Three questions to Denis Bortzmeyer, CRDC Manager
In 2013, Arkema group opened its tenth R&D Center in China, on its Changhsu platform. Denis Bortzmeyer, its Manager, states the importance of the Group’s innovation policy and explains how this new location is a key issue for the growth strategy of Arkema Group in Asia.
What does this new R&D center represent for Arkema?
Denis Bortzmeyer > First, Arkema is a very innovation-driven company: we spend more than 200 millions of euros every year on R&D. For us, innovation goes hand in hand with business development.
Secondly, China is central to the Group's growth strategy. Let's recall that Asia represented around 10% of our sales in 2006 when Arkema became an independent company; the figure is now more than 24%. Clearly it had become necessary to bring to our customers in Asia the technical and scientific support that is a cornerstone of the Group.
What will CRDC bring to Chinese and Asian clients?
Denis Bortzmeyer > It will help us to serve customers better and faster. Specifically, it will speed up the development of local products and solutions for customers in China and South-East Asia, in fast-growing markets such as batteries, photovoltaics, electronics, packaging, automotive, cable, sports and paint.
It will also develop the most modern and innovative production technologies for our current and future Asian plants in full compliance with environmental protection.
It is important to underline that this Research Center will also reinforce collaborations that Arkema group has already established with the Changshu and Shanghai Universities, and strengthen the links with the Chinese scientific community at large, both public and private.
What really makes the value of a place like CRDC?
Denis Bortzmeyer > I would say that we have fitted the CRDC with the most up-to-date equipment, for chemical analysis, polymer processing, material testing, etc.
But the most important contribution to our innovation strength, in my opinion, is our scientists. We have recruited from across China highly educated people from Xinjiang, Liaoning or Hebei, with a fair amount of them partly educated in France or in the US. This is proof that our Research Center is a very attractive place for young and talented people. This multi-cultural team is a great asset that will significantly facilitate collaborations between CRDC and Arkema’s other research centers. All in all, we have a highly talented team, which I am very proud of !