Research & Development

Chemical companies in the ChemCologne region have access to an excellent scientific community.  The dense network of universities and other research facilities covers almost every aspect of  the chemical value creation chain of the chemical industry.

The following selection of universities and institutions emphasise the significance of research within the ChemCologne region:

Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Fakulty: Faculty C – Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Department of Chemistry and Biology

The Department of Chemistry and Biology of the University of Wuppertal comprises highly interdisciplinary research and subject areas. The research focuses in chemistry are “molecular environmental chemistry” and “synthesis and properties of active ingredients and materials”. The subjects of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry are also represented, along with analytic, macromolecular and theoretical chemistry.

The range of highly relevant themes is rounded off by the field of food chemistry and three institutes: Institute for Atmospheric Research, Institute for Pure and Applied Mass Spectrometry and Institute of Polymer Technology, which also comprises the Department of Chemical Didactics.

Students can choose between bachelor's and master's degree courses in chemistry, chemistry and teaching, and certified food chemist, and bachelor's degree courses in biology and applied science. A successfully completed bachelor's degree course in applied science enables students to continue seamlessly with the master's degree course in chemistry or chemistry and teaching.


German Aerospace Center (DLR), Cologne

Aviation, space flight, traffic, energy and safety are the main research areas at the nine research facilities of DLR Cologne. Research and development is supported by large-scale test facilities, e.g. wind tunnels, engine and materials testing systems and a high-flux density solar furnace.

The DLR executive board and the central administration have their headquarters in Cologne.  DLR technology marketing, as the intersection of research and industry; the quality management department; and the project management agency, with departments for technical innovation in business and information technology, are also based at the Cologne site.     

(Chemistry-related) institutes: Institute of Materials Research, Institute of Solar Research, Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics

Main research areas: Ceramic composites, high temperature and functional coatings, friction stir welding, mechanics of materials and microstructure, experimental and numerical methods, hybrid material systems, intermetallics, mechanical testing of materials, aerogels and aerogel composites, micro-structural research and metallography, solar thermochemical generation of hydrogen, thermochemical research for CO2-neutral renewable fuels, solar-thermal electricity generation in combination with biomass, industrialisation of ceramic solar absorbers, flow-through concept with direct steam generation, combustion and gas turbine technologies, energy storage, electrolysis and fuel cells.


University of Applied Sciences Aachen

Faculty: Chemistry and Biotechnology

Institutes: Institute of Nano and Biotechnologies (INB), Institute of Applied Polymer Science (IAP)

Research focuses: Polymer chemistry, nano and biotechnologies, polymer material and bioengineering.


Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences

Faculty: Natural Sciences

Research focuses: Polymer materials, hazardous material and drug detection, technical ceramics, security research, dental material, organic-based polymer material, solar-optimised construction, bioengineering.


Cologne University of Applied Sciences

Faculty: Applied Natural Sciences

The Faculty for Applied Natural Sciences of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences offers bachelor's degree courses in pharmaceutical chemistry and technical chemistry as full-time or career-integrated programmes. Starting in 2015, the faculty will also offer master's degree courses in applied chemistry and drug discovery and development.

Great efforts are made to develop an active and competitive research infrastructure. The faculty's first PhD students will complete their doctorates in 2015. Thanks to direct participation at the STEPS research institute, which was founded together with the Faculty for Plant, Energy and Machine Systems and the Faculty for Computer Science and Engineering Science, the Cologne University of Applied Sciences benefits from university-wide research infrastructures and synergy with the expertise of other faculties.

The faculty is also closely linked to regional and high-priority areas of the national economy. The content of the studies were, and still are, developed and adapted to changing demands through ongoing communication with company and IHK (Chamber of Industry and Commerce) representatives. The cooperation takes different forms, from joint supervision of practical projects and theses to joint research and PhD projects.


Forschungszentrum Jülich

Forschungszentrum Jülich is one of the largest research centres in Europe and contributes to solving the great challenges facing society in the fields of energy and the environment, brain research and information technology. It employs more than 1,900 scientists, including almost 500 PhD students. Forschungszentrum Jülich is also exploring new avenues in strategic partnerships with universities, research institutions and industries.

Institutes: Institute of Advanced Simulation (IAS), Institute of Bio and Geosciences (IBG), Institute of Complex Systems (ICS), Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK), Institute for Nuclear Physics (IKP), Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM), Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS), Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI), Central Institute of Engineering, Electronics and Analytics (ZEA)

Research focus: Energy and the environment


Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Faculty: Department of Chemistry

Institutes: Inorganic Chemistry and Structural Chemistry, Biochemistry, Bioorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Macromolecular Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Chemistry. 


Hochschule Niederrhein, University of Applied Sciences

Faculty: Chemistry

Study courses: The Faculty of Chemistry offers two bachelor's degree courses (B.Eng. and B.Sci. degrees) as full-time, part-time or dual degree programmes. Two consecutive master's degree courses (M.Eng. and M.Sci. degrees) are also available as full-time and part-time programmes.

Hochschule Niederrhein bachelor's and master's degree programmes offer one of the most comprehensive ranges of specialisations found at German universities of applied sciences.
Focus areas include applied organic chemistry, biochemistry and biotechnology, instrumental analysis, coating engineering and technical chemistry.

Research focus: Research activities are mainly conducted at the ILOC (Institute for Coatings and Surface Chemistry) and include topics such as coatings chemistry and technology, polymer chemistry and surface functionalisation, instrumental analysis, and metrology.


Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

Faculty: Department of Chemistry

Institutes: The Department of Chemistry comprises three institutes (Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, Kekulé Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry) with a total of 19 professorships.

Research focuses: Inorganic molecular chemistry (organoelemental chemistry, special multiple bond systems), inorganic solid state chemistry, organic synthesis chemistry, naturally occurring substances, supramolecular chemistry, polymers, spectroscopic methods (ESR, ultra-fast laser spectroscopy, surfaces), biophysical chemistry, theoretical chemistry.


RWTH Aachen University

Faculty: Department of Chemistry

Institutes: The Department of Chemistry of RWTH Aachen comprises four organisational sections:

•    Institute of Inorganic Chemistry (IAC)
•    Institute of Organic Chemistry (IOC)
•    Institute of Physical Chemistry (IPC)
•    Institute of Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry (ITMC)

The DWI (formerly the German Wool Research Institute) is affiliated with RWTH Aachen University and closely associated with the Department of Chemistry. The chairman of Textile and Macromolecular Chemistry (MCI) also acts as the director of the DWI.
Further interdisciplinary research activities on fundamental issues concerning catalysis take place at the CAT Catalytic Center.

Research focuses: The three research disciplines of the Department of Chemistry represent highly important, contemporary fields of research. The department's experimental and theoretical cross-disciplinary expertise augments this, with a special focus on the field of computational chemistry and spectroscopy. Research is also interlinked with life sciences, material sciences and engineering sciences, as evidenced by multiple collaborations in special research fields, excellence clusters, graduate schools and other joint projects.

Research focus: Asymmetric catalysis and bioactive substances:
The main focus lies in the development of efficient new methods and practical processes for the enantioselective synthesis of modules and natural products for pharmaceutical and medical applications. This area of work includes diverse catalytic methods, such as the use of enzymes in the field of bio-organic chemistry (biocatalysis).

Research focus: Catalysis:
Catalysis is the key technology for sustainable industrial chemistry in the 21st century. It demands the intensive transfer of technology between universities and the industry. Important topics include catalysts and materials, reactions and transformations, asymmetric catalysis and bioactive substances, solvents and reactants, and reaction technology and processes.

Research focus: Materials and mesoscopic systems:
Materials and mesoscopic systems researchers focus on developing both hard and soft materials with a particular emphasis on surface and interface phenomena. Important topics include new materials for modern energy technology, mesoscopic systems on the borderline between macroscopically and microscopically structured systems, and functionalisation of nanoparticles.


University of Cologne

Faculty: Department of Chemistry

Institutes: The Department of Chemistry of the University of Cologne comprises five chemical institutes: Biochemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Theoretical Chemistry. The department also includes the Nuclear Chemistry division, which extends the range of academic and research programmes in close cooperation with Forschungszentrum Jülich. 

Research focuses: The broad spectrum of research across approximately 20 divisions ranges from basic research to applied areas, with a focus on functional materials, chemical biology and catalysis. Students can choose between bachelor's and master's degree courses in chemistry and teaching, as well as a bachelor's degree course in biochemistry (master programme starting WS 16/17).