02/10/2006, Düsseldorf


Fritz Henkel Award for Innovation 2005


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Name Wolfgang Zengerling
  Corporate Communications
Phone 0049-211-797-9336
Fax 0049-211-798-5598
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Four ideas have proven their market potential in millions

To win the Fritz Henkel Award for Innovation a product idea must have two essential attributes: a convincingly innovative character and successful market performance. Four teams made up of researchers, technical specialists and marketing experts satisfied these exacting requirements last year. Albrecht Woeste, Chairman of the Shareholders' Committee and the Supervisory Board of Henkel KGaA, yesterday honored the winners of the 2005 competition.

"Innovations that lead to intelligent, superior products and solutions - these are what our customers expect from us. And they fuel our success in international markets. With their ideas, the 2005 Award Winners have passed the market test," said Albrecht Woeste in his congratulatory speech. This edition of the Fritz Henkel Award for Innovation recognized the achievements of four teams with a total of 20 employees for the following projects.

- WC FreshSurfer designed by Alessi - a sensational market success and the proof that even low-interest products can generate consumer appeal when presented in designer packaging.

- Fa Yogurt shower gel - with its yogurt protein formulation, this innovation has introduced a completely new kind of care performance worldwide.

- Flextec inside! - a new basic technology for manufacturing user-friendly and environmentally compatible adhesives and sealants for DIYers and professional craftsmen.

- Purmelt MicroEmission - a new generation of polyurethane hotmelts for industry which stand out for their minimal emissions.

"Innovations are the key to the future," said Ulrich Lehner, Chairman of the Management Board of Henkel KGaA. "Companies that empathize with their customers, anticipate new customer wishes and are the first to turn these into reality have the all-important ability to stay one step ahead of the competition and to increase their shareholder value."

Henkel has therefore declared 2006 to be the "Year of Innovation." The Company expects to collect more than 100,000 ideas from its employees and has set itself the goal of generating one-third of its sales from products less than five years old in three years' time.

Every year since 1982, Henkel has been honoring ideas for products and systems that excel through their innovativeness and demonstrable market success.

The award-winning projects:

WC FreshSurfer designed by Alessi
Fresh design for the toilet

For years there has been a growing trend toward premium bathroom and toilet furnishings. Design is becoming an increasingly important factor influencing purchasing decisions. This prompted the idea of developing an innovative toilet rimblock that would appeal to consumers looking for something special, a product that would not only perform its functions as an air freshener and cleaner, but would also stand out as a tasteful designer object. To realize this idea, Henkel commissioned the renowned Italian design company Alessi. Among the many creative proposals submitted, the choice fell on that of Alessi designer Miriam Mirri. The unusual figure of the FreshSurfer is utterly novel in this market and elicited great acceptance and willingness to purchase even in the preliminary user tests. The technical concept of the two-chamber system with microfine dispenser comes from the proven WC Fresh Duo Active rimblock and was further developed for the Alessi design. The new, chic fragrances Lemon, Grapefruit and Exotic were created to complement the new look. WC FreshSurfer has been on the market in Germany and other European countries since August 2005.

Fa Yoghurt shower gel
Feelgood freshness as a new shower experience

For millions of consumers, yogurt has become a favorite breakfast food that is both healthy and tastes good. The fact that it can be appreciated even before sitting down at the table is evidenced by the new shower gel series Fa Yoghurt. This is the first time that yogurt has ever been used as an ingredient for a shower gel. Highly concentrated yogurt powder has been successfully and stably incorporated into the formula. Five shower gels have been developed, each of them adapted to a different skin type. Besides yogurt, they contain skin-caring ingredients like Aloe Vera milk, multivitamins, honey and berry extracts and are presented to consumers in a variety of fragrances and colors. The creamy shower gel produces a gentle foam that caresses the skin. The care effect is provided by the protein, mineral and lactic acid constituents of yogurt. With the launch of Fa Yoghurt, the Fa brand has also expanded its spectrum, promising consumers not just wild but a new, mild freshness. With its slogan "Fa - Feelgood Freshness," this new product line met with instant acceptance on the market.

Flextec inside!
The new yardstick for bonding - Flextec inside!

With Flextec, Henkel has developed a new, patented basic technology for manufacturing especially user-friendly and environmentally compatible adhesives and sealants. This technology uses silane-terminated polymers which allow targeted adjustment of technical properties of adhesives and sealants such as tack and elasticity. As such, Henkel now possesses a unique modular system which enables it to manufacture tailor-made products for the most varied fields of application - from joint fillers to power adhesives. The greatest benefits are that the products are non-hazardous to health, easier to use, and are compatible with all commonly used substrates. They react to atmospheric humidity and contain no solvents or other critical ingredients, so they are exempt from hazard labeling. For DIY enthusiasts and professional craftsmen this means the dawn of a new age - powerful assembly adhesives for secure fastening without screws or nails, including a product that is even detachable; parquet adhesives with built-in footfall deadening properties offering longer repositioning times; multi-purpose adhesives that really do bond all kinds of substrates; and much, much more.

Purmelt MicroEmission
Making the workplace safer

Hotmelt adhesives based on polyurethane (known as PUR hotmelts) are the adhesives of choice in many industrial bonding processes. They have a high initial tack, high strength and are highly resistant to aging. Conventional PUR hotmelts do, however, have a drawback: They can release harmful vapors when used. The reason for this is that PUR hotmelts contain monomer isocyanates amounting to several percent of the overall formulation. These products are therefore classed as hazardous to health and have to be labeled with the warning symbol Xn. The newly developed Purmelt MicroEmission hotmelts from Henkel offer improved occupational safety, since they release only a minimal amount of harmful substances when used. After years of development work, Henkel's Purmelt team has now succeeded in reducing the proportion of monomer isocyanates in the adhesive to less than 0.1 percent, thus minimizing emissions at the workplace, without compromising bonding performance. Purmelt MicroEmission hotmelts are classified as non-hazardous and are therefore exempt from hazard labeling. As a result, numerous adhesive processing sectors can now offer their staff safer working conditions while simultaneously reducing their expenditures for fume extraction equipment and air quality controls.