Norsk Hydro has announced that it will donate up to US$1.18 million to create a five-year professorship at Trondheim’s Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in order to aid in the creation of the Aluminium Product Innovation Center (NAPIC). The center is intended to expand aluminium into new product areas, and to make NTNU a world leader in aluminium innovation.
NTNU’s campuses at Trondheim, Ålesund and Gjøvik will collaborate to research new and innovative uses for aluminium in architecture, product design, materials technology and product development.
“Aluminium is energy and knowledge in solid form, and Norway is already a world leader in research and innovation within our industry,” explains Hydro’s head of technology, Hans Erik Vatne. “This center will be in the vanguard of the search for new applications for aluminium.”
Gunnar Bovim, NTNU’s rector, says that this new venture will strengthen his institution in a field of national importance.
“NTNU has a long tradition of research on aluminium and its applications,” he says. “This professorship and NAPIC enable us to focus even more on a field that is important for Norway.”
“It is quite natural for us at NTNU to collaborate with industry and business. Professional independence is ensured, while at the same time a professorship like this should be seen as a safe investment for Hydro. We will manage their investment wisely,” opines Bovim.
The university departments intended to collaborate with NAPIC are the Department of Engineering Design and Materials, the Department of Product Design, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art.
NAPIC will have access to the university’s links with the shipping and furniture industries at NTNU Ålesund, and NTNU Gjøvik will offer NAPIC its connections with the industrial aluminium cluster at Raufoss.
“The center will be a collaboration between NTNU, the aluminium industry and their customers. Doctoral students from the involved departments and faculties will work together on tasks that are relevant to the industrial partners associated with the center,” explains Vatne.