Umicore announces new ‘Powered by Umicore’

Regional website Germany

Brussels, 7 March 2013. Umicore has launched a new programme called ‘Powered by Umicore’. The programme offers both financial and technical support to a number of clean mobility projects run by student teams from different universities and university colleges.

Clean mobility is one way to address the global challenges of improving energy efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions and providing cleaner air. Through the ‘Powered by Umicore’ programme Umicore aims to encourage student enthusiasm for technologies such as rechargeable batteries and photovoltaics and to stimulate them to develop innovative solutions. Umicore also aims to enhance the general awareness of clean mobility.

In 2013, the ‘Powered by Umicore’ programme will support more than 50 Belgian students. The teams compete with futuristic, self-built vehicles in competitions such as the Formula Student challenge and Shell Eco-marathon.

Umicore funds half of the development cost of each vehicle and this year will be investing close to 100,000 euro in these initiatives. Umicore plans to expand the ‘Powered by Umicore’ programme to other countries.

The three initial teams that are part of the initiative are:

1. The Umicore Solar boat (University of Antwerp): 16 bachelor’s & master’s students participating in the biennial Dong Solar Challenge, the world cup for solar powered boats in the Netherlands in July 2014.

Alain Verschoren, Rector of the University of Antwerp, commented: “The University of Antwerp is proud to have Umicore as a main sponsor for this project. Our researchers have been working together with Umicore for a long time. For example our work has resulted in the development of the most powerful electron microscope in the world – the flagship of our research group EMAT. Umicore’s knowhow, technical and financial support is also crucial for the solar boat project. We are convinced that Umicore’s support for these pupils of our brand new Faculty of Applied Engineering will enable them to reach the finish line with a strong ranking.” Jan Dewinter, 20, student and responsible for the boat’s hull design added: “It is a great motivation that a company like Umicore, seen as one of the most sustainable companies in the world, supports our vision and ideas."

2. The Umicore Thomas More e-car (Thomas More university college, Mechelen): 24 bachelor’s and master’s students participating in the Formula Student challenge for electric cars in the UK from 3 to 7 July 2013 and in the Czech Republic from 8 to 11 August 2013.

Machteld Verbruggen of Thomas More commented: "In order to deliver first class career starters, Thomas More cooperates with companies that are active in our fields of expertise such as sustainable mobility. Umicore is a leader in this area." Koen De Backer, 22, Team Captain added: "With the support of Umicore we get the opportunity to apply new technologies, through which we are able to develop sustainable solutions for the mobility issues of both today and tomorrow."

3. The Umicore Eco-car (VUB, Free University of Brussels): 13 engineering master’s students participating in the Shell Eco-marathon from 15 to 19 May 2013 (The Netherlands) and Murcia Alternative Endurance race in October 2013 (Spain).

Paul De Knop, Rector of the VUB: "The VUB Ecoteam reflects well what the Free University of Brussels stands for: it is sustainable, innovative, enterprising and supported by an enthusiastic group of students.” Michaël Hinderdael, 21, Team Leader added: "Our team is studying ways to reduce the energy demands of transportation. The support of Umicore allows us to realise our concepts and verify them in the competitive environment of energy-efficiency races."