BASF expanding Asia innovation campus

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BASF Researchers at the innovation campus test a polyurethane block foam process.

BASF SE has broken ground on a 90-million-euro ($129 million) expansion of its Asia Pacific innovation campus at its Pudong site in Shanghai.

The second phase of the innovation campus, scheduled to be completed by end of 2015, consists of an additional regional R&D building and auxiliary facilities, the company said.

The expansion will strengthen the regional research capabilities, focusing mainly on advanced materials and systems, as well as adding new areas such as formulations and chemical process and engineering. Targeted industries include automotive, construction, health and nutrition, and home and personal care.

Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF calls the Pudong site its most important R&D center in the region and expects it to become one of its largest R&D sites outside Germany.

Since it opened 18 months ago, the first phase of the center has focused on finding ways to address market needs in the region. One of its products is a world-first coextrudable Ultradur polybutylene terephthalate for reinforcing thermally insulated PVC window profiles, co-developed with Dalian Shide Group.

In Asia, BASF also operates R&D centers in Japan, Singapore and South Korea, and the company is planning a site in India.

BASF increased its global spending on research and development to 1.8 billion euros in 2013, with around 10,650 scientists and researchers working on 3,000 research projects.