Air Liquide Laboratories will celebrate its 20th anniversary tomorrow.

This Air Liquide research and development (R&D) centre is located in Tsukuba (Japan), 50 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, in a scientific estate which houses about fifty high-technology centres.

Created in 1986 to support development in the semi-conductor industry in the Asian market, Air Liquide Laboratories has enabled the group to develop its product range in high purity gases, specialty gases, gas delivery equipment and technologies required in the electronics sector.

Research conducted has enabled recent development of the ALOHA range of advanced precursors, new molecules essential in the manufacture of latest generation chips, and JUMBO, the specialty high purity gas solution for very large volumes used in the manufacture of flat screens.

François Jackow, vice-president Research & Advanced Technologies said: \\$quot;We are delighted to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the presence of our research in Japan. Working in close partnership with our customers, we are at the leading edge of the extremely dynamic electronics markets.

'Our Tsukuba centre also has leverage on research activities in Japan, a country, which is a technological leader, with almost 20 per cent of world R&D efforts. It is also a genuine platform of innovation serving expanding Asian markets.'

Air Liquide Laboratories is one of eight research centres in the Air Liquide group. Group R&D, organized in a network to develop a high level of expertise, includes 550 researchers from 25 different nationalities. With a budget in 2005 of 165 million euros devoted to innovation, Air Liquide files an average of one patent per day.