Solvay and the EWHA Womans Universityin Seoul, Korea, have signed an agreement under which the company will locate its Korean Research, Development and Technology (RDT) Centre and Headquarters of Solvay's Global Business Unit Special Chemicals on the EWHA University Campus in Seoul. EWHA is the largest women's university in the world and it can capitalize on a strong international research network with universities and research institutes in the USA, France (CNRS), Germany (Max Plank Institut), Japan (National Institute for Materials Science) and Russia (Academy of Science).
Solvay will invest EUR 13 million in the RDT Center, which will enhance both research collaboration with the academic world as well as customer intimacy, and EUR 3.8 million in a five year collaborative research fellowship with EWHA. The RDT Center will be mainly focused on high-growth markets such as electronics, lithium ion batteries and photovoltaic cells, markets for which Solvay produces high value-added specialty polymersand chemicals. Solvay's researchers will conduct chemical research in close cooperation with EWHA's Centre for intelligent nano-biomaterials, EWHA's Institute of nano-biotechnology and EWHA's New & Renewable Energy Research Centre, which counts 5 groups working on lithium batteries (cathode, anode and electrolyte), electro chromic systems and solar cells.
It is the first time a non-Korean private company strikes such an agreement with a Korean University. The agreement complements Solvay's R&D efforts in Korea. Solvay is investing KRW 20 billion (EUR 13 million) in Korean technology venture capital fundKorea Advanced Materials Fund, which takes participations in start-ups with promising technologies and focuses on renewable energy, printed electronics, clean technologies & green chemistry.
“The Solvay R&D Center at EWHA Womans University will be the first and major global research facility boasting the largest scale in all of Korea. This joint agreement between EWHA and Solvay will once again bring into the spotlight EWHA’s competitive edge in international research. Solvay is a global corporation that has supported numerous world-renowned scientists including Marie Curie, while EWHA is an educational institution dedicated to women, with a long history of nurturing the dreams of women scientists. I anticipate that the collaboration between the two institutions will create great synergy. It is my dream that a successor to Marie Curie will come out of EWHA through this joint venture,” says Dr. Sun-Uk Kim, EWHA President.
“This agreement will enhance Solvay's activities in Korea, a country that has developed an impressive knowhow and is conveniently located in the heart of a dynamic region. By teaming with such a well-established and prestigious university as EWHA, we will intensify our R&D in close co-operation with the academic world. Our RDT Center in Seoul will focus on developing products which will help the world to overcome the challenges of the 21st century,” says Christian Jourquin, Solvay's Chief Executive Officer.
EWHA WOMANS UNIVERSITYis one of the Korea’s most prestigious universities. As a research-oriented university, EWHA has world-class researchers producing invaluable research outcomes which are supported by the strong research infrastructure. EWHA is now responsible for many female firsts in Korean history, contributing to the fields of science, medicine, politics, business, media, social welfare, NGO, culture, and arts. EWHA has 11 colleges (65 majors) and 15 graduate schools (MA and Ph.D) and 25,000 enrolled students. Details are available at www.ewha.ac.kr/english.