Focus on water chemistry and biomass utilization
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Kemira Oyj are opening a new
joint R&D center in São Paulo, Brazil. The R&D center will focus primarily on
water chemistry and biomass utilisation applications. The center will start
operations in the end of 2010.
The new center is a continuum for the Center of Water Efficiency Excellence,
which Kemira initially established together with VTT in Finland. The center in
São Paulo aims to implement the newest water technology research in the
growing South American market. Important focus areas will be biomass,
bioethanol, pulp and applications for the oil and mining industries.
R&D center in São Paulo is the fourth part in Kemira’s R&D center network that
we need for executing our growth strategy. Kemira has been investing in
building a strong technology platform and developing new water chemistry
applications for various industries. A strong presence in emerging markets is
essential for technology transfer and extracting signals from the market. Now
we will have a network capable of conducting focused R&D for the South
American market”, says Harri Kerminen, President and CEO of Kemira.
cooperation round the Center of Water Efficiency Excellence ensures a strong
platform for serving our customers in South America. It is also a possibility
to work together with one of the most important European Research Institutes,
improving our local capabilities to develop customized solutions. In the
long-term perspective, we can jointly develop new solutions in areas with high
market potential, such as applications for biomass, mining, forestry and oil
industry”, says Hilton Casas de Almeida, Region Head for South America, Kemira
"An on-site research facility in São Paulo enables VTT
to support Finnish businesses in the growing South American market as well as
develop its research collaboration in a very efficient way. This can’t be done
without being present in local markets in South America. Here in South
America, Kemira is an important partner for VTT, and establishing research
facilities in Brazil supports VTT’s internationalization strategy especially
in the fields of industrial biotechnology and the forest sector”, says Erkki
KM Leppävuori, CEO of VTT.
The primary function of VTT’s
new unit in Brazil will be to form partnerships with local enterprises and
research institutions in turning biomass into chemicals, energy (biofuels),
and pulp-based products. In addition to Kemira, VTT also hopes to form close
partnerships with other Finnish enterprises in Brazil. Finnish industrial
companies are already operating in the country and many have invested heavily
in the local market.
VTT aims to grow the new unit into a
team of 10 research scientists by the end of 2011 and a genuine research
centre of 15 - 20 employees by the end of 2012. The Brazilian unit will
operate under VTT International Ltd as part of VTT Group.
on Brazil, bioethanol and biomass
Photo 1 (by Peter
Harri Kerminen (CEO of Kemira) and Erkki KM Leppävuori (President & CEO of VTT)
2 (by Peter Forsgård): Erkki
KM Leppävuori (President & CEO of VTT) and Harri Kerminen (CEO of Kemira)