For more than 20 years, the FSK ( Specialist Association Foamed Plastics and Polyurethanes) has been awarding its innovation awards this year, which are well-known in the industry and beyond. Awards are given for outstanding ideas and projects in the categories “Technology” and “Design and Creation” in the fields of foam plastics and polyurethanes. Traditionally, the awards were presented in a festive ceremony at the annual FSK Specialist Conference in November, hosted this year by the Austrian company Fill GmbH in Gurten.
The aim of the FSK Innovation Award is not only to reward forward-looking ideas, but above all to promote young talent and support cooperation between the award winners and potential industrial partners. Applications for the Innovation Award are received by the FSK from young professionals, mostly students, as well as companies in which experts work on innovative technologies, products and applications. The jury evaluates according to the criteria novelty, market and competitiveness, and material-compatible implementation, and, depending on the sector, additionally according to technical feasibility or design.
For example, the trio Dorothee Clasen, Sascha Praet and Adam Pajonk received the Innovation Award in the category “Young Talent – Technology”. In their project, the students developed the novel technology “InFoam Printing” with the support of the company Covestro, in which a partial stiffening of soft foams and a resulting functional integration can be achieved by means of synthetic resin injections. This clever innovation has great potential for use in industrial production, for example in the optimization of mattresses.
In the same category, the cooperation project of the team of experts Benedikt Kilian (Covestro Deutschland AG), Wolfgang Hinz (KraussMaffei Technologies GmbH) and Lorenz Wruck (Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV) at RWTH Aachen University) for the “Industrialization of the pultrusion process for polyurethane” also received an award. Fill GmbH from Gurten is also one of the award winners in the “Technology” category. With its project “Polyurethane refines wood”, in which a special camera technology is used to detect color and geometric defects in the wood, which are then repaired with polyurethane by a low-pressure dosing system.
In the “Design and Layout” category, Birgit Hengstebeck from the Bergische Universität Wuppertal was delighted to receive the award for the development of her visually and functionally attractive bed system “YOYO – simply sleep differently”, which offers good opportunities for conventional marketing. The project was developed during her bachelor’s studies at the Folkwang University of the Arts in cooperation with BASF. Birgit Hengstebeck was supervised by Dean Prof. Marion Digel of Folkwang University of the Arts.
The FSK awarded a special art prize to Nadine Baldow of the Berlin University of the Arts. She experimented with “polyurethane foam as an artificial medium for large-scale and site-specific installations linked to the question: What is our relationship to nature?” In an exciting and expressive way, her art stimulates reflection on nature, environment and toxicity.