Operational experience with Polytives

Operational experience with Polytives

Helping hands for all areas of the company: Student support for Polytives.


Mutual learning motivates and creates innovation

Three clever heads and three pairs of helping hands support us from the background. The work that comes to the usually small team of a young company does not become less as time goes on. It only becomes different, that much we can say thanks to our own operational experience with Polytives. However, the distribution of our daily small tasks has been made easier for us for quite some time by Jana, Paul and Alex.
When not active in public relations, the three of them seem invisible to outsiders. One more reason to let them speak personally about their time and operational experience with Polytives so far:

Alex (for over a year at Polytives): “Polytives shows me a new world as well as a new professional field besides humanities at university, which expands my knowledge and skills tremendously.”

Jana, Paul and Alex support us with interdisciplinary as well as professional outside perspectives and bring in knowledge from training and university. In return, they also gain operational experience with Polytives: integrated true-to-life into our day-to-day business, they experience strategic discussions, see how decisions are made, what consistent action requires and what it can achieve. For example, whether they are sitting at the table during our creative brainstorming sessions, actively accompanying our R&D projects, or collecting data with us for our first sustainability report – we appreciate their enthusiasm and are glad that our student support is now entirely part of our small but innovative team.

Jana (for just over a month at Polytives): “Polytives is as versatile as plastics – I will gain valuable experience here!”

Of course, it is impossible to assess what concrete impact your contribution has had on our success. Nevertheless, without you, some e-mails would not have been written on time, some customer approaches would not have been successful, and some research findings would not have been made until later. In business, that can make all the difference. We can also say with certainty that working with you enriches us, not least because it is characterized by the knowledge that you too have been infected by the enthusiasm for Polytives – and we thank you for that.

Paul (for just over two months at Polytives): “At Polytives, I can apply what I’ve already learned at university and also gain professional experience in polymer chemistry.”

Innovation is based on creative ideas, on thinking outside the box, and sometimes it also needs a pinch of luck. However, we cannot rely on the latter, so we are also dependent on new impulses from outside. That’s why we want to and will continue to offer professional and operational experience with Polytives.


Polytives at the K trade fair 2022 in Düsseldorf

Polytives at the K trade fair 2022 in Düsseldorf

The young company from Jena at the K trade fair 2022

3,037 exhibitors and 176,000 trade visitors gathered in Düsseldorf from October 19 to 26, 2022, after a three-year break. And we were there too: Polytives exhibited at the K trade fair for the first time. As the central innovation driver of the international plastics and rubber industry, the trade fair not only held a large amount of new products, innovations and problem solutions, but was also a platform for establishing as well as maintaining existing customer relationships. All participants were happy that the trade fair could take place in their presence, and the discussions started with corresponding anticipation and openness. The exhibitor party dedicated to the 70th anniversary offered the Polytives team once again the opportunity to deepen conversations with other exhibitors in personal networking and to generate new ideas.

For us as Polytives at K trade fair 2022, these were extremely successful days that flew by. We noticed how eager the visitors are to exchange ideas and how open they are to innovations. Accordingly, we were right on target in Düsseldorf. The fact that our products and visions were received with enthusiasm is shown not only by the over 100 discussions we held with potential customers, possible partners and research institutes, but also with the press. Interested parties came to our stand – not infrequently with specially printed versions of our flyers that they had received in advance – and sought personal talks to find out more. “Even the big players in the industry found themselves at our stand,” is how Viktoria Rothleitner sums it up.

Polytives GmbH exhibition booth at the K trade fair 2022

The focus of our exhibition was on our flow improver bFI, but we were also able to present the many possibilities of our platform technology, showing our vision for our contribution to more sustainability and likewise the circular economy. Finally we had the opportunity to present our product itself as well as the processed product to all interested parties – apart from our flyers – which caused shining eyes on both sides of the booth. This is also reflected in our stock of sample quantity, which has been shrinking day by day since the fair.

The part of the team that remained in Jena naturally followed Polytives’ activity at the K trade fair 2022 closely from a distance. A big thank you goes to the fair team, TecPart e.V. for the wonderful organization of the stand as well as the opportunity to be represented in the fair newspaper. We are already looking forward to the next K trade fair in 2025.

Die Geschäftsführung der Polytives am Messestand 

New Sales Director of Polytives GmbH

New Sales Director of Polytives GmbH

New sales director at Polytives

Jena-based start-up brings expertise from the plastics industry into the team with Steffen Felzer

The team of Polytives welcomes Steffen Felzer as new Sales Director. Since the beginning of September, the engineering graduate has been supporting the further development of the Jena-based specialist for polymer additives. Over the past 25 years, Felzer has worked as a sales and marketing manager as well as in C-level positions in the plastics industry. In particular, he accompanied the topics of “tailor-made” plastic solutions and high-performance plastic applications.

Polytives produces for the market of customized polymer modification and polymer application. The newly developed proprietary polymer additives serve in particular to optimize application-specific or customer-specific polymers and polymer processes. Polytives thus sets trends that herald a more efficient plastics era: cost-reducing, energy-efficient, resource-saving, process-optimizing and customer-specific.

This shaping of the future of the plastics industry is the motivation of the Polytives team and likewise that of the new Sales Director Steffen Felzer: “Together we will further develop and build up the young company. We will face the dynamic challenges and changes of the customers and the plastics market in Germany, Europe and the world!”. Managing Director Viktoria Rothleitner adds: “Steffen has valuable expertise in various management and leadership positions with industry leaders and hidden champions. He will accompany our company in the process of growing into an industrial enterprise. We are very pleased to have won him for this position.”


An internship at Polytives

An internship at Polytives

Foto: Steffen Walther

Trainees of the Staatlichen Berufsbildenden Schulzentrums (SBSZ) Jena-Göschwitz do an internship at Polytives

For six weeks, Anton and Yannik completed an internship at Polytives as part of their training as chemical-technical assistants. They were able to put into practice the theoretical knowledge they had already acquired in their school lessons. This brings a professional future in chemistry closer for both of them. In line with the award of the Stifterverband’s research seal, we promote education by offering internships. After all, innovation, science and education are our core resources. Only through our chemical know-how we can bring about sustainable change in industry as well as in society as a whole.

The expectations of our interns regarding their time in the laboratory and their tasks corresponded quite well with reality: They had to handle solvents, prepare their own synthesis approaches, operate and maintain the measuring equipment – and of course also manufacture their own products and check them for correctness and purity at the end. An internship at Polytives does not necessarily promise excitement every day – monotonous work is also part of it, as in other companies. It is therefore important to develop a certain degree of routine and still be open to new things. Yannik and Anton decided on a career in chemistry because they already liked chemistry at school and wanted to pursue this in their professional lives. The deciding factor was a career fair and career counseling. Both positively emphasize the active search and advertising of polytives at the SBSZ. Christa Schulze, the supervising teacher, also sees this as an outstanding feature since fewer companies usually come directly to the school.

According to Ms. Schulze, a good connection between schools and industry is particularly important in times of a lack of skilled workers and a decline in applications for training. An active approach of the companies to the trainees is necessary. In this way, feedback from the companies can be used to evaluate whether the content of the training needs to be adapted. In this way, a solid professional future in chemistry can be guarantee.

In addition, according to Ms. Schulze, an internship can teach learners more responsibility as well as teamwork and reliability. We at Polytives agree that both components – the “soft skills” and the implementation of theoretical knowledge in practice – are important and necessary. Only then a professional future in chemistry can become a valuable, reliable foundation for future colleagues on which we all want to build and continue to build.

East German economic forum – our management uses personal networking

East German economic forum – our management uses personal networking

Thüringen ist stark vertreten: Ostdeutsches Wirtschaftsforum

East German economic forum & panel discussion in Hamburg

Face-to-face networking has been lacking – that’s why we currently value on-site events very highly. In May and June of this year, personal networking picked up again. We at Polytives not only perceived this positively but also made active use of it at a number of high-profile events (e.g. the “East German economic forum”).

Exactly one month ago, our CEO Viktoria Rothleitner was first a guest in Hamburg at City Hall. As part of Thuringia’s presidency of the Bundesrat, a series of events was launched to bring Thuringia into an exchange with other German states on various topics. Under the topic of the presidency “growing together”, personal networking in the form of a panel discussion followed by a get-together was used to discover existing common ground and learn from each other. On this occasion our CEO was part of the panel and spoke with other founders and stakeholders about, among other things, the current situation for young startups overall as well as some of the advantages of starting a business in Thuringia.

The result was an exciting exchange between the panelists:

Dr. Katja Böhler (Thuringian State Secretary for Research, Innovation and Economic Development)

Lutz Birke (Head of the Department of Ports and Innovation at the Ministry of Economics and Innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg

Natalia Tomiyama (NÜWIEL GmbH Hamburg)

Heidrun Twesten (Co-Managing Director Impacct GmbH Hamburg)

Dirk Wegler (Head of the Thuringian Center for Start-ups and Entrepreneurship)

…and the wonderful moderator Diana Huth who has also founded a company herself.

And once the journey to beautiful Hamburg has been made, it makes sense to take full advantage of the opportunity for personal networking. For this reason, Polytives visited the team of port F last month. Port F is an initiative of the Feddersen Group which is looking for fellow campaigners under the motto “transforming together” in order to make “common cause for the big picture”. Clearly, this appealed to us and we are very happy about the networking to Hamburg and we would like to expand it further because we can only solve the big tasks of our time together and with the help of innovation. For this, every networking point can support and we basically appreciate the openness towards us as a young company very much.

After these two stops in Hamburg, which were a wonderful start to personal networking for our CEO this year, the East German economic forum in June provided an opportunity for a direct continuation of the exchange. The “East German economic forum” event was dedicated to the topic of transformation. “We are shaping transformation” – a motto under which many inspiring contributions and discussions took place. In addition to experts from various areas of the economy, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Economics Minister Dr. Robert Habeck were also guests and answered the questions of the participants. Polytives will gladly be present again next year in Bad Saarow.

If you too would like to meet us in person again sometime don’t hesitate and get in touch with us!


The Next Generation at the research summit

The Next Generation at the research summit

Exchange of new ideas by the Next Generation at the research summit

On May 04, 2022, the research summit of the Stifterverband der Deutschen Wirtschaft e.V. will take place at the Allianz Forum in Berlin. Our CTO Oliver Eckardt represents the Next Generation at the research summit as a member of the Central German State Board of Trustees of the Stifterverband.

Oliver Eckardt has been a member of the Central German State Board of Trustees since February 2022. The Board of Trustees is part of the Stifterverband and carries out its tasks in the individual federal states or individual regions – in our case Central Germany. The members are individuals, representatives of the regional economy and representatives of the regional science organizations. They are appointed by the president of the Stifterverband in consultation with the chairman of the respective state board of trustees for a period of three years.

Together with Dr. Erik Weber from SpinLab Leipzig, Oliver Eckardt represents a new generation – the Next Generation at the research summit. The Next Generation network brings together young personalities from the business community who, across generations, compile and elaborate new ideas on the core topics of the Stifterverband in order to contribute to a strategic renewal of the joint initiative. In this way the Next Generation is committed to a shared responsibility to the German economy and to a sustainable society worth living in – and thus to the successful basic idea of the Stifterverband.

The research summit of the Stifterverband der Deutschen Wirtschaft in Berlin will be held under the motto “Innovation policy after the turn of the millennium. More dynamism and new priorities?” It thus picks up on the association’s central themes of “Education, Science and Innovation” to which we are also committed. In times of increasingly important sustainability and rising raw material prices the summit is dedicated to the challenges of the future which face the German economy as well as the global economy.

Oliver Eckardt is delighted to have the opportunity to make contacts at his first Stifterverband event. In addition to his presence as a representative of the State Board of Trustees he also stands for a new polymer chemistry that develops future-proof, innovative and sustainable products from the plastics of the present – as is also the goal of the Covestro company in addition to Polytives.




Polytives – Innovative through Research

Polytives – Innovative through Research

Stifterverband awards research seal

We at Polytives are proud to announce that we have been awarded the seal “Innovative through Research” by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V.. Just as the seal of the largest science sponsor in Germany expresses it, the guiding principle of Polytives can also be described with the keywords “Innovative through Research”.

The Stifterverband, in which DAX-listed corporations as well as medium-sized companies, business associations, philanthropists and committed private individuals have joined forces to form a unique network of science, civil society, business and politics, has represented the joint responsibility of German companies for a sustainable society worth living in since 1920. The directly related core areas of the association are innovation, education as well as science. These are topics to which we are equally committed. Our scientific research and innovative products are based on our capital: education and innovation. These areas are closely interlinked and cannot be imagined without each other – especially with regard to our future.

Like us at Polytives, the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany pursues a holistic strategy to achieve sustainable success, true to the motto: “Innovative through Research. Apart from its commitment to civil society, equal opportunity education, young academics, excellent universities and cutting-edge research, it is also the association’s task to examine and evaluate the German research and innovation system. In addition to the question of investment levels in research and development, the focus is also on their impact on Germany’s future viability. This annual survey is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Companies that have a research division can take part in the full survey of research and development in the German economy, which is conducted every two years. Successful participants receive the “Innovative through Research” seal from the Stifterverband der Deutschen Wirtschaft.

This year, we are also among the successfully evaluated companies – certainly this is due to the work on our products – and are very pleased to be able to carry the seal of the Stifterband for the next two years!



Innovativ durch Forschung
Flow improvement with bFI A 3745 – request your sample now

Flow improvement with bFI A 3745 – request your sample now

A flow improvement with a sample of our bFI A 3745 is now ready

For our research team, the last few months have been all about scaling up: The goal of placing the first samples with customers in the test phase was preceded by numerous agreements, comparative measurements and optimization steps. In the meantime, the first large production batch has been manufactured and arrived at our premises, covering several tours by lift truck. After some modifications to achieve the optimal balance between energy saving and flow improvement, we proudly present our bFI A 3745. From now on, our customers can request a bFi A 3745 sample for their flow imorivement.

Our first product is not only interesting for injection molders, compounders and masterbatchers, but brings measurable benefits to all processors of PMMA, PS or PC:

  • up to 33% energy saving
  • up to 1.5 times increase in throughput
  • massive reduction of viscosity
  • reduction of processing temperature

If interested parties would like to test the first samples in the test phase on their own machines and in their own processes, a phone call or e-mail will suffice. Our quantity of bFI A 3745 is limited. However, further batches and greater scaling will naturally follow. We are particularly proud of the fact that transparency is retained when used in PMMA – a feature that we would also like to transfer to other types of plastic and which we also want to achieve with our second product, the bSR shrink reducer.

In addition to saving energy during processing, our additives, which also replace parts of the base polymer if they are ideally miscible with it, are non-toxic, more homogeneous and easier to recycle. Both aspects, energy savings (and the associated lower CO2 impact) and recyclability, are also forward-looking for the sustainable development that is emerging for the plastics industry as a whole. In its report “Reshaping Plastics” Plastics Europe estimates a 70% decrease in unrecycled plastics in industrial use by 2050. Polytives also supports this direction with its in-house polymer additives.

Initial samples in the test phase are usually followed by a wide range of feedback with positive aspects and requests for improvement. We are curious to see what adjustments still need to be made in the future – and what creative solutions we will come up with to overcome these challenges.

Now you too can request a bFi A 3745 sample!

Request sample

11 + 14 =

2nd company birthday

2nd company birthday

The 2nd company birthday is used by the startup from Jena to look back on what has been achieved

Polytives GmbH – a startup from Jena – celebrates its 2nd company birthday. We look with joy and pride on our two years of company existence! Surprisingly fast the last two years have passed since the company was founded. And who doesn’t know that: Not even “of age” yet, but full of energy and more than ready to go on. A lot has happened in the last few years, a lot has moved our team, which has only recently grown to nine people, and a lot will still change in the coming months and years: Funding, upcoming sample quantities, trade fairs and also the media are permanently interested in the startup from Jena. Most recently, Minister Tiefensee was a guest. The list of thoughts that come to our team while remembering could be continued. All the milestones that our young company has reached so far can be found under ABOUT US.

The fact that the ideas around our managing director duo, CEO Viktoria Rothleitner and CTO Oliver Eckardt, mature and bear fruit is also due to the strong partners, supporters and companions, to whom Polytives GmbH would like to say thank you! All the prizes and awards we have received so far (ThEX Award, Innovation Award, etc.) also give us public motivation to continue our work. Of course, these achievements are due to the entire great team, which has jointly contributed to these successes – thanks also to each and every one of you! Together, we want to continue our success and turn our visions into reality.

As children, many of us wished for various plastic toys for our birthdays. Our wishes are now somewhat different; we would like to see Polytives additives IN the toys with which the next generation can build their dream world and thus also a piece of the future. We are not just waiting in anticipation to see whether our birthday wish for the new company year will come true – we are working together every day to revolutionize the plastics market in the long term!
If you want to know how we continue to work on this vision, stay on our heels, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media.


Commitment to the polymer industry in Thuringia

Commitment to the polymer industry in Thuringia

Location intentions of Polytives GmbH

On February 09 Minister of Economics Tiefensee visited us again in Jena. As last year, he inquired about the concerns and problems, but also about ideas and perspectives that we see for our young company and for the polymer industry in Thuringia. Encouraged by the renewed support that Mr. Tiefensee assured us on behalf of the Thuringian economy, we are now disclosing our location intentions:

To remain located in Thuringia as a company was already considered certain for us in the long term. We have built up a good network here, including research institutes, universities, industrial companies, and a growing startup community. Here we have found reliable partners and we are in constructive exchange with experts in the plastics industry in Thuringia. They all have strengthened our resolve to commit ourselves to Thuringia in the medium term.

The fact that we have been encouraged to expand the dimensions of our ideas once again shows us the conviction with which our investors and partners stand behind us. Supporting a plant for Polytives is not only a commitment to us, but also to the entire polymer industry in Thuringia.

Numerous facts on www.invest-in-thuringia.de prove that the plastics industry in Thuringia is one of the industries with the highest turnover in Thuringia and already has a success story of more than 100 years. The plastics industry has experienced rapid growth, which we as Polytives GmbH would like to follow. With our innovation, we see sufficient potential for this. Currently, there are about 520 companies in the polymer industry with approximately 34,000 employees, generating a turnover of 7.2 billion euros. These companies specialize in injection moulding, extrusion, functionalized plastic products or process technology for multi-material systems, and much more. Here Polytives GmbH is perfectly located as a startup with innovative products.

As a member of the Thuringian plastics cluster PolymerMat e.V. we will contribute our share to further strengthen and expand the Thuringian plastics industry. The innovative power generated by networking offers customers a competitive advantage.

Scaling of our plastic additives now even more efficiently

Scaling of our plastic additives now even more efficiently

We have invested in scaling our plastic additives more efficiently

Scaling up our plastic additives is an essential process on the way to their market maturity. At the beginning of the year, we at Polytives already reported on a new investment that should make our lab team’s work easier. Now that we have been able to familiarize ourselves a little with its handling, we would like to introduce our latest acquisition here and explain the benefits it will bring to our customers. Especially in the context of our service, where we not only develop individualized plastic additives for plastics processors, but also provide them in relevant quantities for testing, our investment will lead to a significant process shortening. Find out more here.

Different steps are necessary for the production of our polymer plastic additives. One of them is the work-up at the end of each reaction, which results in the high-quality product that our customers in the plastics processing industry use. These steps can be reproduced relatively well on a small scale in an efficient manner. However, as soon as it gets into the upscaling process – as many who deal with this know all too well – many things are no longer so trivial. Scaling up our plastic additives therefore requires a lot of technical know-how and appropriate equipment.

We would like to be a little more specific and give a brief insight into the possibilities we have gained through the acquisition, which will serve to scale up new products, also in the context of customer projects. Thanks to the support of the Free State of Thuringia and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), we were able to expand our technology with a so-called thin-film distillation plant.

This plant facilitates the separation of solvents from our polymers and, above all, makes it much more efficient. The end product, our plastic additive, is not only drier and purer – our laboratory team can also bundle many time-consuming, small-scale work steps. This frees up resources for further developments and optimizations. The reprocessing process is significantly accelerated, the throughput of our product is increased immensely, and the scaling of our additives almost runs by itself. In addition, the separated solvents can be collected safely and conveniently in this way, also as part of a tailor-made solution for our customers, and reprocessed for reuse. Conserving resources and working efficiently, we thus contribute to sustainability while still offering all the advantages of scaling up to the kilogram scale for our customers.

Even if individual operating refinements can still be further optimized (after all, you never stop learning), Polytives GmbH is pleased with this helpful, indeed necessary, investment. It is another step that shortens the prototyping phase and brings us closer to our goals even faster.