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China R&D Investment for ICI Underlines Growth Strategy

Published on 2006-10-24. Author : SpecialChem

ICI has broken ground for the construction of a new research and development centre in China as part of its strategy to 'grow aggressively' in the country and the Asia Pacific region.

The ICI China Technology Centre (CTC) is being built on an existing ICI site at Songjiang near Shanghai, and is scheduled to be fully operational in late 2007 with a staff of about 70.

The CTC will be a single facility to serve ICI's corporate technology needs as well as those of a number of its business units - Adhesives (part of National Starch and Chemical Company), and ICI Paints decorative and packaging coatings. An additional part of the facility will be shared laboratories. It will be an important research hub within ICI's global R&D network and support all ICI businesses, and will lead links with and collaborative work with universities in China.

Construction and equipping the five-storey building - each floor will be 900 sq m - is expected to be completed within two years.

John McAdam, ICI Chief Executive, says: "This investment is fully in line with our strategy and underlines the commitment to grow our business aggressively in the region, with innovation a key driver of profitable growth - a key differentiator for ICI in meeting the needs of our customers in Asia Pacific.

"ICI intends to become a 'most attractive employer' and the CTC will not only benefit ICI, its businesses and its customers, but also provide better career opportunities for potential employees in the region,"says McAdam.

"The CTC is a demonstration of our long-term investment in people capability, with international secondments, scholarships and links with academic institutions in China and elsewhere."

For some years, ICI has offered UK scholarships for Chinese postgraduate students. Six post-doctoral Chinese students are currently working with the company in the UK and a further two will take up scholarships next year.

ICI is one of the world's major specialty products and paints businesses. The Group's principal businesses are National Starch, Quest and ICI Paints, which together account for more than 90% of ICI's sales. Today around a quarter of ICI's sales are made in Asia Pacific, with 30% in Europe and over 40% in the Americas.

ICI currently has seven major facilities in China producing decorative paints, adhesives, electronic materials and flavours and fragrances for the Chinese and other Asia Pacific markets. ICI had sales of more than US$400 million in 2005 in China where it has approximately 2,000 employees.

ICI products today include flavours and starches for the food industry, fragrances and specialty polymers for personal care products, adhesives for the electronics and packaging markets as well as a wide range of decorative coatings and specialty products for domestic use and the construction industry. Listed on both the London and New York Stock Exchanges, ICI is a member of the FTSE100, FTSE4Good and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. ICI has approximately 30,000 employees worldwide and, including the recently divested Uniqema business, had sales in 2005 of 5.8 billion GBP.

Source: ICI


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