Dow Corning unveils Solar Energy Exploration & Development Center plans

Dow Corning unveiled plans for a $13 million investment in a Solar Energy Exploration & Development Center (SEED) at its European headquarters in Seneffe, Belgium.

(September 28, 2010) Dow Corning unveiled plans for a $13 million investment in a Solar Energy Exploration & Development Center (SEED) at its European headquarters in Seneffe, Belgium. This investment expands the company’s ability to innovate with a broad range of European customers using its silicon-based materials while also enhancing the company’s European-based solar energy research and development capabilities.

The investment in SEED includes two new buildings that will complement the company’s existing Business & Technology Center in Seneffe, increasing capabilities and capacity for research and development in Europe.

One facility, a Synthesis Technology Center for the European area, will house laboratories and chemists focused on increasing Dow Corning’s innovation portfolio of silicon-based materials and boosting research in sustainable technologies. A second facility, a European Solar Solutions Application Center, will seek to advance the company’s technology for use in photovoltaic cells. Construction is expected to begin later in 2010.

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Following a ceremony, which included the unveiling of the investment plans, political representatives and business leaders shared their views on the role of innovation as a key driver for economic growth in the 21st Century in Belgium and Europe. The dialogue created an opportunity for participants to present their opinion on ‘Plan Marshall 2.Vert’ (Marshall Plan 2.Green) launched by the Walloon government in September 2009 to boost Wallonia’s economic growth, including the sixth competitiveness pole announced by Jean-Claude Marcourt, Vice-President and Minister of Economy of the Walloon region, earlier this year as well as the upcoming innovation strategy and the revision of the EU’s industrial policy.

“Dow Corning supports many of the tenets of these actions, as we believe a focus on renewable energy and sustainable innovation will bring economic and environmental benefits to Belgium as well as the entire EU.“ said Jean-Marc Gilson, Dow Corning EVP and GM of Specialty Chemicals.

The Walloon region has granted Dow Corning € 7.5 million of subsidies to help the company with its  investments.   

Isabelle Durant, Member of the European Parliament for the Wallonia region, said: “Wallonia is keen to play its role in increasing Europe’s innovation capacity and cutting carbon emissions – two of the most important common goals of the European Union. We are delighted, therefore, that Dow Corning has chosen our region for its new solar exploration center — a project that both confirms our status as a hub for innovation and creates jobs for the community in the process>”

Dow Corning provides silicones and silicon-based technology. www.dowcorning.com

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