Bayer MaterialScience AG and Bayer
Technology Services GmbH have signed a five-year agreement
with the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH)
Aachen for intensive cooperation in catalysis research. "Catalysis has
become a key technology in the chemical industry. Almost none of our
products is being made without involving some type of catalysts,"
explained Ian Paterson, member of the board of Bayer MaterialScience
(BMS) and responsible for marketing and innovation, at the singing of
the contract in Aachen today. Over a period of five years, BMS will
invest a total of 6.05 million euros in the center for catalysis
research, and Bayer Technology Services will contribute 1.24 million
euros. The State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the RWTH Aachen will
provide an additional 2.7 million euros to finance the center, which
will be the workplace for up to 12 researchers.
"The development of entirely new catalytic processes which we
would like to realize with this joint center opens many opportunities
but it is also a great challenge," said Professor Dr. Walter Leitner,
scientific head of the new center. In catalysis, even the smallest
amount of a "molecular matchmaker" can be sufficient to guide a
chemical reaction into the desired direction, or start it in the first
place. This is a form of sustainable chemistry that helps to explore
new raw materials and makes processes more efficient, which in turn can
reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
A the Seffent/Melaten site, right next to the Institute for
Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry (ITMC) of the RWTH, which is
also headed by Professor Leitner, the university will provide the
necessary laboratory space of a total of 400 square meters. The
laboratory wing is currently being modernized with the support of the
State of North Rhine Westphalia and the RWTH. It will then be equipped
and furnished in cooperation with Bayer MaterialScience. At the new
catalysis center, young researchers will undertake fundamental
catalysis research in close cooperation with experts from Bayer
MaterialScience and Bayer Technology Services.