Empa Innovation Award for new flame retardant

The Empa Innovation Award 2016 went to chemist Sabyasachi Gaan and his team. The researchers were recognized for the development of new, non-toxic and environmentally friendly fireproofing agents for the production of flame retard polyurethane foams, which are used in mattresses, seat upholstery and insulation modules for house façades, for instance


The prize was awarded on November 8 at the Empa Technology and Innovation Forum.

We frequently encounter polyurethane (PU) foams in everyday life: they are in the insulation in house façades and refrigerators, in car seats, in living room sofas and in shoe soles. PU mostly consists of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen atoms. As the air trapped in the foam’s pores also contains oxygen, the foam is highly flammable like most organic polymers and a flame retardant has to be incorporated in it to reduce the risk of fire. In recent decades, foam manufacturers usually used chlorinated phosphate as a flame retardant – a cost-effective additive that doesn’t disrupt the production process. However, many of these chlorinated fire retardants are toxic and can evaporate from the foam over time and get into the ambient air. Consequently, these substances are already forbidden in many countries. The industry is urgently looking for environment friendly and non-toxic alternatives. Additionally, the PU foam market is huge: almost 20 million tons of PU foam are produced worldwide every year, the majority of which needs flame retardant additives.

Sabyasachi Gaan and his research team patented a family of derivatives based on DOPO (9,10-dihydro-10-oxa-phosphaphenanthrene oxide)Empa 2 which offers the desired properties. In particular, 6,6′-(ethane-1,2-diylbis(azanediyl))bis(6H-dibenzo[c,e][1,2]oxaphosphinine-6-oxide) (EDA-DOPO) fulfills technical, economic and environmental criteria. The PU foams containing EDA-DOPO achieves the highest flame retardant classification in the UL 94 HB. Being a solid at room temperature, it is unable to evaporate from the foam later on and thus offers an excellent solution for transportation sector. The powder also blends in well with the PU foam production process: it mixes very well with polyol, a base material for PU foam, and forms a stable dispersion, which can then be processed easily. The end result is foam where the solid flame retardant EDA-DOPO is finely distributed in the PU cell walls. The prize-winning research project began in June 2013 and was financed with EU/ Swiss (CTI) research funds. Metadynea Austria GmbH and Foampartner Fritz Nauer AG in Wolfhausen were industrial partners. EDA-DOPO is currently produced on a 100-kilogram scale and under REACH Registration process.

ITV Denim triumphs at Global Denim Awards 2016 with the Dutch designer Anbasja Blanken

ITV Denim has been awarded the prestigious Global Denim Awards 2016, for the second time after its success just two years ago, in what has become one of the most important international competitions associated with the world of indigo fabrics.

3. Photo by Team Peter StigterThe competition, like every year, was held in Amsterdam at the same time as the Kingpins Show, and on October 26, 2016, the Italian company was selected as winner, up against 11 large-scale international denim manufacturers.

The success of ITV this year is characterised by its collaboration with a young and promising Dutch designer, Anbasja Blanken, who surprised the panel with a literally “sparkling” collection.

Restyling denim from a semi-couture perspective, this collection addresses women directly, communicating strength, elegance and beauty. The expertise made available by ITV for the designer is truly unique: the creative concept was developed on the basis of innovative experimentation on the yarn, aimed at achieving an actual “glow in the dark” effect. This idea derives from the designer’s intent to recreate the depths of the sea world, where the absence of light is in actual fact a stimulus for transformation, reminiscent of the fluorescence and brightness typical of many marine species. Explosions of coral, pearls, floral embroideries and luminescent woven fabrics, for a collection which highlights all the artisan skills of ITV, involving also the use of laser cutting and recycled fabrics, for a denim which moves on from its origins in order to portray a new style of luxury.

2 .Photo by Team Peter StigterThe Global Denim Awards have reached the third edition in 2016; it is an event which in a very short time has doubled its attendance figures and now involves 11 denim manufacturing companies in collaboration with as many designers, which presented 11 Capsule Collections with five total looks, including treatments and washings. The audience consisted of 600 professionals from the denim international scene who followed the event, while a panel made up of the greatest denim experts and designers in The Netherlands was in charge of appraising the collections on display in terms of general appearance, innovative character and creative use of denim in the project. Finally, a prize was awarded to the winning company and EUR 10000 euro to the winning designer.

Barbara Gnutti, ITV’s commercial manager comments: “This really was a big challenge for us. We have been able to or- ganize and coordinate a perfect teamwork that involved us all on multiple levels, everyone doing their best. This is why winning this competition represents a wonderful and memorable experience, with great satisfaction for the whole ITV team”.

After the victory at the Global Denim Awards 2014 (with the designer Jonathan Christopher), this new success by ITV bears witness to the extraordinary excellence of this Italian company. Research, innovation and unique proposals, always combined with top-of-the-range collaborations, are the lynchpins that represent the true added value of ITV, a company which – thanks to this spirit – is able to stand out from major players in the denim industry.

“When ITV won the Global Denim Awards 2014 with Jonathan Christopher, a real “elective affinity” with the designer was established, which still continues today. The same magical chemistry characterised our relationship with Anbasja, a pathway which developed a truly innovative idea starting from the curiosity of experimentation, the quest for excellence and the ability to bring our and her extraordinary potential to fruition”, says Paolo Gnutti – R&D at ITV Denim. “An approach which shows how, in spite of it all, Italian genuine arts and crafts are always able to impress”.

Responsible Care Prize 2016 awarded to the RUDOLF GROUP

The “Responsible-Care” Prize for particularly responsible management in the pharmaceutical/chemical industry was awarded for the 25th time in Düsseldorf on 23rd September 2016. This initiative has taken up the cause of improving the safeguarding of people and the environment – independent of existing regulations. Amongst all nominated companies the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI = Verband der Chemischen Industrie) declared six companies the winners in their anniversary event. Rudolf 2

They were chosen on federal level and stood out from their competitors in the respective fields. On the occasion of this year’s anniversary, a seventh winner may place an additionally offered award for small and medium-sized businesses on their shelves.

This year, the sought-after prize in the important category “environmental protection” was awarded to Rudolf GmbH, which is based in Geretsried, Bavaria. The managing director, Dr. Wolfgang Schumann, and Dr. Gunther Duschek, Vice President R & D, received the prize on behalf of the whole team. “Highly efficient and environmentally friendly water-repellent agents” – this is the name of the award-winning project. Since 2003 the water repellents behind Rudolfthis project have been in fierce competition with common environmentally hazardous water repellents. Apart from other aspects, the jury appreciated above all the pioneering role that RUDOLF has adopted in the chemical industry. No other manufacturer has developed products at such an early stage which for the outdoor industry are a real environmentally friendly alternative to fluorinated polymers. The majority of water-repellent agents used so far still contain perfluorooctanoic acid, which, due to its high stability, is very risky for the environment. RUDOLF has launched a high-performance, ecologically sustainable water-repellent finish without these problematic ingredients. “We have taken nature as a model, which is why the water-repellent finish we have developed is called BIONIC FINISH®“, says Dr. Duschek, and proudly adds: “In the outdoor sector today’s effects are easily as strong as with fluorocarbon compounds.”

RUDOLF GmbH, which, today, is based in Geretsried, Bavaria, Germany was founded by Reinhold Rudolf in Northern Bohemia in 1922. It is specialised in innovative and high-quality chemical products, predominantly textile auxiliaries, products for textile care as well as construction chemicals. One thousand employees in 45 countries around the world guarantee logistical as well as technical service.

Innovative retailers recognized with Revionics Elevate Retail Awards

Revionics, Inc., a leading profit optimisation company, announced the debut of its prestigious Elevate Retail Award program at Revionics’ 7th annual retail conference, Insight 2016. Notable Revionics customers received the award, which recognizes innovative retailers who have generated significant ROI and performance improvements through the effective use of Revionics merchandise optimization services and solutions

“We created the Elevate Award program to recognize retailers who are true game-changers through their effective use of innovative merchandise optimization solutions,” said Marc H. Hafner, CEO of Revionics. “These customers are winning in a race for relevance with their unwavering commitment to leverage the technologies necessary to drive strong business performance, strengthen customer loyalty and compete in the marketplace.”     Revonics

Elevate Retail Award Winner Highlights

The companies’ nominations were judged on their strategic business goals, the challenges they faced, the Revionics solutions they utilized and the results that they achieved

–        Delhaize America, one of the U.S.’ largest supermarket operators and a Revionics customer for more than two years. Two of this retailer’s banners – Food Lion & Hannaford – each have a distinct identity and brand image. The company adopted Revionics Price and Markdown Suites to drive a shift towards a more customer-focused pricing strategy while aligning to each banner’s unique identity. Leveraging these solutions, Delhaize America has also enhanced visibility into business performance and increased store traffic.

–        Dick’s Sporting Goods, a Fortune 500 leader in the sporting goods and retail industries. Dick’s partnered with Revionics beginning in 2011 to enhance their pricing disciplines, leveraging Revionics’ Price and Markdown Suites along with its Analytics Services. Dick’s rolled out thesolutions across a broad array of hardlines and apparel categories ove time, which have enabled more surgical, data-driven pricing decisions and are a key component of Dick’s strategic initiatives to drive improved gross margins.

–        Farmacorp, a Bolivian pharmacy and consumer goods chain.  Farmacorp continually seeks to deliver growth and innovation in a market that is rapidly embracing technology. To support this growth, they chose Revionics Price Suite in 2014 for its cloud-based approach with powerful science-driven analytics. Using Revionics, the pricing teams are better aligned with Farmacorp’s business units in pharmacy, convenience and private-label. The results were powerful – Farmacorp achieved profit and revenue targets including double-digit year-over-year revenue growth while meeting profit targets. Their price infrastructure is ready to rapidly scale up with 30 new store openings planned in the next 18 months.

–        Holiday Stationstores, a convenience store chain. A Revionics customer for six years, Holiday Stationstores sought out Revionics Price Suite to move away from reactive pricing, with a state-of-the-art pricing team and improved automation, workflow and processes. Revionics’ solutions have given the pricing team better visibility into the factors that influence the bottom line, and the team has helped drive both profit improvement and recouped the cost of their investment several time over.

–        MGM Resorts, a global hospitality and entertainment company and a Revionics customer for more than three years. With more than 150 retail outlets throughout its properties, MGM needed a pricing solution that factored various pricing scenarios for particular types of properties consumers, events, wants and needs. Revionics Price Suite enables them to provide highly-targeted price recommendations, along with what-i scenario analysis to demonstrate the impact of recommended price changes. Today the pricing team is a valued, strategic partner to the merchandisers. The pricing team reached a breakeven with the technology investment within months, exceeding the original projected ROI by 3x. The team is now piloting the Markdown Suite in fashion merchandise.

–        PetSmart, the largest pet specialty retailer in North America. Dedicated to its vision of becoming the trusted partner to pet parents and pets in every moment of their lives, PetSmart began collaborating with Revionics to create a more strategic, data-driven approach to its pricing. The retailer adopted Revionics Price and Promotion Suites, along with strong training and process improvements, to enhance its promotions, track the effectiveness of these programmes and create a better overall experienc for its customers.

Revionics is a global leader in profit optimization services and solutions. Our unparalleled analytics and science serve as the backbone of omni-channel retailing to help performance-driven retailers execute profitable pricing, promotion, markdown, and space decisions with predictable business outcomes. The result: achieve speed to value and ROI, improve margins, drive top-line sales and respond faster with precision.

Revionics’ SaaS-based model integrates analytics, technology and services to deliver an unmatched advantage for retailers – Competitive Insights, Price Suite, Promotion Suite, Markdown Suite, and Space and Assortment Suite – all from a predictive platform to drive long-term growth.

Trusted by some of the most profitable retail brands, Revionics optimizes across 18+ million products, and more than 2.6+ billion item/store combinations are modelled weekly.

Honeywell Vice Chairman to receive prestigious 2017 SCI Chemical Industry Medal

The Society of Chemical Industry, America Section (SCI America), announced today that the 2017 SCI Chemical Industry Medal will be presented to Andreas C. Kramvis, vice chairman of Honeywell and former president and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies. He will receive the medal at a dinner in his honour on March 7, 2017, at the Plaza Hotel in New York

The SCI Chemical Industry Medal honours an individual whose leadership, commitment and contributions have been responsible for substantial progress and performance of the chemical industry. In addition to being an active guiding force in the management of their company during periods of expansion, challenging conditions, or substantial redirection, recipients are known for service rendered to the industry as a whole.

“We are honoured to award this year’s Chemical Industry Medal to Andreas Kramvis,” said Fred Festa, Chairman and CEO of W. R. Grace & Co. and chair of SCI. “Andreas has had a highly successful career, driving terrific performance in the businesses that he has led.  He is also well known as a thought leader in management methodology. His progressive ideas have helped to change the way business is conducted, using no additional resources. His contributions to our industry cannot be overstated.”

Andreas C. Kramvis began his career in Europe and has global experience as an executive in a variety of industries. He joined Honeywell in 2000 after the company’s acquisition of Pittway. He became president and chief executive officer of Honeywell’s Environmental and Combustion Controls global business, where he achieved major increases in market share and established strong profitability.  

In 2008 he was named president and CEO of Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies, a business group that he successfully guided through the recession, increasing sales by approximately 30 percent to become a USD 7 billion business.

He also worked in consumer goods for Cadbury-Schweppes PLC, computer peripherals with Comtech, and security with Pittway, which later became part of Honeywell.

Andreas-Kramvis-90-1479489534MRKramvis is a graduate of Cambridge University, where he studied engineering specializing in electronics, and he holds an M.B.A. from Manchester Business School. He is the author of the book Transforming the Corporation: Running a Business in the 21st Century, which demonstrates how to systematically transform a business for high performance.

The Chemical Industry Medal has been awarded by SCI America for more than 85 years. Presentation is made annually to a recipient selected by the Executive Committee of the America Section of the SCI. The Chemical Industry Medal is a testimonial to men and women whose leadership, foresight and contributions to applied chemistry have been, to a considerable degree, responsible for the growth of that industry. The medal has attained distinction by reason of the outstanding achievements and calibre of those who have been honoured. Past recipients include Sunil Kumar, Andrew N. Liveris, David N. Weidman, J Brian Ferguson, Michael E. Campbell, and Jeffrey M. Lipton.

SCI America, launched in 1894, is part of the Society of Chemical Industry’s international organization. It provides a unique networking forum for chemical industry leaders, industrial scientists and technologists to exchange new business ideas and best practices. It celebrates achievement to promote public awareness of the contributions of industrial chemistry and inspire students to enter technical careers.

SCI America section also offers its members the opportunity to become part of an international network of industry thought leaders and researchers. Through specialized conferences, e-events, and publications, it helps foster best practices in fields as diverse as fine and commodity chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agriculture, and environmental protection.  SCI America events are managed by Chemical Heritage Foundation.

Black Cant System named World Interior of the Year at INSIDE Festival of Interiors 2016

Black Cant System, a design for a Chinese fashion concept store, has been named as the World Interior of the Year for 2016. The project, by Shanwei Weng and Jiadie Yuan of An Design Studio, has beaten over 100 nominees across nine categories to be named the World Interior of the Year.

Black cant 2The winning interior was created for fashion brand Heike, and is situated on the suburban outskirts of Shanghai, China. The concept is a store hidden in the shadows, unassumingly tucked away on the second floor of a furniture store. The boldness of the glum, all-grey interior struck judges as “a project that challenges conventional ideas about a retail fashion store”.

The bare concrete shell of the store houses brutalist black steel, dark timber and touches of silver that combine to form a space that feels dystopian, raw and futuristic. A staircase within the middle of the store leads shoppers to a large black wedge volume at the top.

The design houses a fitting room, storage, cash register and clothing display area, and in addition a small bar to create a space for socialising as well as shopping. Mesh-clad windows and backlit glass panelling add to the moody atmosphere, complementing the utilitarian aesthetic of the clothing.Black cant 2

The INSIDE World Interior of the Year award was judged by INSIDE festival’s 2016 super-jurors – Clive Wilkinson, Jurgen Mayer, Seyhan Ozdemir and Philip Handford. They commented: “Faced with a divided space, the designers inserted a black canted cube over the existing central stair, and effectively absorbed the programmatic elements into a poetic and sculptural whole. The store brand and architectural image work in harmony, with a sensitivity to surface and details.”

The winners were presented with their award tonight at the finale of the INSIDE – World Festival of Interiors, a gala dinner held at the Postbahnhof, the former central station of East Berlin.

INSIDE World Festival of Interiors is co-located with the World Festival of Architecture and together they form the largest celebration of contemporary architecture and design in the world. In 2016, the festival has taken place in Berlin for the first time, and organisers have announced that INSIDE will return to the Arena Berlin next year for the sixth edition of the festival.

Volkswagen and BASF present “Science Award Electrochemistry”

The BASF and Volkswagen international “Science Award Electrochemistry 2016” goes to Dr William Chueh from Stanford University, California. The jury of representatives from BASF, Volkswagen and from academia selected him for his outstanding research results in the area of energy storage and conversion. On the occasion of the 5th ceremony of the science award, a special prize for applied research goes to Dr Martin Ebner from the ETH University Zurich, Switzerland for his excellent research in the area of fast charging of lithium-ion batteries.

P382_16_Science_AwardDr William C. Chueh is assistant professor at the Department of Materials Science & Engineering and Center Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy – both at Stanford University in California. He has attained a new level of understanding for diverse fundamental battery dynamics which limit battery rate capability and life cycle. His insights are paving the way for further improving lithium-ion batteries and significantly enhancing their performance. By visualizing electrochemical reactions as they take place on length scales ranging from tens of microns down to sub-nanometer, William Chueh has delivered unprecedented insights into the design of functional materials with novel compositions and structures. With the “Science Award Electrochemistry” he receives prize money of EUR 50000.

Dr Martin Ebner received his PhD in Material Science at the ETH University Zurich. His research focuses on new methods to increase the charging rates of lithium-ion batteries with novel electrode processing methods while reducing production costs. Martin Ebner is developing innovative battery anodes that allow fast charging and reduce degradation problems in the battery. In summer 2015, he received funding of the ETH Pioneer Fellowship program and founded the start-up Battrion AG in Luzern to pursue the commercialization of his innovations. The special prize for applied research is worth EUR 15000.

“BASF’s goal is to create chemistry for a sustainable future. And we all know that the battery is at the heart of electro-mobility. There is huge potential for systematic technological progress in this field, but there are scientific challenges we have to overcome,” said Dr Martin Brudermüller, Vice Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and Chief Technology Officer at BASF in his laudation. “The science of electrochemistry is a key research field for sustainable future mobility. Therefore, we need top-notch R&D around the globe performed by excellent researchers who inspire each other and lead their scientific communities to constantly develop new and better solutions.”

Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, Head of Group Research and Development for Volkswagen AG, stressed the overriding importance of electric drive to the future of mobility: “Within the Volkswagen Group, we have a clear strategy for how we want to put battery-electric vehicles into series production across our brands and in many different market segments. However, a major prerequisite for success in the volume market is more powerful battery concepts. In Volkswagen Group Research and Development we are focusing on close cooperation, not only with industrial partners but also with the smart minds of the scientific community. The winners of our Science Award are an excellent example of innovative and creative ideas in this field.”

Knowledge of electrochemical processes and their application in the field of materials, battery cells or storage systems is key to developing future energy storage devices. Without these technologies, it is not possible to provide climate and resource-saving power supplies using regenerative energy or to achieve future drive concepts such as electric mobility. Current energy storage devices have so far been unable to attain the performance which power supply and mobility customers are accustomed to. For this reason, Volkswagen and BASF aim to motivate researchers of excellence working in science and corporate research to place even more commitment to the field of electrochemistry and its applications.

The international “Science Award Electrochemistry” supports excellent scientific and engineering achievements and strives to provide fresh impetus to the development of high-efficiency energy storage devices. The science award has been held every year since 2012 and is targeted at scientists working in academic research all over the world. Total prize money is EUR 100000, with first place receiving EUR 50000. In 2016, on the occasion of the fifth ceremony of the science award, a special prize worth EUR 15000 is awarded to recognise applied research.

Goodyear’s Eagle-360 named one of 2016’s Best Inventions by Time Magazine

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s Eagle-360 concept tire has been named one of Time magazine’s “Best Inventions of the Year 2016.”

Each year, Time magazine’s technology editors list the year’s “best inventions that are making the world better, smarter and—in some-GOODYEAR-TIRE-AND-RUBBER-LOGO cases—a little more fun.” This year’s list includes 25 inventions, which in addition to Goodyear’s Eagle-360 concept, includes a virtual reality headset, shoes that lace themselves, a solar roof collaboration between Tesla and SolarCity, and the Chevy Bolt electric vehicle.

“By steadily reducing the driver interaction and intervention in self-driving vehicles, tires will play an even more important role as the primary link to the road,” said Goodyear’s Chief Technical Officer Joe Zekoski. “Goodyear’s concept tires play a dual role in that future both as creative platforms to push the boundaries of conventional thinking and testbeds for next-generation technologies.”

The-Goodyear-Tire-Rubber-Company-Eagle-360The Goodyear Eagle-360 is a spherical-shaped design concept tire that would provide self-driving cars ultimate maneuverability, connectivity and biomimicry to increase safety. An in-depth description of the concept’s technology can be viewed online here

“Although the Eagle-360 is a future concept, it represents an essential aspect of Goodyear’s innovation strategy and our vision for smart and safe mobility.”

A full list of the 2016 Time magazine “Best Inventions of the Year 2016” is available online here 

Goodyear (NASDAQ: GT) is one of the world’s largest tire companies. Goodyear employs approximately 66,000 people and manufactures its products in 49 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centres in Akron, Ohio (USA) and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry.

Kateeva’s YIELDjet™ FLEX inkjet printing system is winner of the Technical Development Manufacturing Award

At the Printed Electronics USA conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Kateeva’s YIELDjet™ FLEX inkjet printing system was named the winner of the prestigious Technical Development Manufacturing Award

Kateeva LogoPresented annually by conference organizer IDTechEx, the award honors the most significant development of a manufacturing device process or production plant in the printed electronics industry over the previous 24 months. In particular, manufacturing developments that optimize the process of lab-scale or mass-scale production by improving productivity, quality, reliability, uniformity, or scale. Since its debut in late 2014, Kateeva’s YIELDjet FLEX system has become the leading high-yield mass

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