April 2005

BASF's "Tell us your dreams" competition concludes

Over a period of six weeks, 189 specialists and amateurs entered the plastics competition “Tell us your dreams” sponsored by BASF and sent their dreams to Ludwigshafen, Germany. Upon the occasion of the K2004 plastics trade fair, BASF had issued a call for people to submit their ideas and wishes in the realm of plastics.

BASF received a total of 210 “wishes in plastic” from 21 countries; about half of these wishes came through the internet, another quarter was made directly at the trade fair and the remaining quarter came by mail. Although almost 75 percent of the respondents hailed from Germany (46 percent), the Netherlands (14 percent) or Great Britain (13 percent), there were still quite a few ideas that originated from India, Turkey, Mexico, New Zealand and Pakistan.

“We had not expected so many good ideas. There was a bit of everything, ranging from technically sophisticated concepts with business potential, to socially beneficial suggestions, all the way to out-of-the-ordinary flights of fancy,” explained Thomas Fritzsche, head of sales for electric applications in engineering plastics and mentor of the campaign.

The first prize went to Carolin Tappe and Nathalie Kohler from Bremen and Hannover, respectively, for their portable food warmer made of several types of plastic and of a reusable recrystallization heating module. “Well thought out and formulated, can be realized with various types of plastic,” were the decisive criteria here.

The second prize was given to Andreas Kalweit from Bochum, likewise in Germany. He was on a quest for a plastic that functions as a reactive sponge and that, depending on its composition, picks up pollutants from the air and water, at the same time binding them chemically. The jury found this concept to be of an enduring and visionary nature.

Ludger Wuller from Warendorf came in third for his corrosion-proof exhaust system made entirely of plastic, ahead of its time but feasible in the not-too-distant future through the use of engineering plastics.

The fourth prize went o Luke Hogan from Littleover (Derbyshire), England, who submitted a total of five innovation and interesting ideas. He not only dreamed of plastic cutlery that is both functional and approved for use in airplanes, but he also yearned for an all-season plastic jacket with air cushions that could be inflated in the winter and deflated in the summer.

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