Materials, Biotechnology and Energy

The main emphasis of Materials, Biotechnology and Energy (MBE) is to promote additional knowledge, expertise and general development of the Icelandic economy through innovation, technological development, research and knowledge transfer in chosen focus areas. MBE works towards these objectives by participation in applied development and research projects, within Iceland and overseas, while also providing consultation on technological developments and manufacturing. It also carries out various tests, which are mainly in the field of material, energy and production technology.

The emphases and range of projects within MBE build on the interest and needs of Icelandic industry for research and development at any time, in addition to looking to the future. Specialists within the department keep track of the stream and directions in innovation and researches in their own professional fields, within Iceland and abroad, and are alert to new opportunities.

Within each focus area, the department forms a group of specialists and assistants who work on demanding projects in association with universities, other research institutes and industry. Many projects are carried out with foreign partners, with the aim of furthering the connections and knowledge of Icelandic specialists and businesses with those overseas, and thus strengthening the foundation of knowledge possessed by MBE and Icelandic industry.

The Managing Director of the department is Kristjan Leosson

Focus areas in the department:

Materials technology

Materials technology, both concerns the internal structure and surface as well as the application of the material. The properties of a material in connection with usage, is a large research and development area at Innovation Center Iceland. Metals, plastics, ceramics and other types of material and material blends are the focus here. Material and the utilization of material are prerequisites for the main industries in Iceland.


In the field of polymers, research is carried out with Icelandic and foreign businesses and institutes on testing of materials and products; provision of information on polymers, polymer products and production technology; advice on product development, choice of material and production technology; and quality control assessment.


The scientific and technical field that concerns the development and handling of nanomaterials has developed greatly in recent years. This area has been considered as one of the fastest-growing areas of science and technology. Nanotechnology is cross-disciplinary to a large extent, and its development and use will, according to many of the most-esteemed experts, completely revolutionize traditional solutions in science and technology.

Health technology

In the health technology field, work is performed on research, development and service projects connected to medical devices and biomaterials for use in tissue engineering. Research and development is carried out in the field of medical devices, such as equipment for use in dentistry and physiotherapy.

In general research and development projects exist in the biomaterials field, especially in the area of bone graft materials and materials to repair bones. This project relates to development of surface handling of bone grafts, while other projects aim to develop scaffolds for tissue culture. Innovation Center Iceland specialists possess a wide knowledge of disciplines such as chemistry and materials science of biomaterials, as well as having access to a wide variety of analytical equipment and facilities for development work.

Geothermal energy

Innovation Center Iceland works on R&D projects connected with geothermal energy and its utilization in several well-defined areas. In the area of materials technology, work is performed on projects concerned with choice of materials and strain on materials when in contact with geothermal steam and liquids. In the field of chemical pathways, research is focused on utilization of gases from geothermal steam; and in the field of energy research, the total use of energy.

Damage analysis and testing

In the Materials, Biotechnology and Energy Department, extensive knowledge and experience exists in various types of damage analysis and testing. When an accident or mishap occurs, it is often necessary to obtain a reasonable explanation of what went wrong and to distinguish between cause and effect. This knowledge can be used for preventive measures or to decide whether someone is responsible for the breakdown or mishap.