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Office of Communication, Events and AlumniPress release no. 192/2018

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Eminent figures support Green Chemistry in Berlin

Thursday, 27. September 2018

Press release no. 192/2018

Vice president of the Club of Rome to present his theses at TU Berlin / Invitation for journalists

On 2.10.2018 Anders Wijkman, vice president of the "Club of Rome" sustainability organization, will be visiting Technische Universität Berlin to talk about solutions to global challenges. Professor John Warner, founding father of "green chemistry" and champion of the introduction of sustainable processes and products in the chemical industry, will be explaining the contribution which chemistry can make. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the planned Chemical Invention Factory (CIF). The event also represents the first meeting in Berlin of the entire Advisory Board. The Board is made up of some of the leading names of science and industry, including Nobel Prize winner Ben Feringa and "Father of the Internet" Vinton Cerf.

The Earth's natural resources are finite and our consumption is such that future global requirements of natural resources cannot be covered. We are living beyond our means. It took a long time and much persuasion, however, to make the general public aware of this fact. The Club of Rome played a significant role in this process.

For Anders Wijkman, vice president of the organization, our main objective today is to reduce our ecological footprint. The economy, of course, has to be allowed to grow, but not at the cost of emitting ever more greenhouse gases.

In his lecture at the University Anders Wijkman will be presenting theses from his new book Come on! In his work he presents a radical account of the consequences of a reckless use of existing resources. Wijkman, however, also presents positive examples of a sustainable use of those resources. Achieving such a sustainable use does not only require changes in how energy is produced; the organization also targets other industries. More than 20 percent of all the world's pollutants and contaminants result from the production of cement, steel, aluminum and plastic. New production methods are required for these industries.

Chemistry to become more sustainable - TU Berlin leading the way with innovative research and "Green Chemistry" start-ups

Technische Universität Berlin is also continually developing a vision for a responsible use of natural resources. The area of chemistry is to see the establishment of the Chemical Invention Factory – John Warner Center For Start-Ups In Green Chemistry. Professor John Warner, who developed the 12 principles for sustainable chemistry, was symbolically presented with a key to mark the occasion of the CIF being named after him at a ceremony held in September 2017 attended by Brigitte Zypries, federal minister for economic affairs and energy, Steffen Krach, state secretary for science and research for Berlin and Professor Matthias Driess. Researchers and start-up entrepreneurs in Berlin will now be able to develop more sustainable chemical processes and products. The CIF will offer spin-offs a professional laboratory infrastructure, and the University will be providing further support in the form of advice and guidance from experts both from the TU Berlin and beyond.

A good example of a current spin off in the area of "green chemistry" is provided by arvaGreenTech, a business developing processes and products for the rapid and environmentally neutral degradation of hydrocarbons in contaminated soils or in trackbeds. Another example is Nano-join, a start-up offering joining material for high-performance electronics, such as for electric car engines. With the assistance of bacteria, TU Berlin researchers have also succeeded in reproducing  the biological underwater adhesive of mussels. This biogenic super glue makes possible the long-awaited opportunity of gluing broken bones or teeth. Another outstanding example of "green chemistry".

The Advisory Board of the Chemical Invention Factory brings together distinguished experts from business and research

The CIF will be supported by an advisory board made up of international experts from business and research. In addition to Professor John Warner, the Advisory Board consists of the following members:

  • Ben Feringa, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2016
  • Vinton Cerf, Turing Prize winner (2014), recipient of the Japan Prize (2008) and "Father of the Internet"
  • Detlef Günther, professor of chemistry and vice president for research and corporate relations at ETH Zurich
  • Frank-Andreas Hatzack, senior executive advisor at the  Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies
  • Ali Hussein, director of product at Clear Review
  • Sonja Jost, founder of DexLeChem GmbH, a spin-off in the area of green chemistry at  Technische Universität Berlin
  • Wayne D. Kaplan, executive vice president for research and professor of materials science and engineering

They will be advising the University, bringing their expertise and know-how to the project. On 2 October 2018 the members of the Advisory Board will be meeting for the first time in Berlin. During the event, Steffen Krach, state secretary for science and research for Berlin, and Professor Dr. Christian Thomsen, president of Technische Universität Berlin, will be presenting the members of the Advisory Board with a certificate in recognition of their membership. 


Lecture der Chemical Invention Factory
Atrium, Main Building, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin
  • Admission from 15:45
  • 16:15: Honoring of the Advisory Board
  • 16:30 Lecture given by Anders Wijkman
  • 17:15 Lecture given by Professor John Warner
  • 17:45  Panel discussion with Ben Feringa (University Groningen), Peter Schuhmacher (BASF SE), Anders Wijkman (Club of Rome), Christian Thomsen (TU Berlin)
  • 18:30 Networking

    Lectures are to be held in English.

    Press registration

    Representatives of the media are warmly invited to attend this public lecture. To register for the event, please send an email to

    You can find out more about the event at https://www.eventbrite.de/e/lecture-50-years-of-the-club-of-rome-registration-48693074296

    About the Chemical Invention Factory:

    You can find out more about Technische Universität's initiative for sustainable chemistry on the website of the CIF  www.chemicalinventionfactory.com as well as via the following link:



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