BASF opens materials R&D center

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BASF opens materials R&D center

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Vice president of BASF Asia-Pacific’s electronic materials, Boris Jenniches, left, speaks on Wednesday at a press conference in Seoul. Provided by the company

BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, aims to speed up its growth in Asia with its regional Electronic Materials R&D Center at Sungkyunkwan University’s (SKKU) Suwon Campus in Gyeonggi, which opens today.

The new facility is BASF’s first R&D base in Korea. The Germany-based company said that the center will be a hub for reliable solutions to enable growth in the electronics industry.

“The new R&D center in Korea is another important milestone for us,” Shin Woo-sung, BASF Korea managing director, said at a press conference yesterday in Seoul. “The field of electronic materials requires close collaboration with customers to provide tailored solutions, particularly in the display and semiconductor industries.”

The opening of the center is the latest move by BASF to solidify its presence in Korea. It established regional headquarters for its electronic materials business in Seoul last year and transferred the global sales office for its organic electronics business from Ludwigshafen, Germany, to Seoul in February.

BASF said that it chose to set up the R&D center in Korea because the country is a leader in the electronics industry.

“Innovation together with our partners in Asia is our motto,” said Boris Jenniches, vice president of electronic materials at BASF Asia-Pacific.

BASF did not reveal exactly how much it had invested in the center, but Jenniches said it cost the company in the range of “two-digit million euros.”

The new R&D facility will focus on developing organic thin film transistors for future electronic devices like flexible or even rolling displays, fluorescent and phosphorescent materials for lighting, and displays with better color quality and lower power consumption.

About 40 researchers from BASF will work at the new R&D center along with SKKU personnel and visiting researchers.

BASF said that although SKKU is supported by Samsung, BASF will not have special deals with the company.

“We know the connection between SKKU and Samsung, but we have already established a relationship to cooperate with various companies,” said Stefan Becker, a division head at BASF. “We keep the information confidential so that our customers don’t have to worry about leaks.”

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]



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