Clariant Innovation Center Cornerstone Laid at Industriepark Höchst for 500 New Research Jobs
- Christian Kohlpaintner: 100 million euros to provide optimal conditions for sustainable, successful research
Muttenz / Frankfurt, February 29, 2012 - The cornerstone of the new 100-million-euro Clariant Innovation Center was officially laid during a ceremony today at the Industriepark Höchst in Frankfurt. Attending the event were Hessen State Finance Minister Thomas Schäfer; Clariant Executive Committee member Christian Kohlpaintner; and Ulrich Ott, Managing Director of the company’s operations in Germany. Over the next several months, the Swiss specialty chemicals corporation will build an innovative office and laboratory facility of roughly 36,000 square meters (approximately 387,000 square feet) on a site that will soon provide jobs for some 500 researchers. The concept for the building, which aims to offer an optimal working environment through its open architectural design, was developed by the Düsseldorf-based architectural firm of HPP.
“Innovation is the foundation of the future, both for individual companies and society as a whole,” said Christian Kohlpaintner, whose responsibilities at Clariant include Research and Development. “I hope that the bright and transparent rooms will not only be the birthplace for new ideas that flourish and grow, but also provide the environment for an inspiring exchange between our researchers and technicians, as well as with their partners in the fields of science and industry,” added Dr. Kohlpaintner. He also emphasized Clariant’s targeted research policy: “We want to develop products and procedures that yield sustainable benefits and represent true progress.” He underscored that a major focus in the future will be on megatrends, such as functional materials, energy efficiency and renewable raw materials.
Quoting scientist and statesman Benjamin Franklin, Dr. Thomas Schäfer stated: “Investing in knowledge still pays the highest return.” He said that the construction of a research and innovation center would benefit all parties involved: the company, whose future is visibly taking shape; the industry park, which will strengthen its reputation as knowledge and ideas factory; and the region and State of Hessen, which will gain from the new jobs for highly qualified professionals.
“Investments of this kind and magnitude also demonstrate the courage, determination and willingness to shape the future,” said Dr. Schäfer.
Clariant’s global research activities will, in the future, be centered in Höchst, Germany. “We have selected Höchst as the location because it already provides a maximum of research and development resources, including technical schools and institutions of higher education,” explained Dr. Ulrich Ott. “In addition, Frankfurt offers a number of infrastructure advantages, such as an attractive industry park, the proximity to various business partners and universities, as well as excellent connections to the transportation network.”
The building design by the HPP architectural firm of Düsseldorf, Germany, is based on an open concept for an office and laboratory building. This approach is meant to enhance chemical research and development of application-specific laboratories and technical marketing functions for different business units. In addition to Analytics, the new facility will be the location of the New Business Development and Intellectual Property Management units as well as the Patent department. An objective of bringing together different disciplines is to enhance Clariant’s R&D pipeline and further improve the company’s innovation capabilities.
The cornerstone also symbolizes this. Right next to it is a sealed stainless steel tube containing various legal and other documents – building certificate, construction permit, construction drawings and a local newspaper – as well as a three-dimensional model of the DEPAL molecule that was also driven into the ground. DEPAL is the acronym for diethyl phosphinic acid aluminum salt – the chemical name of Clariant’s successful flame retardant, which is the basis for the company’s Exolit® OP products. The molecule will remain visible to the visiting public under a glass panel in the floor of the building.
This press release is also available as a PDF under: www.clariant.com/corp/internet.nsf/directname/foundation.
As of 1 March 2012, at approximately 10:00 a.m., pictures of the cornerstone-laying ceremony and the Clariant Innovation Center will also be available under the following link: www.clariant.com/corp/internet.nsf/directname/foundation.
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Clariant is an internationally active specialty chemical company, based in Muttenz near Basel. The group owns over 100 companies worldwide and employed 22 149 employees on December 31, 2011. In the financial year 2011, Clariant produced a turnover of CHF 7.4 billion. Clariant is divided into eleven business units: Additives; Catalysis & Energy; Emulsions, Detergents & Intermediates; Functional Materials; Industrial & Consumer Specialties; Leather Services; Masterbatches; Oil & Mining Services; Paper Specialties; Pigments; Textile Chemicals.
Clariant focuses on creating value by investing in future profitable and sustainable growth, which is based on four strategic pillars: Improving profitability, innovation as well as research and development, dynamic growth in emerging markets, and optimizing the portfolio through complementary acquisitions or divestments.
Germany is the company’s largest research and production platform worldwide. Altogether, some 5.300 people work here for the German Clariant companies, among which notably Clariant Produkte (Deutschland) GmbH. At 16 manufacturing sites in Germany, Clariant produces a wide range of specialty chemicals covering several thousand different products. These chemicals play an essential role in the customers’ manufacturing and processing methods and/or provide their end products with value-added properties.
For further information on innovations at Clariant please visit: www.innovation.clariant.com.
Josina van der Velden
Bergen op Zoom
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