In the network, medium-sized enterprises are collaborating with the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences to develop innovative solutions to advance sustainability in plastics processing.

Medium-sized enterprises

Biowert Industrie GmbH

Biowert Industrie GmbH operates a biorefinery that uses resource-saving, closed-loop recycling processes to manufacture AgriPlast composite plastics, AgriCell insulation materials, AgriFer fertilizer and green electricity from field grass.


AgriPlast contains up to 75% cellulose and is suitable for injection molding and extrusion. The plastic matrix usually consists of recyclates, but biopolymers can also be used, making the compound 100% biobased and/or biodegradable. Products made of AgriPlast can be recycled repeatedly without compromising their mechanical properties.








Ernst Bechtold & Sohn

The family-owned wood processing company Ernst Bechtold & Sohn was founded in 1885. Owing to the widespread use of plastics, wood processing was largely discontinued in the middle of the 20th century. Ernst Bechtold & Sohn continued to develop its product portfolio over time and today the company manufactures plastic products used mainly in medical technology, pharmaceuticals, laboratory work, cosmetics, food, packaging, electrical engineering, automotive and construction. Its portfolio includes not just the design and development of products, but also their manufacture through injection molding and extrusion blow molding, as well as peripheral services such as tool making, measuring, testing, shipping, etc.







GESA Form + Funktion Displaybau GmbH

Since it was established in 1965 in Dreieich, family-owned GESA Form + Funktion Displaybau GmbH has manufactured products for the cosmetics industry. The company began with packaging for a wide variety of products and has evolved consistently, with a focus for the past 40 years on manufacturing displays, product stands and shop window installations for the international cosmetics industry. As an agile system provider, GESA offers complete solutions – from the idea to production, printing, pre-assembly and final assembly. The company has won several awards for its innovative solutions, including the ultimate award in the industry: the prestigious POPAI award.








GKV Graupner GmbH

GKV Graupner GmbH was founded in 1960 as a plastic injection moulding company. As a family-run business, it has been an integral part of the plastic injection moulding industry since 1988, with the focus on plastic injection moulding for prototypes, small, medium and large series. The product portfolio currently includes in particular functional and visible components for automotive applications (e.g. filter and trunk systems). In the course of time, their field of activity has opened up more and more towards the development of automation solutions for injection moulding through continuous internal development. In addition to already developed solutions for increasing production efficiency, the area is currently being consistently expanded. The development of its own automation solutions ensures highly integrated production, which makes individual products and processes possible. Building on this, GKV Graupner GmbH is working on integrating sustainable plastic solutions into the automotive sector.








OPM Mechatronic GmbH

For more than 20 years, OPM Mechatronic GmbH has been a reliable supplier of machines, assemblies and systems for customer-specific solutions in a variety of different areas. In addition to general mechanical engineering and conveying as well as handling technology, OPM is particularly active in automation technology, dosing and robot technology as well as special machine construction.


The various fields of application result in a wide-ranging product portfolio from separating systems to gluing robots and CNC dosing systems. Particularly in plastics processing, colorants are often used and parts are bonded together using an adhesive. The ideal and precise metering of liquid materials such as adhesives or liquid colors has enormous potential to increase sustainability in plastics processing.







Founded in 1959, family-owned RHEIN-PLAST GmbH pioneered the development of polyethylene applications for manufacturing bags from film. The company has consistently advanced its specialized competence in manufacturing films. Every year, more than 4,200 tons of customized PE films are extruded for a wide range of applications in numerous industries, such as pharmaceuticals, medicine, biotech, food, textiles, waste disposal, cosmetics, automotive, etc.

RHEIN-PLAST GmbH’s portfolio encompasses concept creation, the development of a suitable material formulation and the manufacture of the films. All process steps are accompanied by stringent quality and environmental management. The company has been completely carbon neutral since the summer of 2018.







Research Institutions

Darmstadt Institute of Plastic Engineering, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences

The Darmstadt Institute of Plastic Engineering is part of the Engineering and Plastic Engineering faculty at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. The main focus is R&D projects in plastic technology. The range of services and research includes materials development and testing, plastics processing, simulation, materials and surface technology and automation.








Darmstadt Chamber of Industry and Commerce

The Darmstadt Chamber of Industry and Commerce represents the interests of some 65,000 member companies of various sizes from different sectors in the Rhein-Main-Neckar region. As a service provider, it also advises start-ups and SMEs on many different topics.


With over 70 plastics processing companies in the Odenwald alone, the rubber and plastics industry also plays an important role in the business competitiveness of the region. Plastics technology is a future-oriented field with strong potential for the development of innovative processes and technologies.


To support companies in this field, the Darmstadt Chamber of Industry and Commerce established the Plastics Innovations Network (Kunststoffinnovationsnetzwerk or KIN) in 2018. KIN promotes cooperation in R&D, production automation, digitalization of business models and energy efficiency, in addition to education and training in plastics technology.








Jöckel Innovation Consulting GmbH

As the management body for the SuPRA network of innovation, Jöckel Innovation Consulting GmbH is actively involved in organizing and shaping the network.


With a workforce that has now grown to 24 employees, Jöckel Innovation Consulting GmbH works in interdisciplinary teams to develop innovations from ideas to their utilization. Its customers, many of whom have been with the company for years, are mainly SMEs that value its comprehensive innovation consulting concept, which incorporates innovation funding and various services in the field of innovation management.


The success of this concept is reflected in its more than 1000 completed projects, with over 400 industry partners and ten overseen innovation networks.


Our principles: Innovations are a valuable and sensitive asset. It is therefore all the more important to have a trustworthy partner at your side. Jöckel Innovation Consulting GmbH is characterized by values cultivated through commitment in our daily work and collaboration with our customers. Reliability and responsibility, sustainable benefits for customers, a partnership based on integrity and loyalty – these values are the essence of our company, and we are there for you as a business partner for every point of contact.