Junior Research Group Enzyme Catalysis (NEnzy) for the Circular Economy in the Plastics Industry (Covestro Deutschland AG - RWTH Biotec)


We are pleased to present a new cooperation between Covestro Deutschland AG (Leverkusen) and the Chair of Biotechnology (RWTH, Aachen). In order to reduce the consumption of finite fossil raw materials as much as possible and to avoid the emission of plastics, wastewater as well as CO2 into the environment, the transformation to a circular economy in the field of plastics production is essential. Under the leadership of Dr. Lukas Reisky (Covestro Deutschland AG), new enzyme-catalyzed approaches for establishing such a circular economy will be researched over the next five years within the BMBF-funded junior research group 'NEnzy'. The junior research group is composed of seven people, three of whom are PhD students conducting research for their dissertations during the course of the project. Two of the three doctoral students will work at the Chair of Biotechnology at RWTH Aachen University, while the remaining individuals will be based at the Competence Center for Biotechnology at Covestro in Leverkusen. To ensure the transfer of knowledge and methods within the junior research group, the employees will spend several weeks at each other's sites. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwaneberg, head of the Institute of Biotechnology at RWTH Aachen University, will act as academic mentor with many years of experience in protein engineering. In addition, Professor Emeritus Dr. Donald Hilvert (ETH Zurich) and Dr. Konraad Dullaert (Head of Research, Coatings & Adhesives Business Entity, Covestro) will support the newly established group as mentors.

This model represents an unprecedented concept of cooperation between industry and university by combining both professional training and the attainment of a doctoral degree, as well as direct application-oriented basic research and its scaling.

Related links:

Covestro turns to biotechnology for sustainable plastics

  Group members on an autumn meadow. Copyright: © biotec

Group Meeting October 11, 2022 (People from left to right): Simone Soeltl (Covestro), Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schwaneberg (RWTH), Dr. Francisca Contreras (RWTH), Dr. Lukas Reisky (Covestro), Linda Pastor (RWTH), Georg Röhling (RWTH), Daniela Knopp (Covestro), Marian Bienstein (RWTH). Not present in the photo: Prof. em. Dr. Donald Hilvert (ETH Zurich), Dr. Konraad Dullaert (Covestro), Dr. Gernot Jaeger (Covestro), Dr. Sherly Rusli (Covestro).