Company History

Rolic is all about unique, cutting-edge Swiss technology. That phrase epitomizes the vision of the company’s founder, Karl Nicklaus, who is the driving force behind this globally active technology company based in Allschwil.

The story of Rolic begins with the dawn of the liquid crystal display era in 1970, long before Rolic was established as an independent company. At that time it was still part of Swiss health care company F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., which registered a patent for the twisted nematic cell. Driven by an intellectual curiosity that was never satisfied, the researchers developed a special technology for the spatial alignment of molecules: LCMO.

Karl Nicklaus, an entrepreneur and investor, became aware of the technology in 1996 and was immediately fascinated by the drive and determination of the researchers to achieve a technological quantum leap. The same year, he took advantage of a propitious moment to purchase Rolic from F. Hoffmann-La Roche.

Karl Nicklaus decided to build the company up on a solid and lasting basis on the strength of this forward-thinking technology. Thanks to his unshakeable belief in its success, his tenacity, substantial investment and the ability to handle setbacks, he gave the young company the chance to develop and grow. Karl Nicklaus had the necessary character and capital, which he had accumulated through hard work and skill as an innovative entrepreneur unafraid to take risks.

To take the technology forward to the stage where it would be commercially viable, Karl Nicklaus started by investing in modern laboratories and technological equipment and in additional skilled employees. Brilliant physicists, chemists and materials scientists all came together in Allschwil. Due to a high level of interest in Rolic’s technology worldwide, the scientists found themselves working directly with the technology leaders of the LCD and security industries right from the start. To assist them in their work, they had state-of-the-art equipment.  

Although on several occasions the company got very close to launching products on the market, in practice it took longer to accomplish than originally envisioned. However, thanks to their untiring and persistent striving for success, Rolic’s employees and Karl Nicklaus himself overcame all the hurdles. It was at this time that Rolic’s distinctive ethos took root – the unshakeable belief in market success thanks to IQ – innovation and quality.

Courage and tenacity paid off. After many years of intense research and development efforts, Rolic has a wide patent portfolio and a mature technology for producing faster, higher-contrast energy-saving LCD screens, including 3D effects as well. A new industry standard was born.

In 2003, the company achieved its first market breakthrough. With its technology, Rolic acted as a pioneer in the mass production of 3D applications. The research company thus transformed itself into a technology producer. In 2006, Rolic launched this technology for projection systems and, two years later, for optical security elements.

Since 2013 an affiliate in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) supports Rolic with development of procedural solutions. Another Rolic company was established in 2014 in Shanghai (China) with the aim to manufacture Rolic products with proximity to the customers in the Asian region.

Since February 2017 Rolic is a part of the worldwide leading chemistry company BASF. The integration of Rolic to the BASF group significantly enhances Rolic’s market position and strengthened its product and technology basis. Rolics’s complementary ready-to-use products reveal strong growth in the display, security and optical film markets.

Today, one of the world’s leading LCD manufacturers uses Rolic´s energy-efficient LCMO technology in the world’s largest and most modern LCD production facility. In addition, top manufacturers of optical security elements with high-resolution motifs and designs rely on forgery-proof technology from Rolic for banknotes, credit cards, passports or brand logos on packaging. In both of these market segments, Rolic has access to high growth potential.

Rolic’s highly skilled and motivated employees from ten countries are proud of their outstanding technical innovations. All of them work towards a shared goal: for Rolic to become the undisputed technology leader worldwide in the dynamic LCD and document security market, and to further develop photoalignment technology for new markets and the toughest quality standards.

These company goals are based on a deeply rooted and lived mission, which is to offer Rolic's customers a distinct competitive edge in quality and application, while giving consumers the highest benefits, security and energy efficiency possible.

This is all due to Rolic’s unique, cutting-edge Swiss technology.

> Rolic Eindhoven, NL
> Rolic Shanghai, CN

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