Leaders from Solar Impulse and Covestro to speak at Campus Forum at NTNU

Inspire young people to think and live sustainably

• Speakers: Bertrand Piccard, Initiator, Chairman and Pilot of Solar Impulse, and Patrick Thomas, CEO of Covestro • Sustainability will drive growth for businesses now and in the future • Encouraging young leaders to follow “Champions of the Earth” program and to pursue visions with persistence
National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) will be hosting two speakers at a campus talk on September 12, 2017: Bertrand Piccard, initiator, chairman and pilot of Solar Impulse, the first solar-powered airplane to succesfully fly around the world, and Patrick Thomas, CEO of materials manufacturer Covestro, which provided key technologies to enable the plane to succeed in its groundbreaking mission.
Over a 90 minute session that will include a panel discussion, they will speak about how innovation, a shared belief in the power of clean technology and collaboration made Solar Impulse’s flight around the world without fuel come to reality. Piccard will share with students his vision and how he was able to achieve the impossible with Solar Impulse, by flying around the world in a plane without a drop of fuel, powered only by solar energy. Patrick Thomas will explain why open innovation for sustainability can make great things happen and encourage young leaders to unleash their potential by pushing boundaries.
Both Piccard and Thomas will be sharing their very personal experience and journey in this unique project. “You have to try even when the experts say that your vision is impossible to achieve and such a plane cannot be built,” said Piccard. “A key to success is to find the right partners, the ones with enough pioneering spirit to identify new solutions and who share your values and your vision.”

“In our world sustainability is the only way forward, not just for the planet and its people, but also for companies,” Patrick Thomas said. “Sustainability will be the growth driver for business in the future. But you have to push boundaries if you want to achieve real innovation and make the world a brighter place. For us Solar Impulse was a flying laboratory that allowed us to test the boundaries of our materials.”

“As one of the founding members of Green University Union of Taiwan, NTNU, in addition to the promotion of the university's operations, is committed to sustainable development of research and education with emphasis on the engagement of students,” said Professor Kuo-En Chang, President of NTNU.  “This coming September 12, we will invite Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas and the initiator of Solar Impulse, Bertrand Piccard, to Taiwan for the first time to share with youth and society in Taiwan how to push boundaries and move toward sustainability to achieve the impossible.”

Piccard was recognized as a Champion of the Earth in 2012 by the UN Environment for his efforts to raise awareness of the possibilities of renewable energy. Patrick Thomas is a global jury member for the UN Environment Young Champions of the Earth scheme and this year Covestro is supporting this program to motivate young innovators to submit and develop solutions for sustainability.


This campus talk is organized by National Taiwan Normal University, sponsored by the Green University Union of Taiwan, Graduate Institute of Environmental Education of NTNU, Northern Environmental Education Regional Center, Environmental Safety Center of NTNU and Covestro Taiwan. Both Patrick Thomas and Bertrand Piccard have been invited to Taiwan by WCIT 2017 and will act as keynote speakers for the circular economy session and have a leaders’ dialogue with the Minister of Economic Affairs on September 11 at WCIT 2017.


The forum is open to the public. Professor Shin-Cheng Yeh, former Minister without Portfolio and ex-deputy Minister of Environmental Protection, will moderate the campus talk and ensuing panel discussion. If you want to register for the event at NTNU please click here.



About Solar Impulse

In 2016, Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, the pilots and founders of Solar Impulse, completed the first circumnavigation of the globe with no fuel. With their solar aircraft, a flying laboratory full of clean technologies, they flew 40,000 km to promote the use of renewable energies and energy efficiency on the ground, for a better quality of life. Throughout the round-the-world flight, the team overcame technical, human and operational challenges that had never been faced before. More information at http://www.solarimpulse.com/.


About Young Champions of the Earth

Young Champions of the Earth is a forward-looking prize awarded by the United Nations that is designed to breathe life into the ambitions of brilliant young environmentalists. Each year, six young people – one from each global region – will be named Young Champions of the Earth. These winners receive seed funding, intensive training, and tailored mentorship to help them bring their big environmental ideas to life.

Find more information at https://www.unep.org/youngchampions/  


About NTNU:

NTNU took the lead in echoing the global trend of Green University, incorporating green ideas into its development plan and overhauling the physical environment of its campus and teaching software in aspects of research innovation, teaching program, environment management, student life, art and aesthetics, and social services, in the hope that its students leave school with comprehensive and competitive green awareness, and that the school be in line with the global trends of low carbon and green economy.

Find more information at http://en.ntnu.edu.tw/


About Covestro:

With 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites around the globe and employs approximately 15,600 people (full-time equivalents) as of the end of 2016.



Find more information at www.covestro.com.



Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports, which are available at the Covestro website  www.covestro.com. Covestro assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.