The MAG-DRIVE consortium brings together the most advanced magnets research activity in Europe with a major European OEM, to produce the materials and systems necessary for next-generation EVs.


Kochanek Entwicklungsgeselschaft (KE) is a small privately held SME established in 1995. The company started its activities based on development contracts related to the technical and scientific background of Dr. Kochanek (former manager of BASF chemical company, founder of Metallico GmbH – producer of Metal Injection Moulding parts).

In 2001 KE developed a radical new concept for manufacturing nanocrystalline metal parts and has gained several worldwide patents for this technique. The patented process offers a very cost effective way to manufacture nanocrystalline metal parts of complex shape, the physical properties of which are chemically designed at an atomic scale.

KE has joint research contracts across the international automotive, electronic, and chemical industries. KE invested approx. €4M in research in the last decade and is now well equipped with everything needed to support material science at a high scientific level.

KE is active on its own 2000 m² campus located in the south west of Germany, and operates patented processed at pilot scale within a hall of 750 m² that includes all equipment that is needed to run the full process chain. The company has just purchased another 4000 m² to transfer the “Kochanek process” to high serial production. Since 2009 KE is also active in Laser-beam rapid prototyping, and is presently forming a spin-off company with Dr. Gruber.

Staff members involved

Dr. Wolfgang Kochanek has a strong background in chemical engineering and material science. He was BASF manager from 1985 to 92 and founder of Metallico Pulverspritzguß (1992; sold in 1997), full owner and founder of metalpart GmbH (founded 1997); scientific evaluator to the EU Commission (since 2007), coordinator of the €15M IP (Multiprotect; FP6), a participant in SILTRANS (FP7), and CEO of KONA-Steel AG (i.G.) that is going to be the investment platform for expanding the business with strong financial support of international venture capital funds to transfer the Kochanek process to real industrial scale. Dr. Kochanek owns 13 patents, two of which are exploited on an industrial scale. Within MAG-DRIVE he will be the driving force of the project within KE, in charge of modification of the pilot plant to the needs of the Nd2Fe14B concept, and will manage foreground project results dissemination.

Dr. Karl Gruber is the head of research at KE where he develops new materials and technical concepts based on the laser beam sintering process. Formerly, he was head of fuel cell development in the Center for Applied Electrochemistry in Austria and member of the department of electrochemistry at the Institute for chemical technologies at TU-Vienna. He has published several papers on fuel cells, combinatorial electrochemistry and direct methanol catalysis. He has 21 national and 5 international patents.

Roland Klein is the head of the production unit at KE and has 35 years of experience within industry, transferring concepts from pilot plant to high serials production in the automotive sector.


Logo of KE


Dr. Wolfgang Kochanek