The Deutsche Kupferinstitut looks back on a history of more than 90 years. Here you can learn about the most important stages of its development and activities.


Foundation of the Deutsche Kupferinstitut in Berlin as a neutral scientific advisory body for the copper industry with Siegfried Hirsch as its first chairman.

Already after the First World War, the important companies of the German metal industry had the idea of setting up an information and advisory centre for the industrial and commercial use of copper and its alloys. In the end, it took two years to organise a founding meeting in Berlin (2.2.1927) with the fundamental support of the Copper and Brass Association (founded in 1922) and American producers.


Whereas the Kupferinstitut had 17 member companies at its foundation, by the time of the second general meeting on 28 October 1928, 62 companies had already joined the institute.


Political developments in Germany and the war years significantly affect the Institute’s work; destruction of the office in Berlin


Resumption of the Institute’s work as a scientific advisory centre with the support of the English Copper Institute. Thanks to the efforts of the Kupferinstitut and the support of industry, work could be resumed on a small scale as early as 1945. The Deutsche Kupferinstitut exists as the only metal advisory organisation in Berlin, where the first board meeting after the war finally took place in 1951.

Early 1950s

After the difficult war and post-war years, the Deutsche Kupferinstitut could now breathe again. Its existence was secured. After the previously paid bridging funds, regular membership payments were now received again, which created a healthy financial basis. It was now important to make the technical and economic advantages of copper materials known again and thus create the conditions for their processing. Therefore, in addition to regular participation in trade fairs, there was now increased investment in permanent exhibitions in building centres and sample shows of building materials.


Internationalisation progressed: Until the mid-sixties, the focus was on cooperation with the globally represented copper institutes and institutions. In addition to INCRA, the foreign copper producers founded the International Copper Development Council (CIDEC) in London to promote market development. CIDEC became a member of the Deutsche Kupferinstitut and thus financially secured the work of the institute from the beginning of the 1960s. In this way it was possible for the promotion of the market to move back into the foreground alongside the technical-scientific advice.


Foundation of a branch office in Düsseldorf. Above all, the proximity to the Ruhr area was decisive for this choice of location. In the large industrial conurbation, contact with the consumer was to be cultivated more strongly. The heads of the Institute’s chemical industry and electrical industry market divisions carried out their activities here. While the production of semi-finished copper and copper alloys roughly doubled between 1957 and 1967, copper tube production increased fourfold in the same period. During this period, the breakthrough of copper tubes in sanitary and heating technology was achieved, an area that was particularly promoted and developed by the Deutsche Kupferinstitut.

1970s and 80s

In addition to technical-scientific activities, expansion of public relations work on the topic of copper. The question of the economic use of copper materials is increasingly becoming the focus of general interest.  The need for information about copper and its alloys and their ecological aspects was correspondingly great.


The founding of the International Copper Association, New York, in 1989 gave a further boost to international involvement.


The move to Düsseldorf marks the beginning of another reorientation of the Deutsche Kupferinstitut. In a very short time, the new start at the Düsseldorf location succeeds with an almost completely new team.


The European Copper Institute (ECI) is founded in London in 1996 and has been based in Brussels since 1998.


75th anniversary of the Deutsche Kupferinstitut. Anniversary celebration with more than 150 guests at the Düsseldorf Industrial Club.


1. Kupfer-Symposium in Bochum as an exchange platform for science and industry; first-time presentation of the Copper Innovation Award


Bringing together the world’s copper institutes under the umbrella of the Copper Alliance.


Intensive expansion of advisory activities to include laboratory and engineering services; commencement of increased seminar activities.


Move of the Kupferinstitut to Heinrichstraße 24 in Düsseldorf. Expansion of the laboratory; establishment of own conference and seminar rooms.


Restructuring of the Copper Alliance with concentration on a few locations.

Repositioning of the Kupferinstitut as an independent technical competence centre for copper and copper alloys and withdrawal from the Copper Alliance.


Expansion of the research activities of the Kupferinstitut. Foundation of the Science goes Copper initiative.


Renewed move to Düsseldorfer Seestern, Emanuel-Leutze-Straße 11, 40547 Düsseldorf.

Introduction of new corporate design and corporate identity.


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