Air Liquide chairman and CEO Benoît Potier has recently inaugurated the Group's new US Research and Technology Centre in Newark, Delaware.

The Centre will be called the $quot;Delaware Research and Technology Centre$quot; (DRTC)and is located on a 22-hectare site south of Philadelphia. The centre brings together in a single location the researchers of the previous Chicago Research Centre, the experts of MEDAL (a subsidiary which produces membranes for gas separation and purification), the engineers of the Advanced Technologies Division in the USA (ALATUS) and the teams of the SEPPIC subsidiary (specialty chemicals).

There are thus over 80 researchers of 14 different nationalities and with very diverse training backgrounds working on this new campus. Benoît Potier, Air Liquide chairman and CEO, stated, $quot;In 2006, Air Liquide devoted more than 200 million euros to innovation, research and technology, and files on average one patent per day each year.
With the establishment of the Delaware Research and Technology Centre in North America, we have today in total, in our main geographic zones, nearly 3,000 experts dedicated to three major themes: sustainable development, healthcare and technology.$quot;

Air Liquide has invested $35m in the construction of this center, to supplement the Group's innovation teams in Europe and Asia. The DRTC will devote itself to 12 areas of research: from gas production to applications in electronics, healthcare and food processing, and in particular clean energy.

With more than 20 percent of the Group's 2006 revenues generated in North America, a very innovation-oriented market, the DRTC aims to double Air Liquide's research effort in the United States and should eventually have 150 staff members.

Mr Potier explained further, $quot;This centre will enable us to profit from stronger synergies between our experts, our customers and the academic world. It will also encourage mobility of the Group's men and women, as well as ideas.$quot;