Danish Technological Institute unites top names for international conference on sustainable polymer materials

Lars Haahr Jepsen

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Danish Technological Institute unites top names for international conference on sustainable polymer materials

Significant conference on future sustainable production and recycling of polymer-based products such as plastics, rubber, textiles, and coatings.

Globally oriented companies such as LEGO, BASF, Haldor Topsøe, and Fraunhofer will mount the rostrum when Danish Technological Institute holds an international conference - POLYMER21 - on the development of sustainable polymers on 3 November 2021. Denmark has a unique development environment and broad partnerships that attract a growing number of large players who want to advance the green transition.

In the past 100 years, polymer-based materials such as plastics, rubber, textiles, and coatings have experienced increasing performance demands when it comes to robustness, strength, and durability. This development has provided many indispensable products – but now we are facing a challenge. The green transition makes increasing demands on product sustainability and material cycle sustainability after use to minimize environmental and climate footprints. This requires new approaches to polymer-based product development.

Demand for new technologies
– We are dealing with a market where development is fast-moving and where companies like never before demand new technologies within sustainable product development and recycling.

However, products as well as value chains are complex. On the other hand, many companies share the same challenges. Therefore, innovation in this field is most successful within a framework of broad collaborations across industries and value chains, says Dr. Helle Svendsen, Director at Danish Technological Institute.

International companies are increasingly turning their attention to Denmark where there is a tradition that universities, RTOs, and private companies collaborate.  

Denmark at the front
One speaker at the conference, Dr. René Backes from the German chemical giant BASF, explains why Denmark is particularly interesting:

– Topics such as sustainability and circularity have their origin in and are high on the agenda of the Nordic governments. This makes the region act as a frontrunner and a lighthouse for similar developments in Europe in the next 10–15 years. Denmark in particular has frontrunning capabilities in process development, energy conversion and a leading target for waste re-utilization. The existing infrastructure and the stable economy and a positive future-oriented mindset combine this and define Denmark as future key actor with global impact. Recycling-technologies developed here will be required to solve the waste challenges worldwide and enable the green transition.

At the POLYMER21 conference, participants will have the opportunity to hear opinions from key players and to obtain learning from several large R&D projects. The theme of the conference is “Approaches to Sustainability”, where focus, i.e., will be on polymer development and chemical thermoset recycling.

The conference is aimed at specialists and executives in charge of R&D and sustainable polymer innovation across the value chain from production to recycling.

POLYMER21 will be conducted in English, and online as well as physical participation is possible at Danish Technological Institute in Aarhus, Denmark.

For more info and registration, please refer to