AZuR – Germany’s innovation forum for tire recycling – reports that with three workshops on the topics "tire recycling", "retreading" and "pyrolysis" the AZuR network has successfully started its active work. The project, which is financed by the funding guideline "Innovationsforum Mittelstand" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, was very well received by the economy, science and also politics. "We had three very exciting and above all productive meetings in which the discussions were very open and differentiated", says network coordinator Christina Guth.

The aim of the workshops was to bring the participating players in the three sub-areas of AZuR together for the first time. "Networking lives on the fact that the acting persons exchange their opinions directly with one another", said Guth. On the other hand, first work assignments for the entire network were to be formulated. After the first round there are already plenty of assignments. Almost 60 participants attended the three events, some of which were held online.

Open and trusting exchange

In all three meetings the participants exchanged their opinions very openly about the current situation. Within the three rounds it was agreed that the participants should report as comprehensively as possible within their experiences and possibilities in order to grasp the respective situation from different sides. This information is available to the participants in the AZuR network and is treated confidentially within the network. In this trustful environment concrete quantities and prices or numerous ideas concerning future markets could be addressed.

"Above all, the mixture of the different disciplines was a real benefit", Christina Guth said. It had become very clear that the exchange of ideas across association and industry boundaries was the right way to go. "The more people from different fields come together, the more fruitful the results are in the end," says Dr. Stefan Hoyer from Chemnitz University of Technology, who chaired the workshop "recycling". During the three workshops, colleges and universities provided scientific results and information on research. Legal framework conditions were explained by the Federal Environment Agency and the individual companies reported from their active work. Tire manufacturers and large industrial companies also participated actively in the workshops and contributed a great deal of valuable information.

"I am really happy that we had a very open way of dealing with each other and that we were able to gain a lot of mutual insights ", said Professor Dr. Peter Quicker, who works at the RWTH Aachen University in the research area Technology of Energy Raw Materials and led the workshop "pyrolysis". The great leap of faith that the individual entrepreneurs in particular brought to the workshops also shows how important the exchange and further work currently is. Those responsible for the network hope that in the near future even more players from the fields of mechanical engineering, construction industry, energy and chemistry, but also from politics and associations will participate in the AZuR network.

First orders for the network

The ideas and work assignments gained in the first three workshops are numerous. For example, there will be a working group "retreading" with AZuR, which would like to bring the topic forward even further. For this purpose an eco-balance study is to be commissioned and a common platform is to be created. "Retreading in particular has great potential to keep tires in the economic cycle significantly longer and, compared to the production of new tires, to save considerable amounts of raw material resources and reduce emissions. However, these advantages are still hardly known in politics as well as the public. Also retreaded tires are burdened with many prejudices," says Michael Schwämmlein, Managing Director Technology at BRV, who chaired the "retreading" workshop. In the "pyrolysis" workshop, an internal AZuR development group was formed which will work together on various techniques. And a joint action plan is also being drawn up for recycling, to adress this topic in the political community.

With AZuR a strong and powerful network is currently developing, which hopes for further participants. The more are involved, the faster and more effective the work will be. In the future many fresh ideas for the development of new markets are supposed tob e put in the action. If you would like more information about the network and an overview of the existing partners, you can find it at The next meetings - some personal, some online - are already being considered. In addition, there will be numerous opportunities for informal exchanges - all with one goal in mind: to recycle tires 100 percent and create a real recycling cycle.

About AZuR, the innovation forum for used tire recycling

The mountain of old tires in Germany is growing. The market for recycling used tires is in upheaval. To continue to fully recycle used tires as well as used rubber and at the same time reduce the amount of used tires - this is the ambitious goal of the Innovation Forum for Waste Tire Recycling, which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the funding guideline "Innovation Forums for Medium-Sized Enterprises". The objective is to initiate an interdisciplinary network of business and science in the field of innovation. The aim is to launch a cross-sectoral network of the various players from industry and science in the "used tire industry" in order to improve the conditions especially for SMEs, for example for new products, sales markets and the development of new business models. AZuR stands for Allianz Zukunft Reifen.

Press release by AZuR.