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Bayer opens innovation hub for Asia Pacific

News International-French

22 May 2013

Bayer MaterialScience has inaugurated a regional innovation hub for Asia Pacific in Shanghai, China. More than 200 experts will develop novel ideas for the use of high-performance plastics, foams and coatings in key sectors such as mobility, construction, IT and renewable energy.

They will work in close cooperation with external scientists, suppliers and customers. The new hub, which is located at the company’s existing Polymer Research & Development Center (PRDC), will provide support to other innovation facilities across the region.

“Our regional innovation hub will become a significant contributor to our overall global innovation network,” said Patrick Thomas, CEO of Bayer MaterialScience. “It should become indispensable in terms of competencies, projects and products. We are aiming to reach a global innovation footprint for Bayer and its partners by exporting China-made technology to the rest of the world by 2020.”

International teams
The new center is expected to attract local talent and enhance knowledge-building and transfer. Employees will work in global cross-boundary teams, including colleagues at R&D centers in Europe and North America. The innovation hub will be supported by a network of production sites in Asia Pacific, the biggest ones being in Shanghai, Map Ta Phut (Thailand) and Niihama (Japan).

Asia Pacific is among the strongest growth regions for Bayer MaterialScience and accounted for more than one quarter of total sales in 2012. This growth is mainly driven by a rising number of infrastructure projects and increasing demand for cars, electronic consumer goods and new housing from an emerging middle class. Urbanization further drives the construction and mobility sectors. At the same time, the growing demand for energy prompts governments to look at sustainable sources such as wind and solar energy.

Picture: Opening the innovation hub in Shanghai: Patrick Thomas, CEO of Bayer MaterialScience (left), with officials from local authorities and other institutions as well as representatives from the Bayer Group. (From left: Li Yongwu, Chairman of China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation; Johannes M. Dietsch, Chairman of Bayer (China) Limited; Dr. Zhu Xiaoming, President & Professor of Management, China Europe International Business School; Zhu Jiajun, Deputy Governor of Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Government; Dr. Ulrich Liman, Senior Vice President, Research & Development, APAC, Site Manager of Polymer Research & Development Center, Bayer MaterialScience)

About Bayer MaterialScience:
With 2012 sales of EUR 11.5 billion, Bayer MaterialScience is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. At the end of 2012, Bayer MaterialScience had 30 production sites and employed approximately 14,500 people around the globe.