New Opportunities in Chemistry Through Digitalization


Covestro und RWTH collaborate on expanding the use of of supercomputing and digital technolgies in industrial research and development. Solutions developed with the help of simulation are tested in real-world experiments in the labs of the CAT Catalytic Center.

In collaboration with RWTH and several companies from the IT sector, Covestro, one of the largest polymers companies worldwide, is to launch a new program to promote digital technologies and processes in industrial research and development. “We are consistently driving the advancement of high-performance computing. Thanks to digital R&D we can faster and more efficiently contribute to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and saving the planet's natural resources,” said Dr. Markus Steilemann, CEO of Covestro.

In future, complex research and development processes are to be significantly accelerated, and experimental runs are to be increasingly performed using computer simulations. As a result, the time to market of innovative products can be shortened and processes made more sustainable: with the help of computer simulation experiments, the consumption of energy and material resources can be reduced.

Furthermore, this makes it possible for Covestro to develop even more tailored solutions and efficiently create products with specific properties: with the help of complex, comprehensive simulations, the most promising solutions are identified. In collaboration with RWTH, these solutions are tested in real-world experiments in the labs of the CAT Catalytic Center.

As Professor Walter Leitner, scientific director of the CAT Catalytic Center and Chair of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry at RWTH Aachen University, explains, “In future, a large number of experiments can be conducted virtually. It would be very time and resource consuming to undertake these experiments with traditional methods in the real world. Furthermore, we see a reduction in process steps, which results in more environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient products and processes.”

CAT is a research center jointly operated by RWTH and Covestro. The Chair of Technical Chemistry and Petrochemistry aims at generating fundamental knowledge and technological expertise in the area of organometallic catalysis, ranging from its molecular principles to reaction engineering.