Add a bookmark to get started

6 June 20213 minute read

DLA Piper advises bionic surface technologies on its joint development agreement with Nikon Corporation Announce

DLA Piper has advised Austrian research and development company bionic surface technologies GmbH (BST) on its joint development agreement with with Japanese optics specialist Nikon Corporation, to advance the research and development of innovative Riblet technologies for a wide variety of applications.

Riblets are specially manufactured surface structures, only a few micro- or nanometers in size, whose origin lies in nature itself and has evolved over millions of years: sharks have fine grooves on their skin, the Riblets, which allow them quick and energy-efficient movement (this is why it is called Shark Skin Effect instead of Riblet Effect sometimes.) In technical applications – for example aviation, sports or wind turbines – the implementation of Riblets on flow-relevant points results in considerable advantages over smooth surfaces, such as increased efficiency, lower fuel consumption or a lower noise level. This leads to a sustainable reduction in the ecological footprint.

The cooperation between Nikon and BST makes it now possible to combine their extensive expertise and use it for Riblets. The aim of this agreement is to research the optimal pitch, shape and placement of this surface structure and offer it to customers. For this purpose, Nikon provides its specially developed and precision-controlled free-form laser patterning.

The DLA Piper Vienna-based team was led by partners Sabine Fehringer (IPT) and Maria Doralt (Corporate) as well as counsel Johanna Höltl (Corporate) and senior associate Christoph Schimmer (Corporate/Tax).

Sabine Fehringer commented: “BST and Nikon have set up a very fruitful and forward-looking cooperation with this development agreement. We are pleased to have advised a technology leader from Austria on this partnership and we look forward to seeing it go from strength to strength.”