Umicore Science & Technology Days: Bringing the Umicore Innovation and Technology community together
At Umicore, we are growing rapidly and to achieve our 2030 RISE strategic ambitions we need to maintain our technological advantage and value creation. Our culture of continuous knowledge sharing, collaboration and learning is an important driver that contributes to our competitive edge and to our leadership position in the fields of innovation and technology. So in 2022, we organized the first Umicore Science and Technology days.
“I think what drives the scientific community is curiosity, wanting to know more, wanting to experiment. This event is an opportunity to discuss what everybody is doing and share the curiosity.”
Frank Daufenbach, Chief Strategy Officer
To accelerate and make maximum use of our internal expertise and know-how, we brought the global Innovation and Technology (I&T) community together for a three-day event. The Umicore Science and Technology days not only presented the bigger picture of where Umicore is heading by sketching out innovative breakthroughs, but colleagues from around the world had the chance to network and share best practices, fostering cross-business unit and cross-regional collaborations.
This hybrid event was attended by more than 300 participants in Antwerp, Belgium and Cheonan, South Korea. Internal and external keynote speakers from the business and science community presented their findings, demonstrating how they are contributing to the broader Umicore activities and how these in turn contribute to developments in science and technology.
“ The Science and Technology Days 2022 provided much-needed networking opportunities for colleagues in and around research, innovation and technology. It was a valuable platform to share ideas and to build personal connections.”
SeungHwan Lee, Senior R&D Program Manager
Umicore has a long history of open innovation through partnerships and sponsorships with universities and research organizations. This event was a great way to highlight influential collaborations by including a poster session of guest PhD students from different countries where Umicore operates. It also allowed the PhD students to network and discuss their findings and to obtain valuable feedback from the I&T community.
“It is a great opportunity to meet other PhD students working for Umicore. We can get together and exchange on what we’re doing.”
Gaëlle Butin, PhD student
Another highlight of the event was the Digitalization Expo Hall. This focused on the important role that digitalization plays in implementing faster, more accurate and safer business and research practices. As part of this Expo, several organizations showcased their digital solutions to help accelerate innovation and technology within Umicore.
“The goal of the Digitalization team is to spread great digitalization initiatives around the organization. But our role is to prevent the unbridled growth of multiple initiatives and instead find ways of sharing which activities already exist and finding ways to collaborate on potential options.”
Thomas Suetens, Project Manager Digitalization
After its great success and the overwhelmingly positive feedback in 2022, the Science and Technology days will return in 2023. We look forward to continuously fostering innovation and technology through knowledge sharing and networking so as to maintain our leading position as the circular materials technology company.