To finish the current summer semester properly, the 7th isbc Symposium of the business chemists took place from the 12. 13.07.2018. Our students were presenting their two-month research on various topics of innovation management to their fellow students. The opening talk was held by Niklas Funke about the chemical startup Pinpools. In addition, Judith Bartsch received the "Best Paper Award" for the best preparation of her own research topic. With her theme "The Benefits and Challenges of Sustainability-Oriented Innovation in the Chemical Industry", she successfully prevailed against the other 20 students.
On the 15th of June 2018 we were able to welcome Frank Wiesmann (R & D Baby Care) from Procter & Gamble (P & G) back at our institute. As part of the visit, current business chemistry students were introduced to the concept of design thinking, a creative problem-solving technique, using real-life examples. They quickly learned what it means to place user wishes and needs at the center of the innovation process and thus to assume the role of the user.
As part of the lecture series Fundamentals of Internal and External Accounting in the Master's program in Business Chemistry, Dr. Gerrit Böhm - Member of the Board of Volkswohl Bund Versicherungen Dortmund - gives the students exciting practical insights into the working methods of an insurance company. In addition to the accounting issues and peculiarities of an insurance company, the new Solvency II capital requirements were also discussed. The focus of the lecturewas also the question of the management of an insurance company on the basis of selected market scenarios. After the lecture, the students used the opportunity to ask for one or the other career tip in a relaxed atmosphere.
At the start of 2018, the business chemistry students of WWU had the opportunity to work with a renowned business consultancy, Daydream Consulting. Under the guidance of Mr. Lacombe and Mr. Prock the students evaluated the most promising business opportunities for companies within the chemical industry by means of applying the “Issue Tree” concept and qSWOT analysis. In so doing, they derived a new business development strategy for each company and presented their results to the audience.
How can a company drive digital transformation while developing the future competencies of people and organizations? During a practical day with the Evonik Industries AG on Friday, November 17, 2017, Rainer Gimbel (Digital Strategist) and Sarah Dittrich-Schlegel (HR Communication & Innovation) discussed this current issue. In his presentation Mr. Gimbel addressed the role of the digital knowledge worker as well as cultural aspects of the digital change. In an interactive phase, our students learned about John Stepper's Working Out Loud (WOL) concept and were able to try out the benefits of this method themselves.
In December 2017 the rating team of the Chair met with Standard & Poor´s in New York for several workshops. In the course of these meetings, the participants discussed different topics in regard to the digitization in the rating and the resulting implications for the practice. The members of the Department presented their current research activities and results. The main topics were in the areas of corporate rating, new forms of data analysis with big data as well as opportunities and risks through FinTech development. These research areas attracted a high degree of interest from the company's representatives. The interlocutors of Standard & Poor ´ s were Tobias Mock (Managing director – Global Business Lead project simplify), Susan Gray (global head of corporate Ratings & IFR), Lapo Guadagnuolo (global head of analytics and research), James Wiemken (global head of methodology) and Mark Puccia (Managing director/Criteria Officer – Economics and Research). The participants of the Chair were Prof. Leker, Lukas Aaldering, Johannes Klein, Jan-André Pramann and Leonard Stuckenborg.
The Chair and Standard & Poor´s agreed to draw up a joint special issue on the topic "Digitization in Rating".
During the ceremony of the master’s certificates on the 24th of November 2017 Christina Mrosek was honored with the student award in business chemistry for the best Master’s Thesis. For her excellent performance she received the € 1,000 prize, which was sponsored for the sixth time by the consulting firm Grosse-Hornke Private Consult.
In her Master's Thesis, Christina Mrosek tackled the challenge of fishing for relevant information in the constantly growing data pool to identify new application fields for a glass ceramic from the SCHOTT AG. In cooperation with the Frauenhofer Institute she developed a technology monitoring tool, which allows to systematically search through literature and data from all over the world aiming at discovering so far unknown business areas. Christina Mrosek used her tool to screen around 30,000 text files encompassing publications, patents, online and journal articles. By means of her analysis, she was able to identify relevant information and thus to detect two new application fields for glass ceramics.
The picture shows the awardee Christina Mrosek (middle) with Prof. Dr. Jens Leker (University of Münster) and Dr. Sebastian Eidam (Grosse-Hornke).
On Friday 27.10, we had the pleasure to welcome the IT consulting firm Senacor for an inspiring workshop about agile methods in software development. Volker Lesch and Klaus Ecklmayr presented the SCRUM concept in front of 25 students, who later applied it to develop a software tool with functionalities in diverse areas such as control of stock, research progress, and lab safety. Participants engaged in vivid discussions about which functionalities a minimum viable product (MVP) would have to include and were proud to present their product in front of the class.
In the beginning of December a selected group of business chemistry students were guests of the CREAVIS, the strategic innovation unity of Evonik Industries. The day was all around the ‚Chemtrepreneur-Challenge‘, which refers to ‘Höhle des Löwen’ and faced the students with the defiance of product development and entrepreneurship in a company. With the support of advisors and their selected research topics, the teams developed a product as well as a business canvas, which were presented by a pitch ahead of a jury. Intensive and creative team work under time pressure created fascinating ideas and expected a fast learn willingness and ‘the power to create’. The team with the topic 3D printing secured the victory and thereby next to the cup the chance to the admission to the Evonik Perspectives student support program.
Prof. Dr. Nathalie Sick discussed during the series “Die Kanzlerin direkt” (the federal chancellor direct) with Dr. Angela Merkel the topic batterie research from an innovation management point of view. She interviewed the federal chancellor about current challenges like the successful transfer of results from the battery research to the industrial application. A possible German or European cell production was object of the discussion as well. Furthermore, Prof. Sick and the federal chancellor spoke about possibilities to support the interdisciplinary collaborations necessary for battery research. Closing, Prof. Sick was interested in the opinion of the federal chancellor about the required qualities of women in a traditional man dominate world of work and how good role models for girls and women could look like.
For more than ten years the federal chancellor publishes every Saturday a podcast about current socio-political, economical or technical topics. That’s where she answers in a direct conversation with scientists, volunteers or companies, the most urgent questions about a wide range of topics like integration, voluntary fire brigade, digitization or the development of the European Union.
Nathalie Sick is junior professor at the institute of business administration at the department of chemistry and pharmacy of the WWU and leads the working group “innovation and technology management for energy storage” at the Helmholtz-Institute Münster (HI MS). The HI MS concentrates the competences in battery research of the Forschungszentrum Jülich, the RWTH Aachen university and the WWU.