The Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences officially closed the INTERREG project D-NL-HIT with a ceremony on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. A total of around 10.3 million euros have flowed into the project since 2017 to all cooperation partners in industry and science from Germany and the Netherlands. The Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences and thus the surface center “Institute for Surface Technology Niederrhein” (HIT) on Adlerstraße received as lead partner the funding amount of no less than 4.6 million euros.
“The project has now officially ended, but I would like to look to the future. The D and NL components of the project name must remain in our focus,” emphasized Professor Dr. Alexander Prange, Vice President for Research and Transfer at the University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein. The HIT will continue to bring together companies from the region and the Netherlands in the future, thus pursuing one of the main objectives of the EUREGIO: Transforming the border regions of Germany and the Netherlands into a cohesive and strong living and economic area.
With the university’s intelligent high-throughput system, new formulations for paints, coatings and adhesives can not only be developed faster than before, but above all more sustainably, with properties optimally tailored to the respective application converted into market-ready products.
Guest speaker Dr. Gerwin Schüttpelz, CEO of cph Deutschland GmbH, showed how fruitful cross-border cooperation between industry and science can be. The Essen-based company is the world market leader in label adhesives and was able to further develop its potato starch-based label adhesive in cooperation with HIT.
The university’s facility is capable of running up to 100 experiments per day. However, the aim is to use machine learning to rapidly develop new high-quality products with as few experiments as possible, i.e. with low consumption of chemicals. In addition, aspects of the circular economy will be further explored at the HIT. The focus here is on the question “How can new things be made from old products?
The scientific director of the HIT Institute, Prof. Dr. Jost Göttert, emphasizes, “The synergies and technologies created have given the industrial partners a head start in the development of new products.” These ideas and work of the D-NL-HIT project will now continue as an Institute and Open Innovation Hub and can be further used and developed by researchers and companies on both sides of the German-Dutch border.