Collaborative Academic Partnerships | The Chemours Company

January 08, 2018

Innovating for the Future at Chemours’ new Discovery Hub

 

Kevin Leary (left) and Zeru Tekie (right) look at how collaboration will spur innovation at the new Chemours Discovery Hub on the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus.



A headshot of Kevin Leary, Global Technology Director, Titanium Technologies (left), and Zeru Tekie, Global Technical Director, Fluoroproducts (right) at The Chemours Company.

 

Innovation in the chemical industry doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s only through collaboration that the industry can develop cutting-edge applications and products.



We rely on our partnerships with customers to develop and enable market breakthroughs—that’s how we uncover and meet their needs. At Chemours, the market, the customer, and our quest for environmental sustainability drive our core research and development, showing us the problems and challenges faced by end users and society.

For example, one thing our customers ask for is new, more efficient ways to generate and store renewable energy. Collaborating with our partners, Chemours has already made progress, reengineering our product Nafion™.

Originally, we developed Nafion™ ion-exchange membrane to help generate energy from fuel cells and to help improve environmental sustainability for the chlor-alkali industry. Now, we’ve adapted Nafion™ for flow batteries, in which it helps store wind and solar energy, giving us a major boost toward green energy adoption. Advanced flow battery energy storage is also expected to help make power grid management more efficient and cost-effective for utilities.

Our customers also demand improved product performance while reducing the footprint associated with manufacturing the product—a challenge Chemours is willing to meet. Today, we enable our customers to create coatings that last longer and use less paint, thus significantly reducing the amount of energy and materials required to protect structures.

Our industry must also partner with universities to develop a deeper understanding of the science behind our work and to provide new sources of ideas and talent. Such an alliance also helps us in other ways. Few academic institutions today focus on fluoropolymers, for instance. By collaborating with universities, we can help train the next generation of fluoropolymer chemists and engineers, who can help grow our company and advance chemistry itself.

For these reasons and more, Chemours plans to build a new, state-of-the-art research and innovation facility at the University of Delaware’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research campus. Scheduled for completion by 2020, the $150 million, 29,000-m2 facility will employ 330 researchers and help fulfill our quest for innovation.

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New Innovation Center through Strategic Partnership with the University of Delaware

Chemours builds its new innovation center, The Chemours Discovery Hub, and partners with the University of Delaware on their STAR Campus.

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This content was featured in the Chemical & Engineering News 01/08/18 issue.