Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 3 | 19. Januar 2022

Priority Programme “Cooperative Multilevel Multistable Microactuator Systems (KOMMMA)” (SPP 2206)

In 2019, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “Cooperative Multilevel Multistable Microactuator Systems (KOMMMA)” (SPP 2206). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the second three-year funding period.

Objectives of the Second Funding Period

The ongoing miniaturisation and the increasing demands on the functionalities of microsystems generate an urgent need for innovative approaches to control, for example, mechanics, optics or fluidics on a micrometer scale. An important prerequisite is the smart coupling of distributed microactuators into a cooperative synergetic actuation system. This opens the opportunity to generate new functionalities and thereby to tackle complex actuation tasks comprising combinations of force, displacement and dynamics that have not been possible until now. To date, various microactuators have been developed and are in use; yet, their systematic coupling to cooperative multistage or, for instance, multistable microactuator systems is still outstanding. In microsystems technology, substantial developments are currently carried out in sensors and sensor systems. The coherent cooperation of different microactuators will enable innovative “smart” systems solutions building a bridge to the success of today’s sensor technology.

The objectives of this interdisciplinary Priority Programme are to demonstrate new theoretically founded concepts to understand the complex coupling and synergy effects in cooperative microactuator systems as well as novel methods for the design, fabrication and control of cooperative and/or multistage microactuator systems. The development of bi-/multistable mechanisms will be required.

The research of this Priority Programme focused so far on four core issues addressing different lengths and/or time scales:

  1. basic understanding of coupling effects and cross-sensitivities that arise from the spatially confined arrangement of diverse microactuators and corresponding functional materials
  2. identification and understanding of synergy effects resulting from promising combinations of microactuators, inherent sensing properties and multi-stable mechanisms
  3. design and evaluation of architectures of multifunctional actuator systems for microsystems applications
  4. methods for the fabrication and control in microsystems applications including microtechnologies, integration and functionalisation of actuator materials and supporting structures

Organisation and Cooperation

KOMMMA brings together research groups of the different research fields of microactuators, microsystems, materials science, system simulation, control and systems engineering and focuses their complementary expertise ranging from basic principles to demonstrator applications. Proposals should focus on the core issues 3) and/or 4) during the second funding period and either build on the understanding of coupling and synergy effects in the first period or introduce novel synergies. Joint proposals including cooperation across discipline borders will be encouraged. The number of principal investigators should reflect the complementary expertise needed for the proposed research. Proposals should aim at a comprehensive evaluation of cooperative multistage multistable microactuator systems (KOMMMA) addressing fundamental design parameters, engineering up to innovative demonstrator systems for applications in, e.g., micromechanics, -optics and -fluidics.

Proposals should not address the development of single actuators and developments exclusively on technologies, materials or simulation tools. Also, the development of any applications, e.g. robot and cyberphysical systems, will not be considered unless the proposals have a clear focus on cooperative multistage multistable microactuator systems.

Proposal Submission

Proposals must be written in English and submitted to the DFG by 3 May 2022. Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system.

Applicants must be registered in elan prior to submitting a proposal to the DFG. If you have not yet registered, please note that you must do so by 26 April 2022 to submit a proposal under this call; registration requests received after this time cannot be considered. You will normally receive confirmation of your registration by the next working day. Note that you will be asked to select the appropriate Priority Programme call during both the registration and the proposal process.

If you would like to submit a proposal for a new project within the existing Priority Programme, please go to Proposal Submission – New Project – Priority Programmes and select “SPP 2206 KOMMMA” from the current list of calls. Previous applicants can submit a proposal for the renewal of an existing project under Proposal Submission – Proposal Overview/Renewal Proposal.

In preparing your proposal, please review the programme guidelines (form 50.05, section B) and follow the proposal preparation instructions (form 54.01). These forms can either be downloaded from our website or accessed through the elan portal.

The review colloquium for the Priority Programme will be held in June/July 2022 at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (COVID19 regulations permitting) or in virtual form. Details will be communicated through the programme’s website.

Further Information

More information on the Priority Programme is available under:

The elan system can be accessed at:

DFG forms 50.05 and 54.01 can be downloaded at:

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:

  • Professor Dr. Manfred Kohl
    Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
    Institut für Mikrostrukturtechnik
    Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1
    76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen
    phone +49 721 60822798

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:

Programme contact:

Administrative contact: