A dynamic partnership
Rethinking the Rink


As the Official Innovation Partner of the Pittsburgh Penguins®, Covestro LLC is teaming up to make the game of hockey safer. Through this multi-year agreement, the two Pittsburgh-based organizations will join forces to explore how material solutions can further improve the safety and sustainability of hockey.
“We’re excited about this partnership – not only because it supports our strong focus on innovation and sustainability, but also because it represents the unconventional kind of collaboration that is characteristic of Pittsburgh.”
Jerry MacCleary, Chairman and CEO of Covestro LLC in North America

Impacting the safety of the game

Without impacting how it’s played

The unique partnership with the Penguins allows Covestro to examine potential applications across the sport of hockey with game-winning insight from a championship team. By pairing science with sports, Covestro can explore the role of materials in hockey, with an eye toward safety and sustainability.

The partnership with the Penguins further extends Covestro’s presence in the global hockey market. The company is also a premium partner of the German Ice Hockey League.

“The partnership between a championship hockey team and a global company focused on high-tech materials creates a unique environment for innovation.”
David Morehouse, President and CEO of the Penguins

Make-a-thon: Rethink the Rink

A unique collaboration with the Pittsburgh Penguins® and Carnegie Mellon University

Putting its partnership into action, Covestro teamed up with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) College of Engineering to “Rethink the Rink.” This first-of-its-kind collaboration explores ways to make hockey safer.

The initiative kicked off in 2018 with the world’s first hockey Make-a-thon – a weeklong workshop challenging CMU engineering students to design and develop prototypes for safer hockey dasher boards, tapping into Covestro materials and technical expertise.

Their goal was to explore how recent advances in material science can be used to address the physical boundary of the rink and reduce the impact of players hitting the boards. The ideas inspired by that first Make-a-thon were ultimately transformed into a next-generation dasher board prototype, which will eventually be installed and tested at the Covestro Innovation Rink in the Penguins’ practice facility.

In 2019, Rethink the Rink will host its second Make-a-thon, focusing on a new aspect of hockey innovation – player safety equipment. This year’s participants will be challenged to uncover material solutions that strengthen player protection, without inhibiting player performance.

“Bringing three Pittsburgh-based organizations together to think creatively about this challenge is an example of the entrepreneurial spirit and energy of the city and indicative of why it is flourishing today.”
James Garrett, Jr., Provost, Carnegie Mellon University
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