Empowering students to innovate and commercialize material applications

Covestro-Tongji-Rehau Innovation Competition winning projects announced

Seven projects from total 73 entries were awarded for their innovative market oriented application ideas and design. The competition is designed to inspire students to explore cross-disciplinary innovations, while providing them with a platform to apply professional knowledge and skills to market applications.

Covestro-Tongji-Rehau Innovation Competition

“As a company with 80 years of innovation experience and the inventor of polyurethane and polycarbonate, Covestro constantly challenges ourselves by ‘why not?’ when developing new material solutions to address the greatest challenges of our society. Our vision is to make the world a brighter place by focusing on sustainability and innovation. We aim not only to develop new products, but also to motivate and inspire young generation to join hands in building a brighter future and a beautiful China for all,” said Bjoern Skogum, President of Covestro China. “Tongji and Rehau are our key partners in China. With the joint efforts, we strive to inspire and enable the future generation talents to turn technology innovation outcomes into market values.”

Covestro-Tongji-Rehau Innovation Competition

“We are thrilled to join hands with Covestro and Tongji University in this exciting and meaningful competition, by providing market insights to encourage young generation pursue unlimited innovation to improve people’s living quality worldwide,” said Nils Wagner, CEO of Rehau Greater China and Co-CEO of Rehau Asia Pacific. “At Rehau, we bear responsibility as an employer and stakeholder in a global society by supporting the development of environmentally sound solutions throughout the value chain and product lifecycle.”

With a purpose to enable young entrepreneurs to develop market-driven innovation through industry-academia partnership, Covestro-Tongji Innovation Academy launched the Covestro-Tongji Innovation Competition in 2016. Through extending partnership to downstream player Rehau, the second annual competition in 2017 focused on inspiring all-round market-oriented innovations throughout market insights, applications, design, business model ideation to commercialization. Combining the strengths of Covestro’s expertise in material science, Tongji’s rich resource in education and talent development, as well as Rehau’s forward-looking consumer insights in the areas of sustainable construction, transportation, interior design and home appliances, the competition offers a platform for open innovation and commercialization of new technologies.

Covestro-Tongji-Rehau Innovation Competition

Over the last three months, the competition attracted over 260 students from 12 schools in Tongji University to participate. Student innovators were encouraged to unleash their curiosity and courage to explore innovative material applications using polyurethane-based composites based on systematic analysis of the market. After a holistic evaluation of creativity, feasibility and applicability of all projects submitted, seven top teams whose projects cover areas including construction, transportation and household articles, were awarded with the Integrated Intelligent Light Pole Series project team claiming the first place.

Leo Liu, project leader of the champion team said, “The competition challenged us to push the boundaries to seek material solutions for light pole, an important but often neglected infrastructure in our daily lives, with better safety, durability performance, processing efficiency and cost, as well as compatibility with intelligent technologies. I believe every great invention was sparked by little ideas. The infinite potential of application awaits more innovators of the young generation to explore together.”

Winning projects will be offered opportunities to be further developed in terms of applications and commercialization. A winning team from the 2016 competition was funded by the Covestro-Tongji Innovation Academy to establish their own start-up focusing on window and door applications.

Covestro-Tongji-Rehau Innovation Competition

“Tongji University, together with Covestro and Rehau, is committed to fostering innovation capabilities among students to support China’s transformation into an innovation-driven economy, ” said Prof. Zhijun Wu, Deputy Dean of School of Undergraduates, Tongji University. “The tri-party industry-academia partnership has provided our students with an all-round incubator inspired to connect theory with practical needs.”

About Covestro:
With 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 15,600 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2016.

About Rehau:
Founded in 1948 in Germany, Rehau has been a leading provider of polymer-based solutions in construction, automotive and other industry. It strives to improve the quality of life for consumers and homeowners in the areas of sustainable construction, high end interior design and lifestyle appliances. Today Rehau is still a family owned company with 3 generations working side by side and has more than 180 locations and 45 plants worldwide, with about 20,000 employees in 54 countries.

Find more information at www.covestro.com and www.rehau.com/group-en .

Forward-looking statements
This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com . The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.