Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia, visited the chemistry laboratory at HIT (Institute for Surface Technology) at Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences on Thursday, September 30. Prof. Dr. Dr. Alexander Prange (Vice President Research and Transfer), Prof. Dr. Stegemerten (Vice President Studies and Teaching) and Institute Director Prof. Dr. Jost Göttert received the minister at Adlerstraße in Krefeld.
“The use of artificial intelligence enables sustainable and precise development of new products. This resource-saving approach is fascinating,” says Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart following the tour. The high-throughput facility is intended to develop new formulations for paints, coatings and adhesives not only faster than before, but also more sustainably with properties optimally adapted to the respective application paving the way for the digital future of chemistry.
“With the HIT, we are launching into the digital future of chemistry, and we are proud to be able to present this,” explains Professor Dr. Jost Göttert. While chemists work on how renewable raw materials can be formulated into innovative products for new applications, routine laboratory work is handled by an automated, intelligently controlled system of robots. Small and medium-sized companies in the region have the opportunity to use the possibilities of digitalization and Industry 4.0 to develop their own innovative products.
The facility, located in Krefeld at Campus West, was implemented within the framework of the INTERREG project D-NL-HIT – a cross-border project with partners from the German-Dutch border region. With a total volume of 10.3 million euros D-NL-HIT is the largest ever third-party funded research and transfer project for the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences . The facility is capable of performing up to 100 experiments per day. However, the aim is to use machine learning and digital twins to develop new high quality products quickly while minimizing the number of necessary experiments as well as the consumption of chemicals.
In the HIT works Mr. M.Eng. Lasse Wagner as one of our cooperation managers from the project Leuchtturm_NR (Innovative Hochschule) and is the link between the business contacts of the SMEs and the HIT Institute at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences.
In the course of the minister’s visit, the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences used the occasion to produce an image film for the Leuchtturm_NR project. With the support of WDR presenter Dieter Könnes, numerous voices from politics, business and students were captured to use them for the future communication of the USPs of the HIT.