News Release

Third anniversary of successful R&D cooperation between INEOS Styrolution and Bayreuth


Frankfurt, Germany

First demonstration of new thermoplastic composite based on styrenic polymers

  • 3rd anniversary of a successful and truly unique R&D collaboration: INEOS Styrolution´s partnership with Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH, in cooperation with the University of Bayreuth
  • Customer-centric innovation at the center of INEOS Styrolution’s market approach
  • Innovation highlight, the first thermoplastic composite based on styrenic polymers, will be presented at K 2016

In Nov 2016, INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, celebrates the 3rd anniversary of a unique and successful R&D collaboration model with Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH (NMB), in cooperation with the University of Bayreuth. This partnership enables the company to focus its R&D activities on downstream customer innovations across its focus industries like automotive, electronics, household, construction, healthcare. Strategic projects include new lightweight composites, foam injection molding with aesthetic surface and improved anti-scratch equipment for styrenic polymers.

One of the many achievements of this partnership is the development of the first thermoplastic composite based on styrenic polymers, being presented at K 2016, 19 - 26 October 2016, Düsseldorf. The stiffness, strength and impact strength of the new StyLight* styrenics composites exceed many of today’s advanced (PA6 or PC based) thermoplastic composites on the market. Along with aesthetics, processability and dimensional stability, this makes StyLight* a superior high-performance product for a wide range of applications.

A first demonstration of this new styrenic copolymer composite and its characteristics can be viewed at the INEOS Styrolution booth, hall 5, booth C24 and at the NMB booth, hall 12, booth C45.

A unique and successful R&D model for the plastics industry celebrates its 3rd anniversary

Dr. Norbert Niessner, Director global R&D and intellectual property, INEOS Styrolution remembers the kick-off of the collaboration: “When we started the collaboration with the Bayreuth R&D site three years ago, we entered new territory in both, collaboration model and integration of outsourced R&D results. The way both parties developed this collaboration into a professional, effective and successful R&D partnership exceeds my initial expectation.

Promising achievements, such as StyLight* composites and aesthetic lightweight foam applications are some of the results out of this unique and successful cooperation. Our filled innovation pipeline will provide further, promising news for the future.”

Going well beyond sponsoring a graduate-level research project, the partnership offers INEOS Styrolution access to a dedicated research team, including a managing scientist and highly qualified research personnel through NMB. The managing scientist’s role is a constant evaluation of new technologies for use in the field of styrenics. INEOS Styrolution benefits from this permanent seed creation process by steady growth of their innovation pipeline in both size and value. Further development examples are: aesthetic, lightweight applications made by foam injection molding techniques, and improved scratch resistance for styrenic polymers. Through  its close cooperation with the Department of Macromolecular Chemistry at the University of Bayreuth, INEOS Styrolution has access to the expertise of world-renowned experts like Prof.

Dr. Hans-Werner Schmidt, with profound expertise across many areas of basic and applied polymer science. In addition, the location Bayreuth in Upper Franconia, Germany, is known throughout Europe as a hotspot for polymer innovation and is home to a host of companies specializing in polymer production and compounding. This aspect is crucial for INEOS Styrolution´s approach to bring new R&D results “to the road”.

Prof. Dr. Hans-Werner Schmidt, Department of Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Bayreuth comments on the benefits of the cooperation: “The collaboration with INEOS Styrolution provides application-focused research fields, being attractive for our students and researchers. As a strong R&D site in material science, the University of Bayreuth contributes both, broad and in-depth experience in polymers and beyond. We are eager to work side-by- side with INEOS Styrolution to create the styrenic innovations of tomorrow.”

Prof. Dr. Volker Altstädt, CEO, Neue Materialien Bayreuth summarizes the cooperation: “After almost 3 years of our successful partnership I am excited about the results, but also about the entrepreneurial spirit in our R&D teams across NMB and INEOS Styrolution. The close proximity of all R&D projects to hands-on applications makes INEOS Styrolution an attractive partner, providing new insight in the process of bringing research result to the market in a fast, structured, yet creative way. I am looking forward to having new, ambitious and high value co- creation projects with our partners.”

Customer-centric innovation is at the center of INEOS Styrolution’s “triple shift” strategy

True to its claim – Driving Success. Together – INEOS Styrolution is leveraging the partnership to pursue frontline development projects. The partnership is in harmony with the company’s growth strategy, which calls for three ‘shifts’ intended to put greater focus on measures that will expand its footprint in higher-growth industries, styrenic specialties, and emerging markets. The cooperation enables INEOS Styrolution to address specific customer application needs across its focus industries: automotive, electronics, household, construction and healthcare. It will also facilitate the further development of its portfolio of styrenic specialty copolymers. Kevin McQuade, CEO, INEOS Styrolution comments, “Innovation is a central part of our strategy to be the leading provider for materials and solutions covering many aspects of our daily lives. In this respect we take pride to partner with leading institutes and universities. The successful collaboration with NMB and the University of Bayreuth has proven to deliver very promising R&D results and already first applications. This partnership enables INEOS Styrolution to accelerate and enhance its R&D efforts to co-create new, cutting edge styrenic solutions.”

*Trade Mark application pending