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BASF expands research laboratory and launches science promotion program in Indiaqrcode

Jan. 29, 2008

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Jan. 29, 2008
BASF is hosting a scientific symposium at its site in Thane near Mumbai, India, to mark the inauguration of a new research laboratory and the foundation of a BASF Indo-German R&D Fund. The “kilogram laboratory” for organic compounds can work on a scale of up to 50 liters. With its flexible synthesis capability between laboratory and production scale, this new laboratory strengthens the world’s leading chemical company’s international research Verbund.

During the inauguration ceremony, BASF also launched its “Indo-German R&D Fund,” which will be used to finance scientific conferences and PhD research at outstanding Indian research institutes in the coming years. The fund has initially been provided with €280,000. The first institution to benefit from a €25,000 donation from the fund is the National Organic Symposium Trust, which conducts top-ranking international conferences in India every year.

“Our research laboratory in Thane gives us local presence in India, which is a vibrant location for science. It is part of BASF’s strategy to expand research capacities at international hotspots and engage in cooperation with excellent local scientists, in addition to strengthening our Ludwigshafen-based research facilities,” said Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, Research Executive Director, whose visit to India highlighted the importance of the commitment.

“The kilogram scale is a new opportunity for us. The expansion in Thane opens up the possibility for organic synthesis on a scale of 10 to 100 kilograms. We do not have that anywhere else in the BASF research Verbund,” explained Dr. Kai Exner, who heads the BASF research facilities in Thane. Current research activities include ionic liquids and precursors for development of energy storage media. This is done in India in alliance with Ludwigshafen-based scientists. Indian experts also optimize catalysts for polyolefin production in association with BASF scientists in the United States.

Exner, who was been based in India since 2005, was responsible for setting up new laboratories for synthesis and the related analytical work. His research group, which is part of BASF’s Chemicals Research & Engineering technology platform, now has a staff of 25. Indian chemists with international experience have been hired as laboratory managers; laboratory employees also have a university degree and top-class expertise in organic chemistry.

The site in Thane allows BASF to participate in the dynamic course of science and industry in India. The employees have built up networks with outstanding research institutes in related areas of science, such as the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai and the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in Pune. NCL’s Professor Ganesh Pandey is involved for instance as a consultant and external mentor on the PhD program.


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