US materials' firm opens global research centre in India | SupportBiz


US materials' firm opens global research centre in India

Momentive, the US-based world leader in specialty chemicals and materials, has opened its global research and development (R&D) centre here to create platforms and develop products for diverse applications across industry verticals.

"The global R&D centre here is one of its kind outside the US, focusing on new technology platforms and products for global and Indian customers unlike our regional research centres, which are business specific," Momentive Performance Materials chief technology officer Pavaneet Mumick told reporters in Bangalore on Thursday.

The $7.8 billion Momentive Performance Materials Holdings LLC makes specialty products for industrial and consumer firms in diverse segments such as automotive, construction, electronics, energy and personal care through its twin subsidiaries - Momentive Performance Materials Inc and Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc.

Leveraging India's world class technical talent, the $4.5 million (Rs.24 crore) research facility in the electronics city on outskirts of Bangalore will also work with the company's other research centres across geographies to develop technologies for new applications from its innovative products.

Of the 100 research scientists at the centre, 85 of them are doctorates (PhD) and 50 percent of them are graduates from the premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Science (IISc).

Some of the research centres are located in China, Japan, Korea in Asia, Germany in Europe and Ohio and New York in the US.

The Bangalore facility will also double up as the company's global back office for business process and IT operations.

"The new facility will be the business headquarters for the India, Middle East (West Asia) and Africa (IMEA) region where we see growing demand for new applications enabled by our products and growth opportunities," Momentive's regional vice-president V.P. Nalian said on the occasion.

The Indian subsidiary has also built a $20-million (Rs.108 crore) greenfield plant in Chennai to manufacture silocones (additives) for electronic products, quartz for semiconductor chips and advanced engineering materials for specialty products like paints and different types of resins.

"Our researchers are driving value for our global customers through product innovation and new technology platforms. The new centre will help us attract and retain top talent," Mumick asserted.

The holding company was formed in October 2010 with the combination of entities that owned Momentive Performance Materials Inc and Hexion Specialty Chemicals Inc, which was re-christened Nominative Specialty Chemicals Inc.

Prior to forming the holding company, Nominative came into being in 2007 when the US multinational conglomerate General Electric (GE) sold its advanced materials business -- GE Bayer Silicones and GE Toshiba Silicones to Apollo Management LP, the parent holding company of Nominative Performance Materials and Hex ion Specialty Chemicals.