A raw material summit, held on Tuesday at the Technical University of Berlin, was organized jointly by DECHEMA (German Society for Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) and the materials manufacturer Covestro. Experts pointed out that the chemical industry needs to increase the use of sustainable raw materials such as plants and CO2 to conserve limited fossil resources. Representatives of the political, scientific and business spheres stated that there are numerous promising approaches for producing chemical products virtually without petroleum.
Kurt Wagemann, DECHEMA Managing Director, in his keynote address, said, “Above all, it is important to quickly implement good ideas. That’s why the start-up culture has to be encouraged in the chemical industry in particular,”. He also chaired the main panel discussion.
Five start-up companies from the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany presented projects at an idea competition held at the event, in which biomass and CO2 are used instead of petroleum as alternative sources of carbon. Serving as a signal for promoting an increased start-up culture, the event sent the message“Plants and CO2 highly promising alternatives to petroleum. More joint efforts and pioneering spirit is required.”
Steffen Krach, State Secretary for Science and Research in the Senate Chancellery of the Governing Mayor of Berlin, said, “Berlin is Germany’s start-up capital. We want to even improve the general framework.”
Jost, stated, “Our solutions are generating completely new types of green business opportunities.”
Steilemann pointed out the importance of fruitful cooperation between research-based companies and application-oriented academia. “Such cooperation has enabled Covestro to rapidly develop and launch the first CO2-based products on the market.”
TU Professor Schomäcker also strongly favored the expansion of cooperation especially within the academic sphere to drive research forward in a focused way.