Transfer and sustainability

The Faculty of Chemistry takes an ecological, economic and social approach to sustainability. It attaches particular importance to the 17 Sustainable Development Goal of the United Nations. Its engagement with sustainability takes many forms:

Our researchers develop new active agents that can be used for transfection and to fight viral infections in completely new ways. They might even be effective against SARS-CoV-2, and an EU-funded research project started in 2020 to examine the potential of supramolecular ligands in this context. It is worth noting the highly advanced stage of development of those ligands, which are extremely effective in preventing pathological protein aggregation in animals. The researchers are hoping to optimise them into potential drugs to treat the currently incurable Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Their work constitutes a clear contribution to Sustainable Development Goal no. 3: healthy lives and well-being for all. Many research groups in the University’s new main research area of water research work towards SDG no. 6, access to water and sanitation for all, and SDG no. 15, protection of terrestrial ecosystems. Sustainability is a key element of the NRW Forschungskolleg ‘Future Water’, whose spokesperson is based at the Faculty of Chemistry. Our research in chemistry education pursues SDG no. 4, education for all, by contributing to the development of education standards at the Institute for Educational Quality Improvement (IQB). In partnership with the Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Kiel, our scientists also study communities of practice.

Another transfer activity of our faculty, the ColFerroX spin-off from Professor Rainer Meckenstock’s research group, has achieved extraordinary success. With its innovative method of using nanoparticles to purify groundwater contaminated with heavy metals, the young company came first in the Duisburg Pitch Battle in May 2019. It is an excellent example of start-up activities with a focus on water, which the planned FutureWaterCampus will promote and expand.