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Elkem Silicones to expand its R&I Center in China

Elkem Silicones to expand its R&I Center in China to tailor-make solutions for the Asia-Pacific market

SHANGHAI, April 27th, 2022 — Elkem, the world’s leading integrated silicone manufacturer, announced today a plan to invest more than 100 million yuan to enlarge its Flagship Asia-Pacific R&I Center in Shanghai. This expansion represents one of the company’s latest efforts to further increase its investment in China.

It will allow Elkem to upgrade its research system and hardware in China while attracting outstanding R&I talents from around the world. All of this helps to enhance the materials company’s ability to provide more efficient, flexible and convenient product development and application support for China and other Asia-Pacific markets. With the upgraded center, Elkem will be in a better position to meet the growing demand for advanced silicone products, technologies and solutions in e-mobility, healthcare, personal care, textiles, leather, 3D printing and other industries.

The center will be created to help Elkem’s customers in the Asia-Pacific region improve their innovation capabilities, accelerate the development of new products and applications and seize emerging opportunities. With deep insight into market needs, Elkem looks to consistently bring best-in-class innovative technologies and tailored products and services to customers in China and the broader Asia Pacific region. The flagship R&I center will house several application centers tasked with addressing the development trends in key industries including:

  • E-Mobility Application Center: Developing high-performance silicone products for electrical and electronic components of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles (H&EVs) to improve battery safety and battery life and to promote electric and lightweight automobiles.
  • Bioscience Application Center: Developing silicone products for medical devices, biopharmaceuticals, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics for use in hair care and skin care and color cosmetics to meet increasingly stringent regulatory requirements and sustainability trends.
  • Coating Application Center: Purchasing silicone coating machines; developing release agents and pressure-sensitive adhesives for self-adhensives, together with automotive airbag coating materials to meet the increasing demand for silicone products in the technical textile market.
  • 3D Printing Application Center: Expanding the use of silicone products, customizing solutions to specific needs, and providing new product designs, manufacturing and supply methods for smart manufacturing.

Richard Li, R&I Director of Elkem Silicones Asia Pacific, said: “We will also jointly carry out cooperation projects with universities and external research institutes, create synergies with Elkem Xinghuo Silicones, the R&I centers in Beijing and Zhongshan, and strengthen exchanges, complementarity and integration with other R&I centers in Europe, North America, South America and Asia with a mind to helping customers in the Asia-Pacific region unleash their innovation potential.”

It is worth mentioning that the precursor to the Asia-Pacific R&I Center was established in 2009. It won the titles of Shanghai Enterprise Technology Center, Shanghai Foreign-funded R&I Center, Shanghai High-tech Enterprise, and Little Science and Technology Giant. Over the past decade, it has obtained a number of silicone research and application achievements, including providing technical support for a super factory established by a world-leading EV company in Shanghai and providing long-term protection for the batteries of more than one million EVs. Its automated inline dispensing solution revolutionizes the way the battery pack is traditionally sealed. It is also the first multinational company to produce dental impression materials in China.

Mr. Frederic Jacquin, Senior Vice President of Elkem Silicones, stated: “We are convinced that investing in research and development is the best way to secure our future growth. As part of our global specialization strategy, the establishment of our flagship R&I center in the Asia Pacific region is also a journey supporting the long-term growth for specialites in China and the entire Asia Pacific market. With an excellent regional service network and a global network of R&I facilities, we will strive to help our customers improve their competitiveness in innovation and accelerate their growth performance. This is how we deliver on our long-term commitment to our customers.

The newly upgraded R&I center is located in Shanghai Xinzhuang Industrial Zone. The first phase of the project covers an area of about 6,600 square meters. Construction work on the center is due to start in the third quarter of this year and will be completed in the first quarter of 2023. It is expected that R&I personnel at the center will double in the next three years.

Elkem’s commitment to Sustainability

All known technological solutions for the green transition require advanced materials. Silicones, silicon and carbon solutions are critical enablers and this is one of the most significant ways for Elkem to have an impact; by ensuring durable and sustainable supply to the green transition towards a low carbon future.

Elkem is committed to take a leading position in reducing the impacts of climate change. Elkem's ambition is to reduce the company's fossil CO₂ footprint by increasing renewable carbon sources and developing innovative production processes. With a fully integrated value chain from upstream silicon to silicones and their downstream uses, it is vital to manage the environmental production footprint.

Elkem continues to prove leadership in sustainability and climate reporting transparency confirmed with our Platinum rating on Ecovadis and A- rating on CDP Climate.

Read more about sustainability

About Elkem ASA

Elkem is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced material solutions shaping a better and more sustainable future. The company develops silicones, silicon products and carbon solutions by combining natural raw materials, renewable energy and human ingenuity. Elkem helps its customers create and improve essential innovations like electric mobility, digital communications, health and personal care as well as smarter and more sustainable cities. With a strong track record since 1904, its global team of more than 7,000 people has a joint commitment to stakeholders: Delivering your potential. In 2021, Elkem was rated among the world’s leading companies on climate, with a roadmap towards net zero emissions by 2050, and achieved an operating income of NOK 33.7 billion. Elkem is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (ticker: ELK).

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