Materials Valley - Companies and colleges set up association to give the Rhine- Main region a clear profile in materials technol

Mainz, 25.02.2002 On February 25, 2002 a ceremony took place in the Erich Schott Center at Schott Glas in Mainz to set up the Materials Valley Association. The association's aim is to develop the Rhine-Main region into a high-tech center in the field of materials research and materials technology with a worldwide reputation from both the scientific and the economic point of view. In his founding speech Dr. Jürgen Heraeus pointed out to the 100 or so representatives of business and science present at the event that the similarity between the name "Materials Valley" and that of "Silicon Valley" was quite intentional. There are currently some 750 companies and more than 100 colleges and research institutes in the Rhine-Main region which offer a potential unique in Europe in materials technology and materials processing technology. This should be strengthened and expanded further, said Dr. Udo Ungeheuer of Schott Glas. The spectrum of fields of activity ranges from the processing of noble metals in the form of catalysts, dental materials and semiconductor materials via coated glasses, ceramics and polymers for the automotive industry right through to nanomaterials. Linked with this are thin film, vacuum and fuel cell technology and analytical processes. This broad spectrum of industrial activity is supported by a pool of scientific knowledge which achieves a world standard in the universities of Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Giessen, Marburg, Mainz, Kaiserslautern, Heidelberg and Würzburg and the advanced technical colleges of the states of Hessen, Rhineland Palatinate and Bavaria. Support is being provided by the TechnologieStiftung Hessen in Wiesbaden, IMG Innovations- Management GmbH in Mainz, Bayern Innovativ GmbH in Nuremberg, Frankfurt Rhine- Main Regional business development Authority and the various chambers of commerce and industry. As Horst Faeser of Frankfurt Rhine-Main Business Development stressed, the association is set to provide a platform for communication between business and science as a preparatory step towards cooperation. Specialist conferences, exhibitions, seminars and training courses will enable all those taking part to see what is happening on the other side of their "garden fence" and to stimulate their own developments through interdisciplinary cooperation. The Materials Valley Association sees good opportunities to coordinate the activities initiated by the very wide range of business and scientific organizations in the region and to attract opinion leaders from individual specialized fields so that the Rhine-Main region will continue to play a leading role in the worldwide contest between industrial clusters.

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