Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has been a Solar Impulse project partner since 2010 and also its official technical partner. It was responsible for the design and construction of the Si2 cockpit which utilizes the most advanced polyurethane and polycarbonate systems, significantly reducing the weight of the plane while ensuring ultimate protection for the pilot.
“To our employees and customers, the Solar Impulse project has become a symbol of Covestro’s innovation as well as our ability to provide a wide range of innovative solutions,” says Patrick Thomas, Covestro CEO. “We are delighted to be able to continue to support this inspirational endeavor as it embraces our corporate values of Curious, Courageous and Colorful.”
“Sustainability sits at the heart of our business strategy,” said Richard Northcote, chief sustainability officer at Covestro. “This renewed commitment to Solar Impulse includes our role as one of the leading sponsors for the cross-America leg of the round the world journey, which will recommence in Spring 2016. As more consumers seek energy-efficient products and governments start to implement the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in legislation, Solar Impulse will play a huge role in showing the world how the technology that exists today can contribute to achieving what many believed was impossible.”
Technology developed for Solar Impulse is already used in various everyday products in the automotive and refrigeration sectors. In addition, coatings used on the plane are now also being used in many other industrial sectors.
Close cooperation between Covestro and Solar Impulse
Bertrand Piccard, Initiator, Chairman and Pilot of the Solar Impulse project, said: “Thanks to our delay in the round the world adventure, Covestro will fly with us and demonstrate its essential contribution to Solar Impulse. All our partners share our vision of a cleaner future and the ongoing involvement of Patrick and the Covestro team confirms their commitment to achieving this aim.”
Andre Borschberg, Co-founder, CEO and Pilot of the Solar Impulse project, added: “We have valued Covestro’s technical input, commitment and innovative spirit since 2010 and are looking forward to working even more closely with them over the next three years.”
He adds: “I speak from personal experience when I say the cockpit Covestro designed for Si2, provided Bertrand and I with a comfortable and ambient environment to fly and work in. We are looking forward to getting back inside it for the next leg of the journey in 2016.”
Covestro is also supporting Solar Impulse’s ‘Future is Clean’ initiative, which is gathering global support for the use of clean energy, following the ratification of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and ahead of the Conference on Climate Change of the United Nations (COP21) this December.