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Company News, 2007-04-02, 11:03 AM

Ruhr University Bochum and ThyssenKrupp set up research institute for the development of new materials

Statement by the Ministry for Innovation, Science, Research and Technology, Ruhr-University Bochum, RWTH Aachen and ThyssenKrupp AG on behalf of the business consortium:

Cooperation agreement for new research institute signed: Seven partners from academia and business as well as the state of North Rhine-Westphalia today signed an agreement to set up a joint institute for new materials. The legal framework is thus in place for the “Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Materials Simulation” based at the Ruhr-University Bochum. Applications have been invited for the three endowed chairs. The search colloquium is scheduled for May 2007, so the institute will be able to start full work at the beginning of 2008.

The institute will concentrate primarily on the simulation and development of new advanced materials tailored to the requirements of modern production processes. Their applications will be many and varied: from new steels for the auto industry, to self-healing surfaces to avoid paint damage, to alternative materials for catalytic converters.

The decision to establish and finance this leading-edge research institute, the first of its kind in Europe, was taken in autumn last year. “The biggest players in the materials industry in North Rhine-Westphalia are joining forces in ICAMS,” said Innovation Minister Professor Andreas Pinkwart at the signing of the agreement in Bochum. “This gives ICAMS a place in the front row in the race for leading international positions in research and development.” Bochum university rector Prof. Dr. Elmar Weiler added: “We are delighted that ICAMS is being realized in Bochum. This institute is a central element of our application for the third funding line in the excellence initiative.” The agreement sets out the joint financing of the institute in the first five years of the establishment phase. The institute will have a launch capital of 22.5 million euros. After the first five years Ruhr-University Bochum will cover the running costs of around 2 million euros per year from its budget.

New materials are often the engine for innovations in key technologies such as automotive, environmental, energy and production. Innovative simulation processes – a key priority of the new Bochum institute – hold out the promise of faster, more resource-efficient and more market-oriented material and product development. The expectations placed on the new institute are high. “We have created a unique opportunity in a private-public partnership to take the Ruhr and Germany to the head of the international field in material innovations,” said Dr. Karl-Ulrich Köhler, Executive Board Chairman of ThyssenKrupp Steel AG. ICAMS will take its place in an active research and business landscape in the area of new materials in North Rhine-Westphalia. Steelmaking and steel processing are major industries in North Rhine-Westphalia. Around two thirds of all German steel is produced here.

The eight signatories to the agreement to set up the Interdisciplinary Centre for Advanced Materials Simulation (ICAMS) at Ruhr-University Bochum are:

ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, Duisburg
Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung GmbH, Salzgitter
Robert Bosch GmbH, Gerlingen-Schillerhöhe
Bayer MaterialScience AG and Bayer Technology Services GmbH, Leverkusen
Ruhr-University Bochum
Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH, Düsseldorf
Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Information for the print media: a photograph of the signing of the agreement can be accessed as press photo No. 12 on the website of the MIWFT NRW at

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