Sika engages in a global network of research, science, education, business, and community partners. The company maintains and steers a series of initiatives which the development of partnerships, provide opportunities for collaboration through the facilitation of global networking and dialogue.
Culture of Collaborative Innovation
Sika complements its internal research efforts by working with major universities and scientific institutes on fundamental technologies. Sika engages in the cooperation with renowned universities and scientific institutions throughout the world such as ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich), EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne), Princeton University (USA), the Beijing University of Chemical Technology (PRC), and similar institutions across the globe. In addition, Sika's subsidiaries cooperate with research institutes in their local markets.
Some Collaborative Initiatives and Projects
As project sponsor, Sika engages in a lively dialog with ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich), the University of Fribourg, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne), the ESPCI ParisTech (School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry of the City of Paris), the University of Burgundy, Princeton University, the Beijing University of Chemical Technology, the University of Tokyo, and similar institutions across the globe. Sika’s local subsidiaries co-operate with research institutes and provide mutual support.
Sika has intensified its cooperation with Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency, an entity under public law, to promote science-based innovation in the interests of industry and society. The company is part of a program dedicated to bringing together the essential players from science, industry, and society in Switzerland in promising fields of innovation. Sika expanded its joint research on wood-concrete composite elements for innovative and sustainable hybrid structures for the building sector with the successful testing of hybrid precast elements to reduce the amount of concrete in industrial construction.
Research on Concrete Construction
Sika is engaged in the “Mesh Mould” project, in partnership with ETH Zurich and other partners, in developing a robotized construction method for building load-bearing concrete elements of any shape without formwork. Sika also participates in international research projects and networks, such as the “InnovaConcrete” project, which focuses on durable, environmentally friendly reinforced concrete for demanding infrastructure and the conservation of cultural heritage. Furthermore, Sika is cooperating with the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), USA, and with the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, in concrete research.
The University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with Texas A&M University, The City College of New York, Kieran Timberlake, and Sika are working on overcoming barriers associated with carbon-storing buildings, including scarce, expensive and geographically limited building materials. The goal of the collaboration is to increase the total amount of carbon stored in buildings to create carbon sinks, which absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than released during the construction process. The project focuses on the concept of passive buildings which achieve energy efficiency primarily through separating the exterior environment and interior of a building with an airtight envelope.
Cooperations are not only a bridge connecting industry and university, but also a platform for technology transfer. Sika has been playing an important role in the Joint Committee on Adhesive Technology, GAK (Gemeinschaftsausschuss Klebtechnik, GAK) in cooperation with some well-known universities for more than twenty-five years. Since 2019 Sika has been actively involved in various research projects carried out by the Laboratory for Material and Joining Technology (LWF), University of Paderborn. They are related to fundamental research, automotive industry, battery case for E-mobility, and off-road machinery. Various sealants and adhesives of Sika have been tested, studied, and evaluated.
Conservation of Concrete
Sika has been a project partner of the InnovaConcrete project, a European initiative that was led by the University of Cádiz, Spain. The InnovaConcrete project focused on the development of innovative techniques to preserve concrete-based monuments. Within this project, Sika has assumed the responsibility to design product profiles and suitable systems/build ups to introduce advanced materials specifically designed for the conservation of 20th century cultural concrete heritage preservation into different exploitable business cases. Innovaconcrete has been an interdisciplinary a balanced world expert panel composed of 29 partners from 11 countries.
Sika is collaborating with Laval University, Québec - Canada, in the domain of shortcrete technologies. King Packaged Materials Company, acquired by Sika in 2015, has been working collaboratively with Laval University since 1995 to develop new shotcrete technologies for both dry-mix and wet-mix shotcrete. Still today, Sika is working with Laval University on solutions shotcrete related solutions and cooperates with the University to provide materials for mutually beneficial research topics such as AI Placement techniques and rebound reduction in dry-mix shotcrete. Laval University is a world-renowned hub for research and innovation.
Concrete and Concrete Admixtures
Southeast University, located in Nanjing, China, is one of Sika’s main partners in exploring technology leadership in the field of concrete and concrete admixtures. During the scientific & technical cooperation with Southeast University, two projects, “Investigation into Influential Regularities and Mechanisms of Sika Water Reducing Agent on Concrete Volume Change” and “Investigation into Influential Regularities and Mechanisms of Sika Water Reducing Agent on Concrete Durability” were carried out. Some research results achieved in this cooperation have been applied successfully in several construction projects.
Sika cooperates with the Nagoya Institute of Technology (NIT), Japan, and with Obayashi Corporation on cementless concrete solutions. The cooperation focuses on the replacement of regular cement with fly ash and on the modification of fly ash to provide consistent quality. The NIT is a highest-level institution of science and technology located in Nagoya, Japan.
Surface Protection Systems
Sika cooperates with the Technical University of Kaiserslautern and the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Germany, in the realm of the WIPANO standardization project. The coating of concrete surfaces to protect reinforced concrete structures has been common practice since the mid-1980s. The objective of trafficable surface protection systems is, among other things, to prevent the entry of water containing chloride into the structure. In research projects carried out in the Department of Materials in Civil Engineering at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, a method (Parking Abrasion Test, originally designed by Sika) was investigated and further developed with regard to the practical simulation of wear. The results were presented to experts and met with a consistently positive response.
Sika has established a great relationship with the engineering program of Clemson University, USA, by working on several projects designed to foster innovation. Universities such as Clemson continue to be an integral place to find new potential candidates and develop and innovate products.
Clemson and Sika staff cooperate in the areas of innovation scouting, capacity building, material testing and engineering projects. Furthermore, Sika fosters community engagement with university teams by processing projects to strengthen the overall innovation capacity of the institution.
Sika is colaborating with Swissloop Tunneling, a student-led association at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. Their goal is to create a faster and more efficient way of constructing tunnels that can also help to achieve CO2 savings through optimized planning and technologies.
Thanks to this collaboration, Swissloop Tunneling has made significant progress in developing more efficient tunnel construction methods.
Green Wall Systems
Façades become more advanced and sophisticated, and there is much scope for innovation: Urban heating, loss of biodiversity, and scarcity of drinking water are among the big challenges imposed on mankind by climate change. Together with the ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland, Sika started a project for developing a modular green wall system that is intended to solve these challenges all at once. The project is funded by the Swiss Innovation Agency, Innosuisse.