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.
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 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. 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.
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.
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".
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.