This initiative brings together the manufacturing and technical expertise of UCL and the scientific expertise and know-how of researchers at the Department of Applied Chemistry and Leather Engineering at the Qilu University of Technology.

UCL, an established manufacturer of Mimosa wattle extract since 1952, exports vegetable tanning products to more than 20 countries across the globe.

Qilu University (the former Shandong Light Industry University), founded in 1948, now has 65 undergraduate programs, 64 graduate degree authorising disciplines, as well as 25,000 students, and is one of the first universities with predominant application disciplines. Applied chemistry and leather engineering at Qilu University has an established reputation for its applications and ranks number three among Chinese universities.

”We are excited about the prospects of the new Research Centre” said Rolf Lütge, CEO of UCL. “Its creation represents a further step in our strategy to apply a strong science and technology base aimed at developing innovative solutions for our global network of customers. Establishing these centres of excellence is one of UCL’s priorities and will enable us to work towards continuous product improvement.”

“Win-win and common prosperity seek development together”, said Professor Lihong Fu, Director of the Department of Applied Chemistry and Leather Engineering at Qilu University. “The establishment

of this research centre will help build closer links between research and applications, as well as the leather engineering discipline and the chemical industry, both domestically and in foreign countries. Not only will this help us cultivate excellent students, it could also increase the pace of research that could lead to improved solutions for the leather industry, from which UCL may derive the benefit to better serve its customers”.

The Research Centre will be led by Professor Fu who has been the recipient of many awards and has published more than 100 scientific publications in the field of leather technology. She is the Deputy Director for the China Leather Industry Association’s Technology Committee and an Editorial Board Member for the “Leather Science & Engineering” and “Leather Chemical Engineering” publications.

The research centre will be based at the University Science Park, West New City District, Jinan City, Shandong Province.