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Feasibility study BioGlizz

“Due to lack of snow: Women’s World Cup race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen cancelled” – news such as this one from January 2014 will be increasingly frequent, as experts agree.

So, how can you make sure that skiing, snowboarding or sledding is not exclusively possible on glaciers (which are moreover already shrinking as well)? How can people in warmer regions and in urban areas have fun on slopes without polluting the environment? A good solution to those problems is being researched by the feasibility study “BioGlizz” that started in December 2013: the possibility of a layer composition from various materials and biological alternatives, mainly algae and moss. There are some vendors offering synthetic mats for skiing; however, they look unnatural, do not feel like snow, consume a lot of resources and wear down fast.

The idea behind BioGlizz is thus that it should be possible to design a basis for sliding by means of biological alternatives that is extremely durable as regards abrasion, UV-radiation, humidity, and microorganisms. At the same time, this basis should provide a stable culture medium for suitable layers – algae – and thus facilitate a sustainable enjoyment of winter sports – in winter as well as in summer. A further advantage of this basis would be that it can undergo temporal deformation which would not only make swerving possible but also cushion falls.

Over the course of the next year, the project team will research the technical, organizational, and economical feasibility of such a basis; the research is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research.

The team consists of Innovationsmanufaktur GmbH, the Institute of Food Technology and Bioprocess Engineering at TU Dresden, and the ITV Denkendorf. An expert forum supports the team: Ambientes GmbH, BASF PU, BASF SE, DSV Leistungssport GmbH, Grünsteinlift, Kanzlei Jochen Schäfer, Trofil Sportbodensysteme GmbH & Co. KG and Tröger Markenstrategie.

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