How Covestro opens up its "ecosystem" for partnerships

Cooperations for creative and sustainable solutions


Innovation in a complex world comes from collaboration

Knowledge grows faster than companies. And it is through the exchange of knowledge and the contribution of different perspectives that the best ideas are born. When you think about this, it becomes clear that companies need to cooperate to develop solutions to the challenges of our time faster and more effectively. Covestro offers its own "ecosystem" for collaborations and thus a wide range of connecting points for working with partners.

Manifold collaborations for innovative smart poles

In addition to material properties and functionality, the focus is increasingly on design options. A current example of this is a smart pole designed for future mobility and smart cities – an intelligent pole with multiple functions that Covestro is presenting at the K 2022 plastics trade fair.

Smart poles must demonstrate stable performance even in harsh outdoor environments, while meeting high requirements for modern urban design, functionality and, not least, sustainable development trends. In addition to its own expertise and many years of experience, as well as a portfolio of suitable polycarbonate plastics and blends, Covestro therefore relies above all on intensive collaboration with technology and innovation partners in the development of such concepts, which include suppliers, customers, OEMs, start-ups, designers and universities.

This starts with product design: designs by students from Sweden's Umeå Design Institute were used to create the 5G small cell in the upper part of the smart pole. As part of a pilot project with this institute and Deutsche Telekom, Covestro investigated how a 5G network infrastructure could be implemented in an urban environment while taking aesthetic aspects into account. Polycarbonates are ideally suited for CMF (color, material, finish) design and enable interference-free transmission of high-frequency radio signals even in harsh weather conditions. To investigate the influence of material and CMF design under different conditions, Covestro operates state-of-the-art test facilities for a wide range of frequencies up to 50 GHz at its Asia-Pacific Innovation Center in Shanghai.

Together with the Umeå Design Institute, design concepts for electric charging stations for different usage scenarios have also been developed, one of which is the charging station design built into the base of the smart pole. Finally, as part of the modern urban landscape, the design of the smart pole must fit into the architectural and cultural context of the city in which it is installed. In addition to durability, the main focus here is on the weather resistance, flame retardancy, diverse light integration options and design freedom of the polycarbonates.

Circularity requires special partnerships

The value of such collaborations becomes even clearer when the complexity of the challenges increases: A circular world often requires the involvement of all partners along a value chain – industrial designers, raw material suppliers, plastics manufacturers, customers, disposers and recyclers. Only when all stakeholders are involved and work closely together can products be developed that can be recycled cleanly, reliably and affordably so that new products can be made from them.

Covestro works with partners from industry and science at all stages of a product cycle to find solutions for a more sustainable future. The exchange takes place with both established companies and start-ups. Covestro will be showcasing the results of these collaborations at the K 2022 plastics trade fair.


About Covestro:

Covestro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality polymer materials and their components. With its innovative products, processes and methods, the company helps enhance sustainability and the quality of life in many areas. Covestro supplies customers around the world in key industries such as mobility, building and living, as well as the electrical and electronics sector. In addition, polymers from Covestro are also used in sectors such as sports and leisure, cosmetics and health, as well as in the chemical industry itself.

The company is committed to becoming fully circular and is striving to become climate neutral by 2035 (scope 1 and 2). Covestro generated sales of EUR 15.9 billion in fiscal 2021. At the end of 2021, the company had 50 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 17,900 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Forward-looking statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.