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.