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Solvay announces plans to build a multipurpose microbiology lab in Europe

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The new lab in Lyon, France, will increase the company’s biodegradability and toxicity testing capabilities, enabling innovation in consumer applications while improving customer service and expanding the Group’s expertise. 

Solvay is investing in the construction of a world class microbiology lab at its site in Lyon, France. Expected to be operational by late 2024, the lab will enable the Group to better respond to customer needs by improving testing efficiency, building expertise, and accelerating efforts to develop more environmentally-friendly and safe products through its Renewable Materials and Biotechnology growth platform.

As a leading supplier of specialty ingredients that improve performance in the agrochemical, and home and personal care markets, Solvay is already actively engaged in addressing the key challenges faced by these markets in delivering zero-pollution products. The new lab will enable the Group to accelerate its efforts in this area, building new competencies and capabilities, as well as strengthening Solvay’s ability to develop breakthroughs in biodegradable-by-design solutions.

Thomas Canova


“Our new microbiology lab will strengthen our ability to develop safe and biodegradable ingredients that leave no trace in the environment,” said Thomas Canova, Head of Solvay’s Renewable Materials and Biotechnology growth platform. “With the ability to carry out a greater variety of test methods and increased capacity, precision and efficiency, we will be able to reduce our development cycles for new sustainable products in line with customer needs.”

When operational, the Group expects a significant increase in the number of samples it is able to assess each year, with product time to market decreasing considerably as a consequence. The company will also integrate digital approaches to capitalize on end of life data obtained by the laboratory, accelerating future product development.

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 22,000 employees in 61 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet roadmap crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering a better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and delivered net sales of €13.4 billion in 2022. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (SOLB). Learn more at