF, Daimler, SAP or Voith . In addition, the ten winners receive advice on business model development and sales and find mentors in the company network behind the competition, in which the Handelsblatt is a cooperation partner. 20 finalists from 119 applicants presented themselves to an expert jury on Wednesday.

"We see in Weconomy the unique opportunity to exchange ideas with experts, especially about market entry and internationalization strategies, and thus to make better and faster progress," says Valentine Gesché. Whereby fast is relative in their case: The unique selling point of the Aachen-based medical technology company should be to manufacture individual implants in five days instead of eight weeks - on the basis of computed tomography images, special software and an automated manufacturing process.

But it will be years before people benefit from it. "We are developing a medical product of the highest risk level, hence the long lead time," says PerAGraft boss Gesché. The three founders and engineers achieved a milestone with a successful animal experiment.

"This type of company is not expected to enter the global market, they are bought when the product is approved," explains former surgeon Lukas Günther, now a partner at Sofinnova Partners, a venture capitalist specializing in biotechnology and medical technology, to the other members of the jury.

Among the company partners in the competition, the Aachen-based approach is likely to be of particular interest to the medical supplies company B. Braun. Time and again, the top managers find new business partners or ideas for their portfolio through the competition.  For example, last year's winner Michael Neidhoefer from ZReality was able to sell his “construction kit for virtual rooms” to a participant.

For the first time this year, the competition was aimed exclusively at young companies with at least one woman on the founding team. The jury chairman Burkhard Schwenker, chairman of the advisory board at Roland Berger and multiple supervisory board member, calls himself an explicit advocate of the women's quota. The requirement led to an “interesting mix” of applicants - and even to a maximum number of participants.

From the edible spoon to the space laboratory

In the end, these ideas, along with PerAGraft, convinced the jury the most:

Michelle Skodowski and her company  BOTfriends  help companies improve their chatbots. To this end, the Würzburg founders have developed a platform that systematically facilitates the quality control of the automatic responses.


Isabelle Garzorz simulates at  cogniBIT  for providers of driver assistance systems and companies in the market around autonomous driving the traffic chaos. In so-called agent models of the spin-off from the LMU Munich, road users disregard the rules or make mistakes when changing lanes.

With the help of sensor data, digital twins and algorithms developed in-house, Christopher Dörner wants to work with his Darmstadt-based company  PipePredict  avoid pipe bursts in the future. The system is trained with data and learns to predict when water pipes and district heating pipes will leak.

The founding team of ligenium  Angela Grimmer wants to replace load carriers and containers made of steel and aluminum with the lightweight material wood. With the wooden structures developed in Chemnitz, less fuel is to be used on the transport route and the logistics are more sustainable.

Amelie Vermeer from is also interested in sustainability  Spoontainable  from Heidelberg: Together with her co-founder, she developed an ice cream spoon from the remains of cocoa pods. You can eat it - but you don't have to. The material is actually a waste product in food production.

The mother of three and  ubiMaster founder Jana Krotsch offers tutoring for students from the fifth grade with her learning platform. The Bavarian education start-up promises that teachers will answer questions within two minutes.

Dermanostic  also assures help at record-breaking speed: The Düsseldorf health start-up of two doctor couples around Ole Martin examines dermatologist patients on the basis of photos they send in and creates a dermatological diagnosis with a therapy recommendation and prescription within 24 hours.

Sabrina Hellstern helps surgeons who have to stay in strenuous postures during an operation, which for many doctors leads to musculoskeletal disorders in the long term. Your company  Hellstern medical  from near Reutlingen is replacing steel stools in operating theaters with innovative ergonomic devices.

The start-up  Yuri  from Mecklenbeuren enables research in weightlessness. Research projects in the field of pharmaceuticals and materials research that fit in a ten cubic centimeter mini-laboratory are sent by Maria Birlem and her team within six months with the help of cooperation partners on parabolic flights, in space capsules and on the International Space Station ISS.

Author: Larissa Holzki

About the post:  Handelsblatt

Article from November 4th, 2020

Cleantech Newsletter

ligenium makes mechanical engineering easier

In the past, anyone who wanted to equip their production systems and conveyor technology with lighter equipment probably first had aluminum, fiberglass and perhaps carbon in mind - probably not wood. Yes, you read that right: wood!

The start-up ligenium from Chemnitz has discovered a niche in the market with its lightweight logistics solutions made from wood-based materials. The idea behind the company is simple: to make mechanical engineering easier and more sustainable. Years of research at Chemnitz University of Technology, in this area, as well as the development of a special (and unique) connection technology ultimately led to the successful foundation.

Meanwhile, a transporter loaded with load carriers made from the sustainable raw material starts regularly from the yard in front of the production hall. Large automobile manufacturers appreciate the properties of ligenium products and place orders for series deliveries. The low weight of the sustainable logistics solutions reduces operating and investment costs and also saves resources.

With the use of the new 5G mobile radio standard in companies, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is also gaining in importance. Here, wood has a clear advantage over metal, as it does not interfere with radio signals and thus enables real-time monitoring of production, for example. In addition, the risk of electrostatic discharge from electrically sensitive components is significantly lower when using wood-based materials.

The products of the Chemnitz start-up are currently used primarily in conveyor technology and logistics. But the ligenium timber construction is also suitable for other applications. The company is striving to expand in order to convince and inspire even more users of the advantages of the traditional construction material wood.

Author: Cleantec Initiative Ostdeutschland, newsletter, issue 03/2020

Article from November 4th, 2020

So geht sächsisch

"Our innovative connector system works like a Lego kit."

The Chemnitz start-up ligenium brings sustainability to mechanical and plant engineering. From the natural, renewable raw material wood, durable transport and delivery vehicles for the automotive industry are built in Chemnitz. The use of wood has future potential in many ways.

The four founders Angela Grimmer, Dr. Sven Eichhorn, Dr. Ronny Eckardt and Christoph Alt, three engineers and one business economist, met in a research group on the subject of wood at Chemnitz University of Technology. They had the courage to found a company and have since revolutionized the transfer and logistics industry with their ideas. Many large companies before them tried to switch to the sustainable and resource-saving material in automotive construction, but repeatedly gave up.


There is a pleasant smell of wood in the production hall. The managing director Christoph Alt confidently explains complex technical relationships and what is special about their invention: the modular plug-in system. Each part is clearly marked and can be operated by "anyone". Because the overall sustainable cycle cannot be viewed separately, bio-based textiles will also be used in our own production in the future. Plastic fleece is replaced by flax. Cellulose or the wood's own adhesive lignin can still be obtained from waste products that have been recycled several times.

David versus Goliath

However, the first few years were a challenge for the four makers: “We were laughed at at trade fairs. Good luck then, ”they told us. "A bit like David versus Goliath, at first hardly anyone believed in us." But they knew better. They have now won many important prizes. Most recently on July 8, 2020, the 20th Saxon Entrepreneur Award as part of the futureSAX innovation conference. Large clients such as the Volkswagen Group come to the young company to have innovative prototypes implemented. "Unfortunately, we can't talk about some projects yet, but it remains exciting," grins Alt. "What we have ahead of the others is our 15 years of knowledge through research, continuous trials and detailed documentation, so that we can use wood in various states and better assess influences.

"A new vision of the urban industry is needed"

Sustainability and regionality are very important to the four founders. You want to keep the company headquarters in Chemnitz despite the rapid growth of the small company. “It's a good life here, the nature is wonderful, our families are happy here and there are still many opportunities for development in the city, unlike in Berlin or Leipzig”, the young entrepreneur beams. And where would an innovative, dynamic company fit better than in the city with 200 years of industrial history. "We prefer to export from Chemnitz all over the world."

The managing director Christoph Alt and his three colleagues have a vision: They want to create a new form of urban industry. Thanks to the health-friendly processing chain, industry, living and working space in urban centers should be able to coexist again. Factory on the ground floor, offices on the first floor and living space under the roof. Wood makes it possible.

Author: That's how Saxon works

To the contribution

Article from September 17, 2020

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Angela Grimmer and Christoph Alt accepted the award for ligenium.

Photo by: futureSAX

The ligenium GmbH, a spin-off of the TU Chemnitz, is one of the most innovative founders in Saxony - the company impressed in the futureSAX competition with know-how in wood processing and sustainable logistics solutions


On July 8, 2020, Saxony's best ideas were the focus of the futureSAX innovation conference, during which the winners of the 20th Saxon Founder's Prize were announced in a live broadcasted award show. Ligenium GmbH, which was spun off from the Technical University of Chemnitz, reached 3rd place and thus received prize money of 6,000 euros. The LiGenium team was supported on their way to independence from the start-up network SAXEED.

“We are really happy to be on the podium. The competition was fierce with an unbelievable number of innovative products, business ideas and great people in the competition, ”said Christoph Alt, managing director of ligenium GmbH. And also Prof. Dr. Uwe Götze, Vice-Rector for Transfer and Further Education at Chemnitz University of Technology, is delighted with the success: "With its business concept, ligenium won the TUClab competition at Chemnitz University of Technology in 2018 and in 2019 was selected from 114 submissions for participation in Volkswagen's Future Mobility Incubator. I am very pleased that the team is successfully continuing on its path and has now been recognized as one of the most innovative start-ups in Saxony. The joy is also so great because we see the transfer in general and especially the promotion of spin-offs as an important field of activity of the TU Chemnitz. "

The LiGenium team around Christoph Alt spent several years researching the use of wood in conveyor systems and now develops, produces and sells technical components, machine elements, machines and complete systems made of wood. Whether on the subject of digitization, electromobility or ergonomics - users benefit from the economic, technical and ecological advantages of the renewable raw material, such as lighter construction with comparable mechanical performance, low temperature expansion and heat conduction as well as increased vibration damping and noise reduction. The first pilot projects have already been successfully established with original equipment manufacturers in the automotive industry.

Keyword: 20th Saxon Founder Award

A total of 126 start-ups and start-up projects applied for the futureSAX competition. This exceeded the previous record from the previous year (98 entries). Among the 15 teams nominated for the final was the Chemnitz ligenium GmbH and the Text2Knowledge - T2K project. The start-up project, also supported by the SAXEED team in Freiberg, aims to make the knowledge contained in texts automatically and quickly accessible by combining artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

In addition to the award of the Saxon Founders' Prize, the winner of the Audience Prize was announced and awarded. The applicants included φq-dynamics, Adventuries, Alex Baut, audory, fyndeezy, Just in Time - Food, LiGenium, mecorad, NOVAJET, Oldtimerparts, Quantus - Agriculture Technologies, T2K and Wupp, a total of 13 start-up projects supervised by SAXEED. In the online voting, in which almost 5,000 votes were cast, BWS-Education UG from Thalheim prevailed. The founding team has constructed a digital anatomy learning platform for schoolchildren, students and educational institutions from the medical-therapeutic sector.

Saxony's Minister of Economic Affairs, Martin Dulig, said of the award ceremony: “The 20th start-up award shows once again: Saxony is an attractive location for start-ups and those interested in founding a company! I congratulate the winning teams and thank everyone who contributed their innovative ideas to this anniversary year, which was marked by the corona pandemic. I would also like to thank the more than 100 jurors and the entire futureSAX network, which supports the founders in the Free State with its wealth of knowledge and experience. "


Winners and other places of the Saxon Founders Award 2020:

1st place: Morpheus Space GmbH from Dresden produces the world's smallest, most efficient and most scalable ion beam propulsion systems to enable the autonomous operation of satellites in the future. The prize is endowed with 10,000 euros.

2nd place: SEMRON GmbH from Dresden designs an analog semiconductor chip specializing in highly parallel algorithms for AI. The component design is internationally protected by a strong IP. The prize is endowed with 8,000 euros.

3rd place (together with ligenium GmbH): Peerox GmbH from Dresden is developing the MADDOX assistance system, a knowledge repository with a self-learning search algorithm. In the event of production disruptions, it independently analyzes the situation and searches for suitable information. The prize is endowed with 6,000 euros each.

Background: futureSAX

futureSAX is the central contact in the Saxon start-up and innovation ecosystem with the aim of making the innovation players and the innovation country visible. With a variety of measures, futureSAX sets growth impulses for sustainable innovations, networks cross-sector innovators from business and science and increases the efficiency of innovation processes. Individuals, founding teams and young companies with (planned) headquarters in Saxony can take part in the annual Saxon Founders' Prize. The foundation may not date back more than three years or must be aimed for in the next two years.


The award show to watch and further information about the futureSAX innovation conference:


Author: Jana Mitschke, Mario Steinebach

About the post:  Chemnitz University of Technology

Article from 07/16/2020

Erfolgsstory -

Wood in mechanical engineering - the ligenium success story


Adjusting to the changing world of work means questioning everything that was previously considered standard. For example, when you think of mechanical engineering, you inevitably think of steel and iron. After all, both have successfully established themselves over the decades. That is different  Startup ligenium  from Chemnitz. They broke with current standards and primarily rely on wood for their products. In this way they helped the renewable raw material to achieve a renaissance in mechanical and plant engineering. You can find out exactly how this works in the article Wood in Mechanical Engineering - LiGenium Success Story.

An almost forgotten material

Wood originally had a long tradition as a construction material in mechanical engineering. Until the middle of the 20th century, many products were still made from wood. The raw material even played an important role in vehicle construction. It consisted of superstructures for trucks and even body parts. But over time, other materials such as metal and plastic displaced wood from the industry. The reason for this was often the better machinability.

The Chemnitz startup ligenium shows that the use of wood-based materials is still technically, economically and ecologically sensible. “We are mechanical engineers and have developed a certain amount of wood expertise. We are offering a new product portfolio with our own construction methods, ”explains managing director Christoph Alt.

The company was founded out of a research group at Chemnitz University of Technology. This has been dealing with the use of wood-based materials in mechanical engineering for several years. The original founding team included three engineers and a business economist. The young company now has its own production capacities and has already taken on several new employees.

Simple but decisive advantages of wood

Wood is more stable and lighter than sheet metal. In addition, there are no problems with corrosion. Ligenium currently use these advantages in the production of transport trolleys for internal logistics. Although the timber construction is also suitable for other applications, ligenium is initially concentrating on the market for conveyor technology and logistics.

“Transport frames in the automotive industry are usually very heavy. The dead weight is sometimes up to ten times higher than the conveyed goods themselves, ”explains Christoph Alt. The wooden frames from Chemnitz weigh less than half the weight of conventional metal models. And since transport racks often cover long distances in the supply chain, the weight savings have a direct effect on fuel consumption and thus directly on transport costs.

The modular design allows the basic frames to be individually adapted to the application. This principle makes it possible to use the racks over several product cycles and thus to use them more sustainably. There is also the argument that wood has a positive carbon dioxide balance.

Less weight also means less effort required to move the transport racks manually. Wood also has a dampening effect and reduces vibrations. Metallic rattling and crashing in the production hall is a thing of the past. All of this leads to a more ergonomic workplace for all employees.

At present, the lack of electrical conductivity, known as electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), of wood will play an increasingly important role in the future. “The topic will become more and more important when work with the new 5G mobile communications standard becomes established in the factories,” says the “ligenium” managing director with conviction. Wood does not represent an obstacle for electrical signals and thus contributes to process reliability.

The old is not bad, it just has to be rethought

The company name “ligenium” is derived from the Latin words lignum (wood) and Ingenium (talent, ingenious invention). That aptly describes the idea behind the startup and is well received. "The logisticians from the automotive industry noticed us," says Alt. The company has already successfully completed its first orders for the automotive industry. The largest order came from the Volkswagen group. 40 load carriers were manufactured for a vehicle plant.

"We want to expand, but have decided to stay in Chemnitz," assures Alt. The location could hardly be more suitable. The region doesn't just count as  Cradle of the German automobile industry.  It also looks back on a long tradition in mechanical engineering. Carl von Carlowitz, who was born in Chemnitz, also shaped the  Concept of sustainability . Ligenium combines both and is breaking new ground.

This is how ligenium made it onto the  Change in the world of work  to adjust. In doing so, they focus specifically on sustainability. And that in an industry that, due to its many years of success, is rather cumbersome to deal with changes and new approaches. Old standards had to be broken and a lot of persuasion work had to be done for one's own idea. ligenium has made it and can therefore rightly be described as a success story.

Author: Felix Nawroth
To the article: Skilled workers


Article from June 12, 2020

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