Dow Corning has announced that it will invest up to $13 million (USD) to expand its European capabilities to innovate with silicon-basedmaterials and technologies.
The investment in a Solar EnergyExploration / Development Center (SEED) includes two new buildings thatwill complement the company’s Business & Technology Center inSeneffe, Belgium. One building, a Synthesis Technology Center for theEuropean area, will house laboratories and chemists focusing oninnovations in silicon-based materials. The other, the European SolarSolutions Application Center, will focus on advancing the company’stechnology for use in photovoltaic cells. Construction is expected tobegin later in 2010.
Staffed by scientists and, engineers, theSynthesis Technology Center will be designed to support the explorationof new materials and develop new innovative solutions in industries such as construction, beauty and personal care, coating, plastics &composites, automotive & tire, healthcare, and electronics.
A specific goal of the center is to shorten the innovation cycle to turnmarket opportunities and new ideas into profitable solutions forcustomers and for Dow Corning.
"This investment increases DowCorning’s innovation capabilities in Belgium, allowing us to expand ourEuropean research and innovation portfolio and continue to add to ourscientific and technical expertise," said Gregg Zank, Dow Corning senior vice president and Chief Technology Officer.
"The new facilitywill open new possibilities for materials development and take ourapplication research to the next level, enabling closer collaboration to better meet the needs of our customers."
In addition to thecompany’s three current solar application centers in the United Statesand Korea, the European Solar Application Center will enable engineersand scientists to work with customers to develop, evaluate, and testsilicon-based materials solutions used to make solar cells.
"Europe has been a pioneer for the solar industry and Dow Corning is excited to strengthen its capabilities in the European Union, where many of ourcustomers and innovation collaborators in the scientific community arelocated," said Eric Peeters, Dow Corning Business vice president Solar.
"This investment confirms our intention to be an active, eager partner withresearchers, producers and governments and demonstrates our commitmentto help solar become a competitive and sustainable energy optionglobally."