News Release

INEOS Styrolution and Bayreuth celebrate 10 years of successful R&D collaboration


Frankfurt, Germany

2013: Prof. Volker Altstädt (front left), Prof. Hans-Werner Schmidt (back left), Dr Norbert Niessner (front right), Prof. Leible (Dean University Bayreuth, back right)
Image courtesy of INEOS Styrolution/ NMB

  • Partnering to pave the way towards sustainable styrenics
  • Discovering together, the right formula for customer centric innovations

INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics and NMB (Neue Materialien Bayreuth), together with the University of Bayreuth, today reflect on a decade of successful R&D collaboration that has led to a broad range of styrenics based innovations.

Ten years ago, representatives from NMB, the University of Bayreuth and INEOS Styrolution signed an agreement[1] that became the basis for an R&D partnership that considerably changed the industry. Today’s broad portfolio of sustainable ECO products from INEOS Styrolution would not have been possible without the work of the teams from NMB, the University of Bayreuth and INEOS Styrolution’s R&D Department.

The collaboration took on projects like the development and evaluation of recycling technologies, material development and testing, and the development of new polymer processing methods. Other projects addressed life cycle analyses of recycling technologies as well as individual product offerings.

A more recent project addressed the development of Novobead® ECO - expandable bead foams based on recycled ABS that can be used as thermal and acoustic insulation, shock absorption in helmets, or re-usable protective packaging[2].

The wide variety of sophisticated analytical and processing equipment from lab to pilot scale, and the broad academic network of expertise in Bayreuth is of high value for accelerating research projects – and ultimately also for accelerating the commercial production of new solutions.

Dr. Tristan Kolb, Principal Scientist at NMB, says: “I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to improve sustainability and society’s well-being by contributing to this unique collaboration. And I am proud of our collective achievements.”

Prof. Holger Ruckdäschel, Managing Director NMB and Chair of Polymer Engineering at the University of Bayreuth adds: “I inherited a fruitful collaboration when I arrived in Bayreuth three years ago. We share the same vision on sustainability and innovation on plastics, and our collaboration is highly productive in addressing true market needs. I am really looking forward to the next decade of joint innovation.”

Dr. Norbert Nießner, Global Innovation Director at INEOS Styrolution, says: “10 years ago, we designed a unique collaboration concept together with Prof. Hans-Werner Schmidt. It is based on the first-class polymer and chemistry facilities and faculty of Bayreuth University, the excellent network and technology transfer capabilities of NMB, as well as the specific development needs of INEOS Styrolution. Since the date of signing on 27 November 2013, we have jointly developed state-of-the-art solutions for today’s most urgent and relevant topics with innovative, hands-on customer solutions and top-notch technologies for plastics recycling and sustainability. I am very pleased to see that this dynamic collaboration is as vital and powerful today as when it started 10 years ago. Many thanks to Principal Scientist Tristan Kolb; Prof. Schmidt; Prof. Altstädt;  and Prof. Ruckdäschel who made this success possible.”

About INEOS Styrolution

INEOS Styrolution is the world’s leading styrenics supplier, with a high-performing portfolio of styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialty products. With more than 90 years of innovation in materials science, INEOS Styrolution is focused on customer satisfaction with differentiated solutions that provide a competitive edge as well as investments in technology that enable closed loop recyclability for styrenics while reducing our carbon emissions. INEOS Styrolution applications can be found in many everyday products across multiple industries: including automotive, electronics, household, construction, healthcare, packaging, and toys/sports. Operating 16 production sites in nine countries, the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of INEOS Group Limited and employs approximately 3,100 people. Sales were 6.6 billion euros in 2022. 

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In 2023, INEOS marks 25 years since its inception

On 5 May 1998, the first deal was signed to buy former BP site at Antwerp from INSPEC under the INEOS name, with 300 staff at a cost of £80m. Since this first deal, INEOS has completed hundreds of deals in petrochemicals, oil & gas, and energy growing to a $65bn revenue group with 36 businesses in 29 countries and 26,000 staff.

Over recent years, INEOS has expanded beyond the industrial heart with investment in consumer brands, sports and charities.

What defines INEOS is its scale, people and culture; asking the big questions to tackle global challenges - with grit, rigour and humour. And with remarkable people, achieving extraordinary outcomes.

25 years is a moment in time, to look back on what has been built and to look forward to what is to come. INEOS is ambitious and continues to look for new opportunities and go for growth. Follow the INEOS journey and see where it leads.


Dr. Ralf Leinemann
Global Manager PR & Marketing Communications

INEOS Styrolution Group GmbH
Mainzer Landstraße 50
60325 Frankfurt

Phone:     +49 69 509550-1366
Email:      ralf.leinemann [@]


[2] See for example this press release published by the project Partner Fill: