The IN4climate.NRW initiative commenced its work with a kick-off meeting on 15 February. This new working platform is unique in Germany and brings together business, the scientific community and state government. Its objective is to develop strategies to enable industry in North Rhine-Westphalia to maintain its high level of competitiveness, generate additional growth and at the same time contribute to the achievement of the climate protection goals agreed in Paris. More than 20 companies and associations from the fields of steel and metals, chemicals, cement, glass, paper and building materials as well as six research institutes are participating in the initiative. A scientific competence centre entitled SCI4climate.NRW and coordinated by the Wuppertal Institute is providing support to IN4climate.
The IN4climate.NRW initiative was launched in autumn 2018 with the aim of helping to make industry sustainable and climate neutral. With this initiative, the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has created an innovative platform to initiate an ongoing collective working process involving experts from companies operating in energy-intensive industries, the scientific community and the state government. Representatives of the institutions involved have now met in Düsseldorf. Together, they are forming innovation teams, which will be the central pillars of IN4climate.NRW. The innovation teams will be jointly headed by Professor Dr. Manfred Fischedick, Vice-President of the Wuppertal Institute, and Professor Dr. Görge Deerberg, Deputy Director of Fraunhofer UMSICHT (Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology), as well as by Dr. Bernd Kaletta, LANXESS Deutschland GmbH, Corporate Communications, Head of Environmental Policy and Dr. Hans-Jörn Weddige, Group Coordinator Energy, Climate and Environment Policies, thyssenkrupp AG.
"I'm delighted that we're giving the green light today to a competitive industrial sector free of greenhouse gas emissions. As an innovation lab, IN4climate.NRW will prepare the location of North Rhine-Westphalia for the challenges of the decades ahead and develop visions for the future for climate neutral industry," said Professor Andreas Pinkwart, NRW's Minister for Economy, Innovation, Digitalisation and Energy (MWIDE).
Leaps forward in innovation and enhanced cooperation across various industries are required if competitiveness is to be maintained while also achieving the climate protection goals outlined in the Paris Agreement. Experts from companies, trade associations, the scientific community and public administration will bring together corresponding ideas and strategies within this major initiative. They will be supported by over 20 industrial businesses and associations. thyssenkrupp Steel Europe and Covestro AG are among the founder members.
Scientific competence centre SCI4climate.NRW
IN4climate is supported by the state-funded scientific competence centre SCI4climate.NRW. Researchers are investigating the development possibilities and organisational options for setting energy-intensive industry in North Rhine-Westphalia on a climate neutral, sustainable footing. SCI4climate.NRW is a research project involving six institutions and coordinated by the Wuppertal Institute under the lead of Professor Dr. Stefan Lechtenböhmer, Director of the Future Energy and Mobility Structures Division at the Wuppertal Institute. The partners are the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety, and Energy Technology (UMSICHT), the German Economic Institute (IW), RWTH Aachen University, the VDEh Institute for Applied Research (BFI) and German cement manufacturers’ association, VDZ gGmbH.
Professor Dr. Stefan Lechtenböhmer highlights "With SCI4climate.NRW we are pursuing an integrative research approach to analyse technological, ecological, economic, institutional, social and (infra)structural challenges together companies operating in North Rhine-Westphalia". "In collaboration with the innovation teams, which are creating unrestricted thinking space for the participating partners away from day-to-day business, SCI4climate is thus making an important contribution towards future-proofing industry in NRW. The circumstances required for the practical realisation of the promising ideas developed by the innovation teams are among the various topics discussed within the project," stressed Professor Dr. Manfred Fischedick, Vice-President of the Wuppertal Institute.
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