- 20 years ago, va-Q-tec was founded in Würzburg and the success story of a visionary idea for more thermal energy efficiency and product safety began.
- va-Q-tec has developed from a start-up to a globally active provider of high-tech solutions in the field of temperature-controlled (TempChain) logistics for pharmaceutical products or food.
- With its “Vision 2030”, va-Q-tec intends to continue setting new standards in the future with technological innovations in products and services
Würzburg, September 9, 2021. va-Q-tec, a pioneer of highly efficient solutions in the field of thermal insulation and temperature-controlled supply chains, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The company, headquartered in Würzburg, Germany, has proven itself for 20 years as a showcase for the development of a start-up from a university environment to a global player with more than 500 employees. It also shows that courage to innovate and a clear vision of the company’s development are still an integral part of its DNA. Part of the company’s history are many exciting milestones, which also have anniversaries in 2021: In addition to the founding of the company in Würzburg in 2001, the company is also celebrating the 10th anniversary of its branches in Rochester, UK, and Seoul, South Korea, as well as the launch of its Container Rental business in 2011. Other reasons to rejoice are also the IPO and the entry into the Box Rental business five years ago.
va-Q-tec laid the foundation for its global success story in 2001 with the production of vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) developed in-house. At that time still a start-up, spun out from the university environment and the Bavarian Center for Applied Energy Research (ZAE) e.V., the company is now an established global player in its markets. Its highly innovative thermal packaging for modern, secure temperature-controlled logistics is used worldwide. The list of thermal insulation solutions and services developed by va-Q-tec is long: the company now holds more than 200 industrial property rights and applications. For its extraordinary pioneering spirit, va-Q-tec has received prestigious national and international awards almost every year since its founding, including most recently as “Innovator of the Year” in the TOP 100 innovation competition.
The vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) produced since 2001 are still responsible for the unique insulation of containers and boxes and are the basis of a now broad product portfolio. They are characterized by ten times more effective thermal insulation properties than conventional fiber and foam insulation materials. Only a few years after this development, the boom in medical biotechnology was followed by the in-house development of the first Thermobox. This was soon followed by the first thermal container in pallet size, the va-Q-tainer. In 2006 va-Q-tec started the in-house production of thermal storage elements (Phase-Change-Materials – PCMs). Consequently, the required temperature holding time could again be decisively extended.
Thanks to the intelligent combination of the two key technologies – VIPs and PCMs – the high-performance containers and boxes can now keep various inside temperature ranges from -70 °C to +25 °C constantly for up to ten days – and without the supply of external energy, such as electricity-powered cooling units. In 2011, the international rental business of advanced passive thermal containers started as the first company worldwide.
The next step is TempChain 4.0, i.e. the smart temperature-controlled supply chain. va-Q-tec already uses va-Q-nection, among others, for this purpose. This service consists of a combination of thermoboxes with data loggers, special software and a specially developed app that ensures greater transparency and traceable security through the digital recording of the temperature chain (TempChain). BlockChain technology and Big Data are also used and protect the valuable data from misuse and falsification. For all its innovations, responsible use of our planet’s resources is always part of the equation for va-Q-tec. As a consequence, va-Q-tec became one of the first suppliers of passive temperature-controlled packaging solutions to achieve climate neutrality for its production sites in 2020. va-Q-tec is also taking on a pioneering role by preparing its 2021 carbon footprint in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which was developed in cooperation with the World Business Council and the World Resources Institute.
Sustainable into the future
Energy efficiency and environmental protection have been seen as part of the corporate DNA at va-Q-tec for the past 20 years and have been given a high priority. They are therefore part of the “Vision 2030” and are important elements for the targeted international growth of the company. The founding idea of providing more energy efficiency in the world with the products is thus consistently continued. In addition to technological innovations in the development of VIPs, for example for industrial high-temperature applications and PCMs for low-temperature ranges around -70 °C, va-Q-tec’s future program includes an ambitious sustainability strategy. The first interim goal is the complete climate neutrality of all parts of the company. va-Q-tec is also taking on a pioneering role by drawing up its 2021 carbon footprint in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which was developed in collaboration with the World Business Council and the World Resources Institute.
“We look back on the past 20 years with great pride. During this time, we have repeatedly challenged ourselves and not only built up numerous international locations and a company that now employs more than 500 people worldwide, but also constantly pushed ahead with the development of innovative products and services,” explains Joachim Kuhn, CEO and Chairman of the Board of va-Q-tec. “Without our highly motivated, imaginative minds, our success story would not have been possible. Nor will we succeed in implementing our ‘Vision 2030’ without them. We look forward to continuing to make temperature-controlled supply chains even safer and to making a significant contribution to greater energy efficiency in numerous industries worldwide.”