Clariant to invest over €50m in innovation centre

Frankfurt R&D to serve the world

Swiss speciality chemicals company Clariant says it’s planning to expand global R&D activities at its Frankfurt, Germany site. The new, 23,000 sqm innovation centre represents an investment of over €50m and is due to be completed by the end of 2012. It will be able to accommodate 500 people in what the company describes as an innovative office and laboratory concept.

The idea is that the new innovation centre will cooperate closely with all the R&D satellite sites in Gendorf (near Munich, Germany) as well as Lamotte (France) and Suzano (Brazil) and 40 application centres worldwide. Clariant says it has invested over CHF130m in R&D in 2010.

“After the completion of the successful restructuring, innovation in combination with an increased strategic focus on profitable growth will be a key cornerstone for our company,” said Clariant AG ceo, Hariolf Kottmann. “The goal is to establish Clariant as an innovation leader in the field of specialty chemicals within the next few years.”

The new innovation centre will feature an open architectural office and laboratory concept combining chemical R&D activities, which belong to the group technology services structure, with application oriented laboratories and technical marketing functions of several business units. In addition to chemical analysis, the new building will house new business development and intellectual property management units as well as the patent department. The company belives combining different disciplines will enable it to further expand its R&D pipeline and strengthen its innovation power.

“Our product innovations will also address current megatrends such as renewable energies, energy efficiency and renewable resources with a view to opening up new business opportunities beyond current markets. A market and customer focus will remain at the centre of our activities,” said Christian Kohlpaintner, executive committee member Clariant Ltd and responsible for R&D. The open architectural concept is designed to foster close cooperation with customers, the academic world, industry partners and representatives from other target groups.

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