What began in 2008 as a simple cooperation has developed into a deep, international friendship. The Institute of Business Administration at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy (IfbM) and the School of Economics and Management of Dalian University of Technology (DUT) have been enabling their students to gain international experience in China and Münster respectively, to broaden their horizons and explore new cultures for 12 years now.
We are very happy to report that this cooperation has reached a new peak: The exchange programme between WWU Münster and DUT will be supported by the "Sino-European Scholarship Program" of the Chinese Ministry of Education in the coming semesters.
All exchange students from Münster who are in their Master's programme will not only receive free accommodation in a two-bed room, but also a monthly support of ￥3000 (approx. 380€) for their stay at DUT. This support is available each semester to 6 students who stay at DUT for at least 90 days and are European citizens.
Shihui Tang, Deputy Director of International Cooperation and Accreditation at DUT's School of Economics and Management commented on the new events as follows:
"[...] Thanks to this program, students gained more opportunities for their future careers and benefited from cross-cultural educational experience. [...] We sincerely hope the cooperation between DUT and WWU will be even more fruitful and last as long as our friendship."
Professor Michael Quante, Prorector for International Affairs and Transfer at WWU Münster, is also delighted with this new development (translated):
"We are very happy about this cooperation, which will open up new horizons and perspectives for the students. Internationalisation must take place at the level of personal exchange and intercultural experience. Only in this way can we build a sustainable and long-term basis for trust and mutual understanding."
We are very much looking forward to collaborating in the years to come and would like to take this opportunity to thank our friends at DUT very much for their cooperation over the past years!
You can find more information about the Dalian exchange here.
Lithium-ion batteries are currently the most advanced electrochemical energy storage technology due to a favourable balance of performance and cost properties. Driven by forecasted growth of the electric vehicles market, the cell production capacity for this technology is continuously being scaled up. However, the demand for better performance, particularly higher energy densities and/or lower costs, has triggered research into post-lithium-ion technologies such as solid-state lithium metal, lithium–sulfur and lithium–air batteries as well as post-lithium technologies such as sodium-ion batteries. Currently, these technologies are being intensively studied with regard to material chemistry and cell design.
With their review, the research team around Dr. Fabian Duffner and Dr. Richard Schmuch expands the current state of knowledge in this field. Starting with a market outlook and an analysis of the technological differences, the manufacturing processes of these post-lithium-ion technologies are discussed. Then, the manufacturing compatibility of each technology with the lithium-ion production infrastructure is evaluated and the impact on processing costs is discussed.
The detailed results on the status quo of battery cell production have been published by Dr. Fabian Duffner and Dr. Richard Schmuch together with Prof. Dr. Jens Tübke, Forschungsfertigung Batteriezelle FFB, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology, Münster, Prof. Dr. Jens Leker, Institute for Business Management in the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, and Prof. Dr. Martin Winter, MEET Battery Research Center and Helmholtz Institute Münster on 28.01.2021 in the journal Nature Energy.
The application deadline for the Master's Degree in Business Chemistry has been extended due to Corona and ends on August 20, 2020.
There will be an information session for all interested students on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 starting at 6:00 pm.
If you would like to participate in the information session, please send a short e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Teaching in times of contact ban - we have met this challenge for the summer semester 2020.
How can we ensure that students can successfully complete the semester despite the current situation?
For digital teaching, we have not only digitized all teaching materials, but also developed special scripts for self-study. All information is made available to students on the Learnweb and we support their learning process with a regular offer of webinars (Zoom).
Further, our students have the opportunity to participate in digital workshops to gain insights into professional practice and to apply the acquired knowledge.
We hope that we will be able to offer face-to-face courses in the second semester term and remain with digital greetings.
At the digital ISPIM Innovation Conference 2020, Magdalena Kohut presented her research on Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) units from R&D-intensive industries. Based on a semi-structured interview, she analyzed the relationship between the investment objectives of CVC units, their organizational structures and their performance. The results enable CVC professionals to optimize their investment units and to strike the right balance between start-up and corporate characteristics.
On June 25th we had the pleasure to welcome Niklas Tauch, co-founder of the startup Liefergrün, in the seminar New Business Development & Entrepreneurship. Liefergrün is a plastic-free delivery service for food that addresses the need for a sustainability in e-commerce solution. Mr. Tauch not only gave the students an insight into the development of Liefergrün but also shared his personal experiences regarding the founding of a startup during his studies.
We wish Mr. Tauch all the best for his career as a founder and are looking forward to the further development of Liefergrün.
On 26.02.2020, the Wirtschaftschemie, represented by Prof. Dr. Jens Leker, Dr. Chie Hoon Song, Dr. Lars Jahnke and Dr. Lukas Aaldering, was a guest at Creavis in Marl. The representatives of the economic chemistry gave insights into their business intelligence research and presented modern data science methods. A particular focus was on the evaluation of freely accessible information from the microblogging service Twitter using big data analyses (see figure) and the prediction of convergence in the context of biotechnology using network analyses. In addition, current findings on the role of start-ups in converging markets were discussed.
The scientific article "Uncovering the dynamics of market convergence through M&A" can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2018.08.012 .
The team of the IfbM would like to thank Dr. Valeri Leich, Prof. Buchholz and all other employees of Evonik for the nice day and is looking forward to future cooperation projects!
On 13.02.2020, we welcomed Dr. Ulrich Küsthardt, CIO of Evonik Industries AG, to our institute. During the full-day event, Mr. Küsthardt took the time to give feedback on the current research being conducted at our institute. In addition to the research, the institute's cooperation with student initiatives was also presented. At the end of the day, Mr. Küsthardt provided insights into the working methods of Creavis' Corporate Foresight Unit, not only for the PhD students of the institute, but also for participants of the PhD student seminar.
We would like to thank Mr. Küsthardt for many interesting impressions and would be pleased to welcome him again at our institute in the future!
On Friday, February 7th, we had the pleasure to welcome the research groups of Prof. Bröring (Technology and Innovation Management in Agribusiness) and Prof. Möhrle (Project Management and Innovation) at our institute for a joint convergence workshop. After an intensive exchange about various projects and methods, we concluded the event with a networking evening.
Thanks to all participants for this successful workshop, we are looking forward to future exchanges of this kind!
This winter semester we were again able to welcome Ms. Madl and Mr. Wiesemann from Procter & Gamble to our institute. On Friday, January 31st, they conducted a case study with our business chemistry students. In the case study, the students combined the marketing perspective with the research & development perspective to develop a new strategy for product placement in the market. A special focus was laid on the challenges and opportunities in interface areas.
We would like to thank Ms. Madl and Mr. Wiesemann for their support and hope to welcome them again next year!
On January 10, 2020, we had the pleasure of welcoming Volker Lesch and Christian Bäurer of the IT consultancy Senacor. During a one-day workshop they gave our students not only insights into the daily work of a consultant, but also into the most important steps of the agile project management method SCRUM. Equipped with the theoretical background knowledge, the students worked on a fictitious project in order to put the learned theoretical elements into practice.
We would like to thank Mr. Lesch and Mr. Bräurer and hope to welcome them next year for the 6th time.
At this year's Master's graduate party on November 30, Stella Buchmann received the prize for the best thesis in the field of business chemistry. The Münster-based management consultancy Grosse-Hornke Privat Consult also sponsored this year's €1000 prize for outstanding achievements.
Ms. Buchmann investigated how the profit margin of an end product in the petrochemical value chain can be optimized for raw materials in view of unpredictable price developments. She developed models for production optimization and tested their effectiveness with the help of computer-aided simulations. In the course of her investigations Ms. Buchmann found out that an adjustment of the sales price was less effective than the flexible purchase of intermediate products via supply contracts, which can be varied.
The picture shows the award winner Stella Buchmann (2nd from right) together with company representative Silke Grosse-Hornke (2nd from left), Prof. Dr. Jens Leker (right) and Dean Prof. Hans-Ulrich Humpf (left).
On Thursday, 21st November, we welcomed Giuseppe Mariggió and Sebastian Eidam from the consultancy Alcimed to our institute. In the scope of the lecture "Strategic Analysis" they not only shared insights into their daily work, but also presented a case study the students could work on during the course. Therby, the online program "Kahoot" was used to compare the identified interim solutions. Within this program the participants* had 20 seconds to choose the right solution from their point of view -the faster they answered, the more points they got. This small internal competition not only eased the mood, but also sparked the ambition of the students. After the lecture and after the announcement of the winner, Mr. Mariggió and Mr. Eidam took time for a personal round of questions. We thank Mr. Mariggió and Mr. Eidam very much for their time and are looking forward to welcoming them again on November 27th at a doctoral seminar.
Workshop with CAMELOT
On 7th – 8th November we had the pleasure to welcome Mr. Yorck Dietrich and Mr. André Oppel from CAMELOT Management Consultants to our institute. Within the scope of the course ‘Strategic Analysis’, the students were given insights into project-based tasks of a consulting firm focusing on the chemical industry. The next day, a ‘hands-on’ workshop followed, during which our business chemistry students worked on a real problem in form of a case study. The aim of the case study was to maximize the project profit by analysing the value chain, material optimization and value flow. Subsequent to this exciting workshop, the consultants were able to give the participants valuable tips on how to improve their workflow.
We are very pleased that Mr. Dietrich and Mr. Oppel made time for our students and would be delighted to welcome them again next year!
On Friday, the 18th of October we were guests at the ‘Haus der Technik’ in Essen to talk to consultants of A.T. Kearney about Circular Economy. In the format of a Design-Thinking Workshop, we looked at products of daily use and considered how they could be designed more sustainably. We particularly liked the stimulation of the discussion by the "circular strategy cards", on which some strategies for the circular economy were explained. By combining these strategies, we have developed new product concepts for packaging, office chairs, and sports shoes. In sum, we had a fun an insightful day.
On 10th-11th October 2019 the Institute of Business Chemistry participated in the International Workshop on Innovation and Production Management in the Process Industries at the Mälardalen University, in Eskilstuna, Sweden. The objective of the workshop was to bridge the industry-academy interface and to find a cross-disciplinary research agenda for the process industries. With around 40 participants from 8 countries, the workshop provided a great platform for sharing interesting ongoing work from companies and researchers in the process industries.
The workshop offered following 6 plenary and key-note academy and industry presentations, covering different sectors of process industries:
- Prof. Dr. Thomas Friedli, Strategic management of global manufacturing networks.
- Dr. Peter Wallin, Digitization in the Swedish process industry – trends, challenges and actions.
- Dr. Rachid Gamal, Business process management – the Nestlé way.
- Dr. Stephan Von Delft, Business model innovation in the process industries: recent trends and future research.
- Magnus Edin, SunPine – A bio-refinery built on innovation from different aspects.
- Prof. Dr. Paulo Figueiredo, Levels, sources, and outcomes of technological capability accumulation in latecomer process-intensive industries: evidence from Brazil.
Furthermore, the track presentations included three works from our institute:
- Magdalena Kohut, Start-ups as an indicator of early market convergence.
- Dr. Lukas Aaldering, Supporting management decisions in the process industries with data-driven intelligence.
- Thorsten Bergmann, How digital tools make circular economy operational in industrial areas: the example of BE CIRCLE.
At the workshop day 2, five round table discussions were conducted on the below selected topics for identifying future research directions for the innovation and production management topic in the process industries.
On Friday, the 5th of April we had the pleasure of welcoming Joost Van Droffelaar und Paul Verburg from AkzoNobel in Amsterdam to run a workshop and case study on the topic of Pricing Excellence.
For half a day, our guests answered questions and shared their knowledge, giving us a crash course in pricing. The informative start transformed into a competitive case study where we analysed data provided by AkzoNobel and prepared a final presentation of our findings and solutions. At the end of the day a winning team was chosen and went home with a very dutch prize of licorice.
On April 4 we started the summer semester with an visit to BASF in Oldenburg. In the training center, we were able to experience the application of Master-Top floor systems live and get creative while adding colorful paintings to the flooring. We were also astonished that BASF`s admixtures from Master Builders Solutions made a significant contribution to the construction of well-known high-rise buildings such as Burj Khalifa. This was facilitated by the superplasticizer MasterGlenium SKY. By specifically adjusting the material properties, the chemical industry adds considerable value in the construction industry.
On Wednesday, 19 December, the German Minister of Education and Research, Anja Karliczek, paid visits to the MEET Battery Research Center at the University of Münster and to the Helmholtz-Institute in Münster (HI MS), a branch of the Forschungszentrum Jülich. During her visit, the Minister was informed of current projects being undertaken at both locations. She also held discussions on future developments in the field of knowledge transfer with representatives of the two institutes, as well as with the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Rectorate of Münster University. Prof. Leker represented the Institute for Business Management in Chemistry and Pharmacy with its own research focus on battery research.
On November the 29th, Dr. Andreas Otterbach visited the IfbM in Münster for an exchange of ideas between scientific and industrial practice.
Dr. Otterbach, former vice president of BASF, used scientific facts to compile hypothesis about energy regarding to a socio-cultural and economic point of view. Exemplary transitions of thoughts, such as “Energy drives the world”, “The relationship between GNP and energy consumption”, “Is money equal to energy?” or general aspects of current climate policy created numerous occasions for discussions. All aspects had one thing in common: What role do the renewable energies play within this context?
CREAVIS Chemtrepreneur Award 2018
On the 16.11.2018, 15 students of business chemistry from WWU Münster took part in the Creavis Innovation Challenge. With innovative business ideas they competed for the CREAVIS Chemtrepreneur Award 2018.
The students faced the challenge of developing an innovative idea in the areas of additive manufacturing, feed ingredients and membranes. The ideas were developed into a business model in a full-day workshop. At the end, the innovative business ideas were presented to the plenum and a CREAVIS-Jury consisting of leading employees of the business unit.
This year's CREAVIS Chemtrepreneur Award 2018 went to the “RealRock” team for their approach to 3D-printed climbing grips. The winners can also look forward to being considered to participate in the Evonik Perspectives Student Support Program.
Insight into the cooperation between science and practice can also be found in the video.
At this year’s master graduation ceremony on November 23, 2018, Niels Gerhard received the award for the best thesis in the department of business chemistry. The prize, endowed with 1000€, was sponsored for the seventh consecutive year by the Münster-based consulting firm Grosse-Hornke Privat Consult and is awarded for outstanding achievements.
In his master thesis in collaboration with Evonik Industries AG, Niels Gerhard examined how the purchasing organization of a chemical company can position itself to be prepared for constant change in the market environment. To this end, he identified characteristics of agile organizations, drafted specific requirement scenarios, and discussed options for action with experts from academia and industry. He used his findings to discover areas for chemical purchasing improvement and derive steps to achieve said improvement.
The picture shows the award winner Niels Gerhard (2nd from right) together with company representative Ms. Silke Grosse-Hornke, Prof. Dr. Jens Leker (right), and Dean Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Humpf (left).
In addition to our lecture “Principles of research, technology and innovation”, Marie-Theres Madl (R&D Feminine Hygiene) und Frank Wiesemann (R&D Baby Care) from Procter & Gamble (P&G) conducted on November 23rd 2018 a case study with our current business chemistry students. With focus on a product of P&G – Pampers diapers – our students developed a new strategy for placing the product in the market. The particular challenge regarding the elaboration of the strategy was to consider two different perspectives (R&D and Marketing departments) and, however, conceive a consistent strategy for the company. Especially the interdisciplinary competencies of our business chemists played a key role. Furthermore students were sensitized for issues and challenges raising at the intersection of departments.
As part of this year's graduation ceremony on November 21st, the three PhD students of the Institute of Business Administration, managed by Prof. Leker, Jan-André Pramann, Johannes Klein and Leonard Stuckenborg were awarded with the doctorate.
Jan-André Pramann wrote his PhD thesis about the German cash flow statement according to DRS 2 and DRS 21 – Empirical findings on the switching behavior. Johannes Klein researched the topic: Attracting professional and crowd investors through effective signaling – success factors for FinTechs in German start-up markets, whereas Leonard Stuckenborg examined the topic: German FinTech performance – Market segmentation and empirical evidence of valuation opportunities.
As the topic of new working methods is becoming increasingly important in the course of digitalization, we were pleased to welcome Senacor on 12 October with a workshop on agile methods in software development. Our students and employees of the chair got an insight into the SCRUM method and informed themselves about the role and possibilities of consultants in the IT sector.
The doctoral seminar “Chemical Industry of the future: Theory meets practice – Practice meets theory” took place on the 24th and 25th September 2018 at the Provadis Hochschule (Prof. Utikal) in cooperation with the University of Muenster, the Journal of Business Chemistry (JoBC) and the Association of Chemistry and Business (VCW).
The opening speech was held by Jürgen Vormann, managing director of Infraserv Höchst, providing a short outlook on future challenges of an industrial park operator. Additionally, interesting keynote speeches were given about new work methods illustrated by the new ideation lab of Infraserv Höchst, the latest European circular economy laws and initiatives (Tobias Schäfer, VCI), intrapreneurship (Björn Krix, Infraserv Höchst & Prof. Wolfgang Rams, Provadis Hochschule) and growth paths of the chemical industry (Prof. Dr. Klaus Griesar, head of the department “Science Relations” at Merck and president of VCW).
The seminar was completed by the Clariant Innovation Center and a moderated bus tour through the industrial park Höchst with Prof. Thomas Bayer (Provadis Hochschule).
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 start-up 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. The focus of the lecture was on 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.