After construction began on 4 November 2010 on the Duisburg campus, the NanoEnergie­TechnikZentrum (NETZ) has now become an ­excellently equipped research centre for the ­development of functional nanomaterials for ­energy technology applications. Its research is structured to follow the process chains from ­material synthesis to components, with the in-house microscopy centre enabling detailed analysis at all stages. One focus of the “NanoEnergie­TechnikZentrum” project of the same name was on the development of new storage materials for lithium-ion batteries. Particularly successful in this context has been the development of ­nanoscale silicon-carbon composites for battery anodes. Materials for the battery cathode allowing very high charge and discharge currents have also already been produced using flame synthesis by the Chair of Combustion and Gas Dynamics.  
Energy is also the subject of research within an EU consortium in which the Chair of Energy Technology and the ZBT are participating: ­working with industry partners, the researchers here are developing cost-efficient production technology for a high-performance alkaline fuel cell. The simulation results produced by the ­Energy Technology departmental chair have ­already helped to optimize various aspects of production.    
In July 2012 the “ReHabX-Stroke” project, in which the Institute of Mechanics and Robotics is taking part, was launched with 1.3 million ­euros in funding from the federal government. The participating researchers use advanced methods of motion simulation to virtually test different treatments to restore patient mobility after a stroke. By 2015 they will have developed a software tool with which doctors and therapists can choose the best treatment for fast, individual rehabilitation on the basis of quantitative criteria.     
In October 2012 scientists at the Chair of ­Mechatronics unveiled a unique wire robot-based motion system for wind tunnels that makes the necessary high bearing load and movement in all directions possible. Also in 2012 the Institute presented the autonomous assistive robot “Faromir” in collaboration with the Chairs of Manufacturing Technology and Mechanics and Robotics. “Faromir” is designed to support older people living at home by providing real-time health monitoring and reporting any emergency.
Several departmental chairs are working ­together on the large-scale project “cologne-­mobil” in collaboration with RheinEnergie, Ford and the city of Cologne: with 7.5 million euros in funding from the Federal Ministry of Transport, this project researches the applications of electrically driven vehicles and the demands on the charging infrastructure in the Rhine-Ruhr Electric Mobility Pilot Region. Electric mobility is also a subject of research at the Chair of Energy Technology: its scientists work on battery status specifications, which allow precise statements on battery charge, function and health. Know­ledge of these parameters makes it possible to generate a precise range forecast for electric ­vehicles.   
Coordinated by the Chair of Automotive Economics, the RUHRAUTOe project tests and provides scientific support for intermodal car-sharing concepts. Meanwhile, conventional fossil fuels are the focus of a major project at the Chair of Environmental Process Engineering and Plant Design, where scientists and their industry partners have designed and built a mobile gas washer to remove CO2 from a gas mixture. Washing ­liquids developed in the lab can now be tested under real-life conditions and compared quickly and inexpensively in coal-fired power plants, coke plants and the cement industry.