California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years

BASF and UC Berkeley extend alliance for five years

Anniversary Symposium marks progress of industry, university research collaboration

Advancement made in intermetallic nanomaterials research

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.J., April 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Many scientific discoveries and patent applications have resulted from more than 25 research projects underway since West Coast universities and BASF established the California Research Alliance (CARA) by BASF in 2014. This multidisciplinary collaboration headed by the College of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) conducts research on new inorganic and other advanced materials, biosciences and their applications.

To mark three years of CARA researchers working alongside BASF counterparts, members of these universities, guest professors, students, and BASF have convened for an Anniversary Symposium, April 24-25, 2017, at UC Berkeley to address recent research advancements. During the event, leaders from UC Berkeley and BASF announced a five-year extension of the CARA collaboration at a signing ceremony.

“Our California Research Alliance brings together an entire university system with BASF’s global R&D organization. We see that as a great opportunity demonstrating the power of connecting academia and industry to drive innovation,” said Peter Eckes, President of Bioscience Research and North America Research Representative, BASF.

"Three years and 25 research projects later, CARA has proven to be a big success," said Paul Alivisatos, Berkeley's Vice Chancellor for Research and a campus chemistry professor. "I'm delighted, but not surprised, because basic and applied research are not distinct activities. They are woven together and reinforce each other. That's why, like other CARA researchers, I am looking forward to several more years of cooperation with BASF."

Significant progress on intermetallic nanoparticles research

Over the last three years, BASF experts and researchers from UC Berkeley; Stanford, UC Davis; UC Santa Barbara; UC San Francisco; and UC Los Angeles, have worked together on multiple research projects to make new materials, advance the functionality and performance of materials and develop methods and tools for tailoring the interaction between chemicals and biological systems.

One recent advancement was achieved by a joint team active in the field of catalysis. The researchers developed a synthesis of binary intermetallic nanoparticles from a combination of noble and base metals, which have the potential to be used in catalysis applications.

“Previously, there were only physical methods for manufacturing very small quantities of such intermetallic nanoparticles. With this newly discovered chemical approach, a critical first step was taken towards preparation of these materials in large scales, which is a prerequisite for assessing their potential for industrial catalysis,” said Peter Walther, Senior Vice President, Heterogeneous Catalysis, BASF. “The extensive nanoparticles expertise and application know-how at CARA combined with guidance provided to the postdoctoral researchers by Professor Paul Alivisatos and BASF were certainly decisive for the development of this new method.”

Following the successful tests at UC Berkeley, the synthesis of the nanoparticles and their potential application in catalysis is being further evaluated in BASF laboratories in Ludwigshafen, Germany.  

For press photos click on the links below:

Suggested caption: Dr. Peter Eckes, President of Bioscience Research and North America Research Representative, BASF (seated left), and Prof. Paul Alivisatos, Vice Chancellor of Research, UC Berkeley (seated right) sign agreement to extend CARA for five years. Around them left to right: Prof. Doug Clark, Dean, College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley; Gray Davis, Former Governor of California; Janet Napolitano, President, University of California; Prof. Omar Yaghi, Founding Director of CARA, UC Berkeley; Dr. Harald Lauke, President of Advanced Materials and Systems Research, BASF; Kerstin Schierle-Arndt, Associate Director of CARA, BASF; Prof. Peidong Wang, Founding Director of CARA, UC Berkeley.

Suggested caption: Representatives of industry, academia and government participate in a roundtable discussion titled, “Driving Innovation at the Interface of Academia and Industry” moderated by Michael Pcolinksi, Vice President, Advanced Materials and Systems Research, BASF Corporation (at podium). Pictured left to right: Dr. Peter Eckes, President of Bioscience Research and North America Research Representative, BASF; Prof. Mark Coopersmith, Faculty Director, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley; Dr. Eric Rohlfing, Acting Director, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E); and Prof. Paul Alivisatos, Vice Chancellor of Research, UC Berkeley.

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 17,500 employees in North America, and had sales of $16.2 billion in 2016. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 114,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of about €58 billion in 2016. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at


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