Consumer good manufacturer Henkel and RWTH Aachen are starting a new type of collaboration with the Innovation Campus HICAST. Experts from both sides will work together on research and development of resource-efficient detergents and cleaning agents.
Henkel Representatives from RWTH Aachen and the Henkel Board of Management at the opening ceremony for the HICAST Innovation Campus Bruno Piacenza, member of the Board and Executive Vice President Laundry & Home Care at Henkel, and RWTH Rector Ernst Schmachtenberg have now officially opened the Innovation Campus in Aachen. Henkel is investing up to five million Euros in the research cooperation.
The Campus is named ”Henkel Innovation Campus for Advanced Sustainable Technologies”, HICAST for short. In the fundamental research cluster, Henkel will join forces with RWTH professors Alexander Böker, Regina Palkovits, Walter Richtering, and Ulrich Schwaneberg, experts from the University’s departments of chemistry, biotechnology, and the DWI Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials.
Fostering Industrial Innovations
“Innovation is a significant driver of economic growth. And we know about the talent and creativity of experts from outside the company,” said Bruno Piacenza. “For this reason, we promote ‘Open Innovation’, that is the involvement of external partners such as universities and students, research institutions, suppliers, and customers.”
The strategic objective of RWTH Aachen is to further strengthen top-level research, seeking to foster industrial innovations. “We highly appreciate that an international corporation such as Henkel has selected RWTH as a collaborative partner in fundamental research,” emphasized Schmachtenberg.
The focus of HICAST is on interdisciplinary research in the fields of chemical engineering, chemistry, and biotechnology. In molecular science and engineering, for example, bio-based innovative materials are being developed. Based on these developments, chemistry and biotechnology working groups investigate new, resource-efficient, and high-performance materials for future detergents and cleaning agents.
Source: RWTH, press release, 2015-03-04.