Partners sign new agreement for joint catalysis laboratory “CaRLa” in Heidelberg
54 March 2015
BASF and Heidelberg University have signed a new agreement for their joint catalysis laboratory “Catalysis Research Laboratory” (CaRLa). The research cooperation at Heidelberg site ongoing since 2006 has been extended to October 2017.
“Catalysts play a central role in many technical processes in chemistry. In times of increasingly scare resources they are of major importance for energy and raw material efficient processes,” says Dr. Peter Schumacher, head of the research department Process Research and Chemical Engineering at BASF. “CaRLa combines the broad scientific expertise of Heidelberg University with the chemical-technical know-how of BASF, thereby offering an outstanding infrastructure to jointly lay the foundation for new industrial catalytic processes.”
CaRLa will continue to be managed by two scientific heads. Following the age-related retirement of Prof. Dr. Peter Hofmann, one of the initiators of CaRLa, Prof. Dr. Oliver Trapp of the Organic Chemical Institute will assume the scientific management for Heidelberg University. For BASF, Dr. Thomas Schaub has been the scientific head and laboratory manager at the site since mid 2014. There have also been organizational changes and new appointments in the controlling team. With the new agreement, the scientific heads Trapp and Schaub jointly emphasize that the successful project work in the joint catalysis laboratory can be continued and further expanded.
The Catalysis Research Laboratory (CaRLa) focuses on current topics in the field of homogeneous catalysis. CaRLa stands for the successful cooperation between academic and industrial research. At present, a jointly financed international team of eight doctorate level scientists, one engineer and the laboratory manager are working on developing new homogeneous catalysis systems. The main emphasis of research is on fundamental and industrially relevant challenges such as the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) as a synthesis building block or more efficient amination reactions.
The proximity of CaRLa to BASF’s research laboratories and Heidelberg University offers ideal background conditions for outstanding catalysis research and rapid knowledge transfer from principle-based research to industry. The international reputation also draws on a large number of high level scientific publications and positive evaluations from the years 2009 and 2014. The excellent international networking of CaRLa is promoted by the annual CaRLa Winter School, a one-week top class symposium on cutting-edge themes of homogeneous catalysis, and by the network of meanwhile more than 70 alumni in academic and industrial laboratories around the world.
These joint activities will be complemented by the Heidelberg Forum of Molecular Catalysis (HFMC) on 12 June 2015. During this symposium at Heidelberg University, excellent young scientists working in catalysis research will be awarded with a prize by BASF.