ons including smartphones and vehicles with an endowed professorship in Mobile Vision. The professorship was established by AIT and the Graz University of Technology during the summer of 2014 and underscores the long- term partnership between the two instituti- ons in the field of image processing. Thomas Pock plays a key bridging function as both Principal Scientist at AIT and endowed pro- fessor at the Graz University of Technology.

Atanaska Trifonova: Batteries leveraging acceptance of electric mobility

Atanaska Trifonova is thematic coordinator for electrical energy storage at AIT’s Mobility Department. Her research group is the only one in Austria taking a holistic approach to the subject of energy density and service life of batteries along the entire value chain.

Electric vehicles currently on the market de- pend on lithium-ion technology. Apart from safety, costs and service life, the quality of a battery is defined above all by its energy den- sity, which is a key criterion in terms of ran- ge, as well as by its power density, which is important for acceleration, driving speed and charging times. Although the lithium-ion bat- tery scores high in terms of energy density and service life, there is currently no techno- lo- gy available that fully meets all the de- mands. This basically makes it a matter of

finding the best possible compromise, which requires the entire value chain of battery de- velopment to be taken into account.

The AIT Mobility Department is the only rese- arch group throughout Austria providing this comprehensive approach to the topic – from the development of materials and battery ma- nagement systems to modelling, simulation and prototyping and through to comprehensi- ve validation and testing of cells, modules and systems according to industrial test pro- tocols. In recent months, key extensions have been made to the laboratory infrastructure to ensure AIT is fully equipped for future deve- lopments in the battery sector. The market for electrochemical energy storage systems is highly dynamic. The trend is towards con- siderably increasing the nominal voltages in the individual cells within the next few years. The battery manufacturers therefore need to know as early as possible in the development process if the materials used are suitable for the high voltage cells of the future.

Angela Sessitsch: How bacteria increase plant yield

Angela Sessitsch is head of the Bioresources business unit and an internationally recognis- ed expert in microbial research. Her team seeks to understand how different bacteria colonise plants, and how the association with

these bacterial endophytes makes plants more resilient and increases yields. The rela- tively young research field has experienced a great boost in the past few years. Methods such as high-throughput DNA sequencing are enabling new and economically viable rese- arch approaches. In addition, society is incre- asingly demanding alternatives to genetic en- gineering in agriculture. Plant-associated mi- croorganisms such as endophytes can be used as biological protective agents or fertili- sers for plants and are thus making an es- sential contribution to sustainable agricultu- re. AIT researches these issues at various le- vels. For example, Angela Sessitsch and her team are exploring ways to use plant-asso- ciated microorganisms for reducing weed growth and for enhancing the resistance of plants to microbial pathogens. The team also investigates how endophytes interact with plants to protect their hosts against environ- mental stress. The scientists seek to shed new light on the role of endophytes by analy- sing the diversity of the microflora of highly resistant plants such as potato varieties from the Andean region, which have adapted extre- mely well to harsh and changeable climatic conditions. The findings will provide the basis for new cultivation practices ensuring an ide- al interaction between microorganisms, plants and the soil.