Air Liquide broke ground on its new Research and Technology Center, the Shanghai Research & Technology Center (SRTC), located in the industrial park of Xinzhuang, in the Minhang district of Shanghai, China.

This new center will ultimately house 200 highly skilled employees – who include researchers, experts in customer applications, and business development teams – to contribute to the acceleration of the group’s innovation in Asia-Pacific. The scientific experts of Air Liquide will be working in several different areas of research, such as energy efficiency, technologies designed to reduce industrial emissions of CO2, water treatment, and processes for preserving and freezing food. The center will be operational at the end of 2015.

This new Air Liquide Research and Technology Center bolsters the group’s research capabilities in Japan and South Korea. It will be connected with the innovation teams based in Europe and in North America. It will first focus on bringing to market innovative solutions adapted to the usages of Chinese customers and consumers. It will leverage the main innovation ecosystems in China, building on existing partnerships with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, as well as Zhejiang University and the research institutes affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Covering 12,000 square meters, the center represents an investment of nearly €25m. It will house laboratories as well as large pilot platforms with equipment for designing and testing technologies in industrial-scale conditions for the Group’s customers. The building is designed in compliance with LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design), a global standard in sustainable building that factors in the efficient water management, good use of energy, and the reduction of emissions.

François Darchis, member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee supervising Innovation, commented, “This new center illustrates the group’s commitment to pursuing its growth in China and to developing partnerships with its customers, as well as with the research laboratories and universities in Asia. The Shanghai hub thus reinforces its capacity to attract talent in Asia and to seize new growth opportunities through innovation.”