Bayer Creates Workspace of the Future; Develops New Applications for Carbon Nanotubes

May 2, 2011
The company aims to achieve efficient design via its own product offerings.

Last year was a good one for the Bayer Group, according to Marijn Dekkers, chairman of Bayer Corp. "We reached our targets for the group," he told stockholders at the company's annual meeting in Cologne, Germany, on April 29. He added that Bayer continues to have good prospects thanks to its strong product pipeline. "Our basic goal is to make Bayer a world-class innovative company." Through 2013, the company aims to invest a total of € 15 billion ($22 billion) in its future, with research and development accounting for about two thirds of this figure and capital expenditures for one third.

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Bayer has embarked on a $17-million "Workspace of the Future" renovation project at its U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh. It focuses on two buildings that house approximately 825 of the 1,500 employees at the suburban campus. After completion, expected by June 2013, the buildings will feature open-area workspaces designed to boost employee collaboration and environmental sustainability.

The new working environment will take advantage of Bayer MaterialScience products, including Makrolon MAK clear polycarbonate to allow natural light to filter throughout the workplace and Technogel, a polyurethane "liquid solid" substance, to enhance comfort of employee and guest seating.

Energy-efficient design features include Energy Star-rated heating and cooling systems, and low-flow plumbing to reduce water usage by 20% to 40%.

Bayer is pursuing LEED-CI (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Commercial Interior) gold-level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the project. Such certification verifies that building designs meet high energy-efficiency and environmental standards.

In other news, Bayer MaterialScience is developing new areas of application for carbon nanotubes (CNT). The company concluded a patent license agreement for the use of these materials by U.S.-based company Hyperion Catalysis International, Inc.

Baytubes carbon nanotubes can be used as additives in established materials such as plastics and metal. They are versatile due to their unique property profile — from enhanced electrical and thermal conductivity to exceptional mechanical-load-bearing capacity. Among other things, Baytubes CNT can help to increase endurance and efficiency of lithium-ion batteries.

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