SPE Automotive Award 2021: Kuraray is new sponsor and sustainability expert Endres joins the advisory board

Kuraray will sponsor a category award for the first time at the 20th Automotive Award of SPE Central Europe, section of the Society of Plastics Engineers Inc. The globally active Japanese company with headquarters in Tokyo has been active in Europe for 55 years. Kuraray Europe GmbH is based in Hattersheim am Main, Germany.

Thilo Stier, departmental coordinator for the Automotive Award, said: „With Kuraray, we were able to win a partner that develops and manufactures high-performance materials for a wide range of applications in the vehicle, from acoustic components in the interior to glazing solutions and the cladding of rear lights to the coolant control valve in the engine compartment.“ This fits in well with the SPE Automotive Award, which honours innovative plastic solutions in all areas of the vehicle.

Andreas Weinmann, Business Development Manager at Kuraray, said: „The high-quality, innovative applications of the German automotive manufacturers and our high-performance materials complement each other perfectly. SPE Central Europe, with the Automotive Award, is a partner for us who, like us, drives innovative developments in vehicle construction.“

For SPE Central Europe, the sponsorship agreement with Kuraray confirms that the further development and modernisation of the SPE Automotive Award is positively received and honoured in the industry. „This renewed vote of confidence encourages us to consistently continue on the path we have started,“ said Division Chairman Bernard Rzepka.

In addition to the new category award, there will be another special award at the 20th SPE Automotive Award, the Sustainability Award. With Prof. Hans-Josef Endres, head of the Institute for Recycling and Plastics Technology at the Leibniz University in Hanover, an expert for recycling management and sustainability assessment in the plastics industry could be won as an advisor for the award. He will work out the evaluation criteria together with those responsible at SPE Central Europe.

The Sustainability Award will be presented to the component with the best overall ecological performance among all the submissions. In this way, SPE Central Europe wants to focus on the idea of sustainability for all entrants and thus further promote environmentally friendly and resource-saving developments.

Important criteria for the Sustainability Award will be how components, technologies and processes for component production are represented by an improved overall ecological balance. This includes sustainable process solutions as well as closed-loop concepts and the use of environmentally friendly materials, such as bio-based materials, recyclates or more sustainable lightweight construction solutions including an improved CO2 footprint. In addition, design-for-recycling approaches and end-of-life recovery strategies will also be considered. All companies involved in the development and production of a part or component – i.e. not only vehicle manufacturers and system suppliers, but also plastics processors, material manufacturers, tool and machine manufacturers or design offices – are eligible to submit entries.

The submission documents can be found on the SPE Central Europe website. The deadline for entries is 15 February 2021.


About the SPE Automotive Award
Since 1992 the Automotive Division Award of the SPE Central Europe honours innovative plastic vehicle parts and components. The award is well known in the industry for the high quality of the entries and the objective evaluation criteria. Supporting companies include Akro-Plastic, DSM Engineering Plastics, EMS-Chemie, Grafe Advanced Polymers, Kuraray Europe, LyondellBasell, and Solvay Speciality Polymers.