German extrusion machinery firm ReifenhÃ¤user GmbH & Co. KG will sponsor a plastics extrusion innovation contest, starting in 2011, that will bring the winner a prize of 20,000 euros ($27,900) for innovation in final products, forming technology or raw materials.
There will be an additional prize for the most active participant who brings the most suggestions, raises the right questions and provides good criticism, ReifenhÃ¤user announced at K 2010 in Dusseldorf.
ReifenhÃ¤user is aiming with the best idea on the subject of plastics extrusion contest primarily at mechanical engineering, plastics technology and process technology students. The contest sets itself apart from other plastics industry contests in that it will be based on the formation of an online Web-based community that will enable students to network and exchange ideas, the firm said.
ReifenhÃ¤user is no newcomer to innovation award sponsorship, as it has been sponsoring since 2007 the biannual annual wood-plastic composites innovation award jointly with Nova-Institut GmbH, organizer of the WPC congress in Cologne, Germany.
Bernd Kunze CEO of ReifenhÃ¤user's Reicofil non-wovens machinery subsidiary, will manage the contest. Three jury members will assist him. Kunze said the firm is looking for not only the best ideas, but also for motivated young professionals and out-of-the box lateral thinkers. He would not say how long and how often the plastics extrusion innovation contest will run.
The jury also includes Georg Menges, who headed the IKV Institute of Plastics Processing in Aachen, Germany from 1965-8. Menges was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 2006.
During a press briefing at K, Menges, now retired, referred to his 51 years' experience in plastics, which included operating the first ReifenhÃ¤user machine, a tiresome and difficult task at the time, where ReifenhÃ¤user support was much appreciated, he said.
Other jury members are Volker SchÃ¶ppner from the Institute of Polymer Engineering at Germany's Paderborn University; Reinhard Jakobi, manager of engineering plastics processing technologies at BASF SE; and Willi Fuchs, director of the VDI association of German engineers.
In statement issued in relation to the contest announcement, Jakobi praised use of an online medium, as today's students already make extensive use of social networks. Jakobi also stressed the contribution made by engineers: Engineers are the camels upon which commerce rides, he said.