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The Covestro Spirit
A fresh attitude powered by decades of experience

We are proud of our past, but we are not defined by it. Even with decades of experience behind us, Covestro remains a young enterprise. In a corporate world that can often be dull and uninspiring, we want to act in a curious, courageous, and colorful way. Trying out new things, questioning the established ways, pushing boundaries, and having fun in what we do: this is what defines our work. And it has proven successful in our relations to our customers and partners, to experts and talents outside our company, and to our own people around the globe. 


“At Covestro, innovation is everyone and everywhere.”
Dr. Jens Peter Joschek, Head of Innovation Excellence at Covestro Deutschland

Working inside an ideas reactor

Creative variety in the Covestro Start-up Challenge

At Covestro, innovative minds are not just found in the departments responsible for research and development. We encourage all colleagues to contribute new ideas and question the status quo in their line of work – whether they are seasoned experts or young and talented staff who have just come on board. “A company of 16,000 innovators”: that’s what we want to be.

A good example of the promotion of creativity and entrepreneurial thinking at Covestro is our “Start-up Challenge”. In this competition, all our colleagues across the world can share, discuss and advance their ideas for new products and business models via our intranet. The winning team are selected as part of a multi-stage process involving open online voting and a group of experts and are given the opportunity to get their idea market-ready with full funding for one year.

The first Covestro “Start-up Challenge” in 2017/2018 was a resounding success: after 577 ideas from 26 countries and 1204 comments were submitted, 4959 votes cast and the final presentation made to the Covestro Executive Board, the “go clear” team won with a groundbreaking concept for clean, safe and efficient repair coating. The members of the winning team provide exciting insights into the current status of the project here in the video blog!


"go clear": the video blog

We are moving to our new start-up headquarters
“Its unique spirit as a start-up company has guided Covestro through 80 years of groundbreaking innovations – from the discovery of polyurethanes and the development of the world’s first all-plastic car K67 to turning CO2 into a raw material.”
Patrick Thomas, CEO at Covestro

Flexibility drives innovation

Development customized to our partners’ needs

The main product types of Covestro – polyurethane raw materials and polycarbonate – are ground-breaking inventions that our company developed decades ago. In no way, however, does this mean that selling established commodities “off the rack” is our core business. On the contrary: we are constantly refining and enhancing the formulations of our products to fit exactly to the ever-changing, individual needs of our customers. The same holds true for the various forms of cooperation we enter into with our partners and suppliers along the value chain.

The Covestro Technikum in Leverkusen

Our flexible business approach allows us to find the optimal solution when it comes to implementing a new material or process. This may entail support for a complete reorganization of the production flow if necessary. In other cases, the challenge is the other way around: the customer wants to utilize a new raw material with as little changes as possible to existing machinery and production methods.

Whatever the concrete need may be, we are by our customers’ and partners’ sides to help them face the challenges in their respective markets.

How we customize innovations
“During a Makeathon, if you have a good idea, you can just take the material you need and start doing stuff. This is something you don’t find in many big companies.”
Rebecca Heil, Manager Covestro idea.lab

In touch with tomorrow’s trends and players

How Covestro supports talents and learns from experts

Only if we always keep up with the technological trends and social developments outside our company can we meet the challenges of the future. This is why, together with promising talents from universities and experts all over the world, Covestro supports pioneering projects in various industry sectors.

Of course, all parties involved benefit from these cooperations: our partners can rely on the expertise and global capacities of a leading supplier of high-tech materials, and we receive valuable impetus and fresh inspirations for new potential fields of activity.

Our open approach to cooperation is based on our belief that the great challenges our planet is facing can only be solved through a joint effort from many sides – from companies and administrations, as well as from independent organizations and individuals. To root this idea directly within our organization, we have initiated the “Science Fellows” concept: a group of eight authorities in various academic fields who act as mentors, advisors, and ambassadors of innovation at Covestro.

Exemplary projects that Covestro commits to
  • Covestro invited students from the distinguished Umeå Institute of Design in Sweden and the Northern Works design agency in Finland to Leverkusen to participate in the project “Magic: Revealed.” Its purpose was to push the existing boundaries between aesthetics and materials and develop new ideas for design and functionality that fulfill the dreams of future drivers. The participants concentrated on using polycarbonate in novel daytime and nighttime lighting applications, a 360-degree wrap-around glazing offering a panoramic view and a seamless, aerodynamic design for the car body.

    The valuable ideas and findings that were later incorporated in the development of a concept car for the K 2016 plastics trade fair are testament to the success of the project.

  • The first “Covestro Makeathon” was a joint project of our company with the Münster School of Architecture in early 2016. We invited design students from diverse fields to work and develop together with us for one week. The objective: Covestro wanted to intensify its dialogue with designers, including design students, by means of providing information about its products, but also by learning about their needs. As part of this approach, the students were encouraged to develop ideas for inspiration and visionary prototypes for K 2016 – the most important trade fair for the plastics industries worldwide.

    A number of final ideas that were later implemented for the fair, and the establishment of a new creative network within the Covestro cosmos, were just some of the outcomes of the Makeathon. As a highly successful new format from its very beginning, we are looking forward to continuing it in the future!

Stories that push boundaries

Follow the links below and learn more about our commitment to make the world a brighter place.
#Solar Impulse
Covestro materials open new horizons – in the air and on the ground.
#SeamlessDesign
Polycarbonates from Covestro take the design and efficiency of motor vehicles to a whole new level.
#EfficientWindPower
Covestro helps to make wind power more economical.
#PushingBoundaries
An overview of all highlight stories.
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