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AkzoNobel Launches China R&D Facility

Thursday, June 2, 2016

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Dutch coatings giant AkzoNobel recently unveiled its new €6.5 million ($7.27 million) technology center in Songjiang, Shanghai.

The company, which employs more than 7,500 people in China—including 500 in its research, development and innovation (RD&I) labs—officially launched the research facility on Thursday (May 26).

Shanghai Technology Center
Photos: AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel recently inaugurated its new $7.27 million technology center in Songjiang, Shanghai; it is the company's largest research facility in China.

The new technology center is meant to contribute to product innovation and the development of next-generation paints, coatings and specialty chemicals, the company said.

"A key strength of our new technology center is that it is focused on all the company's paints and coatings activities," said Roger Jakeman, RD&I director of Decorative Paints.

"This offers major advantages in terms of synergies, efficiency benefits and creating additional value for customers," he added.

Focus on Sustainable Products

An expansion of an existing AkzoNobel research center in Songjiang, the new building is reported to be the manufacturer’s largest research facility in China.

It currently employs 150 scientists, a number expected to rise to 200 by 2020; they are able to make use of the latest in material analysis and performance testing equipment, the company said.

The new site will focus on waterborne and powder-based coatings products, in order to meet the company’s mission to create more “eco-premium solutions,” it added.

Shanghai Technology Center exterior

An expansion of an existing AkzoNobel research center in Songjiang, the new building is reported to be the manufacturer’s largest research facility in China.

"The opening of this new technology center marks another milestone in the company's organic growth strategy, as we continue to drive our innovation agenda and build a resilient portfolio of more sustainable products," said Klaas Kruithof, RD&I director of the Performance Coatings business.

The company invested a total of €347 million ($388.26 million) in research and development during 2015, with a strong focus on sustainability. It seeks to increase revenue from downstream eco-premium solutions to 20 percent of revenue by 2020. In China, it has already reached 30 percent.

Business in China

The manufacturer reported revenue of €1.8 billion (about $2 billion) in China in 2015.

"China accounts for between 10 and 15 percent of global RD&I investment annually,” said Dr. Lin Liangqi, president of AkzoNobel China and managing director of the company's Decorative Paints business in China and North Asia.

“With Asia, and especially China, upgrading its manufacturing industry protocols, innovative solutions with strong sustainability features will be key to future success,” Liangqi added.

“The new center will therefore play a vital role in supporting manufacturing, as well as future markets, such as solar and wind power."


Tagged categories: AkzoNobel; Asia Pacific; China; Coating Materials; Coatings manufacturers; Coatings Technology; Decorative coatings; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Expansion; High-performance coatings; Industry News; Latin America; North America; Research and development; Sustainability

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