Tuesday - September 18, 2018

Awards for innovative business ideas on new materials

Covestro promotes entrepreneurship in chemistry

Partner of University Innovation Challenge and Chem Start-up Award / Focus on open innovation with universities and start-ups
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The founders of Bipolymer Systems, Artur Steffen (left) and Martin Huber (m.), win the Future Materials Award of University Innovation Challenge, handed over by Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro.

Start-ups in chemistry stand for innovation and entrepreneurship, but deserve more attention. With new awards for young start-up teams and university spin-offs, Covestro is setting an example for the chemical industry: the best ideas will be systematically promoted and linked with the economy. The polymer company has honored founders with ideas for innovative, sustainable materials both in the context of the University Innovation Challenge in Frankfurt am Main and at the new Chem Start-up Award in Cologne.

"Groundbreaking ideas for more sustainable solutions in the chemical industry arise especially when we listen to young entrepreneurs and work with them. With the new awards we want to open the right doors faster for the most promising ideas", said Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO Covestro. "Curiosity, courage and diversity determine our corporate values. We want to push the boundaries of what is feasible - and especially together with start-ups.”

Start-up awarded for Future Materials

Steilemann presented the prize in the Future Materials category at the University Innovation Challenge in Frankfurt am Main to the start-up company Bipolymer Systems. The young company from Duesseldorf has developed a sustainable compound material that converts heat into electricity and could help shape the generation of energy in the future. The University Innovation Challenge was initiated by Goethe University in Frankfurt and the German business newspaper Handelsblatt in order to bring the results of university research in Germany into contact with business more quickly. Candidates from all German-speaking universities were eligible to apply.

The start-up Bipolymer Systems also received a special "Challenge & Win" prize for Future Materials sponsored by Covestro as part of the new Chem Start-up Award. The first German start-up prize specifically for business ideas in the chemical industry was launched by the regional industry network ChemCologne together with numerous partners at the European start-up conference StartupCon in Cologne.

About Covestro:
With 2017 sales of EUR 14.1 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 16,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2017.

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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 The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.