Materials Center Leoben was founded in 1999 as Kplus Center. The founding partners, i.e. various institutes of the University of Leoben, the Graz University of Technology, the Vienna University of Technology, the Academy of Sciences, JOANNEUM Research and the City of Leoben pursued the goal of creating a new research institution, which on the one hand forms a platform for the acquisition and execution of larger joint research projects and on the other hand closes the gaps in the competence portfolio and infrastructure of the partners.
Since 2002, the Materials Center Leoben has build up the services section, i.e. a business area without public funding to serve as further economic pillar besides the Kplus program.
The Kplus phase ended at the end of 2007. MCL and its partners were successful in applying for a centre in the follow-up programme COMET.
From the beginning of 2008 until the end of 2017, MCL was the coordinator of the COMET K2 Center for Integrated Research in Materials, Process and Product Engineering (MPPE).
Since early 2018, MCL acts as the coordinator of the COMET K2 Center for Integrated Computational Materials, Process and Product Engineering (IC-MPPE).
Since its foundation, MCL, together with its scientific and corporate partners, has been successful with a total of 7 major research proposals to finance research activities, initially under the Kplus programme and later under the COMET programme.
During the first few years, MCL concentrated on the development of theoretical fundamentals and experimental methods for material development with a focus on structural materials, on the development of expertise in the modelling and simulation of microstructure and property changes during material processing and use, as well as on the further development of specific processing processes such as powder technology, surface technology and joining technology.
Starting in 2008, the research work has strategically developed in the direction of integrated engineering of materials, manufacturing processes and products, the central research focus at the COMET K2 Center MPPE in the years 2008 to 2017.
The massive increase in computing power of PCs and workstations, the availability of extremely powerful computing clusters, the availability of ever more powerful commercial simulation software and the increasing in-house expertise in modeling, simulation and software development in conjunction with the new perspectives of the Internet of Things and the digitalization of the process chain have contributed to an increasing development of MCL and its partners in the direction of "Integrated Computational Materials, Process and Product Engineering (IC-MPPE)", which is now and for the next seven years the central topic of research activities at MCL and with numerous scientific partners and corporate partners.
MCL's goal is to become an international leader in selected thematic fields.
To this end, MCL pursues the strict course of combining real experiments and computer modeling on all relevant length scales with its research activities, the development of the expertise of its research team and its investments.