Chemical Firms to Invest in Young Chinese Tech Companies

BASF, Evonik | July 27, 2020

Chemical firms’ search for growth is taking them to China to invest in young companies with new technology. BASF and Evonik Industries are backing SmartAHC, an animal health monitoring start-up based in Chengdu and Shanghai. SmartAHC is targeting pig farms for its networked monitoring devices and software that use artificial intelligence to identify individual pigs, track their location, and measure their temperature and fertility. It can help farmers detect and isolate sick animals to prevent the spread of disease. Other devices from SmartAHC track feed consumption and monitor environmental conditions. China accounts for around half of the approximately 1.4 billion pigs brought to market a year. Separately, Solvay’s venture arm has invested an undisclosed sum in Richland Capital Fund III, a China-based venture fund that invests in Chinese companies in advanced materials, manufacturing equipment, and digital technologies. “By partnering with Richland Capital, we want to support and share in the upgrade of China’s manufacturing ecosystem towards higher value added applications and products,” Solvay Ventures managing director Stéphane Roussel says in a statement.

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In keeping with its history of manufacturing innovation and excellence, Amgen is leading the way in the development and use of manufacturing technologies that will set the standard for the future. Standardized, modular, and flexible design makes it easier to reconfigure to produce different drugs or move from one plant to another.


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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Aramco and Cognite Join Forces in New Data Venture

Aramco and Cognite | June 20, 2022

Aramco and Cognite, a global leader in industrial software, have launched CNTXT, a joint venture based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Headquartered in Riyadh, CNTXT will support industrial digitalization in the Kingdom and the wider MENA region. CNTXT will provide digital transformation services enabled by advanced cloud solutions and leading industrial software. These solutions and services will help companies in the public and private sectors future-proof their data infrastructure, increase revenue, cut costs, and reduce risks while enhancing operational sustainability and security. CNTXT is Google Cloud’s reseller for cloud solutions in the Kingdom and the exclusive reseller of Cognite Data Fusion® in the MENA region. Additionally, Google Cloud is expected to launch a “Center of Excellence” later this year to provide training to developers and business leaders on how to use cloud technologies. Led by Abdullah Jarwan, appointed CEO of CNTXT, and a management team of local and international talent, CNTXT plans to significantly grow the team this year in hopes of becoming the top tech employer in the Kingdom. The launch of CNTXT is a major milestone in the collaboration between Aramco and Aker ASA, the majority owner of Cognite. The partnership began in 2019 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop synergies and share knowledge on industrial digitalization and sustainability initiatives. Ahmad A. Al-Sa'adi, senior vice president of Technical Services at Aramco, said: “CNTXT brings together industrial legacy, unmatched technology, and a truly talented team that will aid in the digitalization of the public and private sectors in the Kingdom. CNTXT will be an important catalyst of digitalization of the Kingdom.” Øyvind Eriksen, president of Aker ASA and chair of the Cognite Board of Directors, said: “CNTXT will be an important vehicle for driving profitability and sustainability of the Kingdom’s industries through innovative use of technology. I look forward to seeing the company accelerate the digital transformation of the most important sectors in the region.” Abdullah Jarwan, CEO of CNTXT, said: “The untapped potential in the digital transformation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the greater Middle East is enormous. With Google Cloud and Cognite offerings in our portfolio, we can help the public and private sectors innovate faster, scale AI-driven solutions, and turn data into value.” Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, managing director, Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, Google Cloud, said: “Businesses all around the world turn to Google Cloud to enable growth and help them solve their most business-critical challenges. With CNTXT as Google Cloud’s reseller in the Kingdom, we will be leveraging the latest technologies and decades of expertise to help businesses grow and develop safely and securely.” About Aramco Aramco is a global integrated energy and chemicals company. We are driven by the core belief that energy is opportunity. From producing approximately one in every eight barrels of the world’s oil supply to developing new energy technologies, our global team is dedicated to creating impact in all that we do. We focus on making our resources more dependable, more sustainable and more useful. This helps promote stability and long-term growth around the world. About CNTXT Founded in 2022 and based in Saudi Arabia, CNTXT is a joint venture between Aramco and Cognite that delivers premium cloud and digital transformation products and services in the Middle East and North Africa. CNTXT’s digital offerings, including Google Cloud and Cognite Data Fusion, enable customers to achieve greater efficiency, sustainability, and profitability throughout their digital transformation journeys. About Cognite Cognite is a global industrial SaaS company that was established with one clear vision: to rapidly empower industrial companies with contextualized, trustworthy, and accessible data to help drive the full-scale digital transformation of asset-heavy industries around the world. Our core Industrial DataOps platform, Cognite Data Fusion®, enables industrial data and domain users to collaborate quickly and safely to develop, operationalize, and scale industrial AI solutions and applications to deliver both profitability and sustainability.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

KIRCO Announces Completion of Wacker Chemical Corporation NCA Innovation Center and Regional Headquarters in Ann Arbor

KIRCO | May 17, 2022

KIRCO announced the development and construction completion of Wacker Chemical Corporation's new Innovation Center and Regional Headquarters in Ann Arbor. WACKER – a pioneer and global leader in chemical R&D and manufacturing – held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening last week, which was attended by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, along with several other state, county and township officials. Covering 18 acres at 4950 S. State Rd., the technology campus serves as the hub of leadership and innovation for WACKER's North and Central Americas (NCA) region. The center currently houses more than 200 team members, including the company's NCA senior leadership team, the region's leading chemists, IT and other technical experts, along with support functions. WACKER partnered with KIRCO as their developer and contractor, leading the journey through site selection, design, capitalization and construction. The 140,000 square-foot campus broke ground in late 2020, and despite commencing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, WACKER team members moved in 19 months later. The more than $50 million investment allows WACKER chemists, scientists and senior leadership, who previously worked out of separate Michigan locations, to collaborate and innovate in a single, dynamic environment. Equally important, the facility provides room for the growth expected by the global leader in silicones, polymers, polysilicon and biosolutions. The innovation center includes world-class labs, a full-service cafeteria, a 24/7 fitness center and open collaborative workspaces. "The campus is truly inspiring, and we are honored to have partnered with WACKER in creating a built environment as dynamic as their culture. WACKER has made an extraordinary investment in its people, marking a huge win for Pittsfield Township/Ann Arbor and the State of Michigan," said Quinn Kiriluk, executive vice president, Corporate Real Estate and chief marketing officer for KIRCO. "Amid the challenges of the pandemic, our teams lead by Matt Milliken (KIRCO MANIX) and Greg Brabec, worked seamlessly to advance design development, obtain site plan approvals and commence work. In the end, we completed construction of this state-of-the-art facility effectively on schedule and within budget, a testament to the team's hard work and dedication." "KIRCO MANIX proved throughout the process to be a trusted and reliable partner. Even in the face of numerous challenges, including the pandemic and supply chain disruptions, we are able today to celebrate the journey and proudly open our building with excitement and positivity reflected in the faces of our employees, visitors and honored guests." Greg Brabec, director of Government Affairs and Special Projects for WACKER and project lead of the Innovation Center According to Kiriluk, KIRCO has gained national recognition for developing and building corporate headquarters, laboratories and R&D, and advanced manufacturing facilities, and brings a unique solution to its corporate real estate clients. With in-house development, construction and facility management services, their vertically integrated approach and relentless attention to detail offers clients a single point of accountability and a truly enjoyable journey. About KIRCO Founded in 1974, KIRCO is a commercial real estate development and investment firm, whose comprehensive offerings as a national developer, builder, and facilities manager, builds excitement and pride with every customer and community with whom it works. KIRCO has concentrated focuses in client-driven corporate facilities, senior living and healthcare. KIRCO is third-generation family owned and operated, spanning 17 states.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Sonoco Participates in European Recycling Trials That Show Digital Watermarking Yields Accurate Container Sortation Results

Sonoco Products Company | June 27, 2022

The first HolyGrail 2.0 sorting prototype was successfully validated in March this year following semi-industrial trials, using NIR and digital watermarks detection to sort packaging waste with a 99 percent detection rate and the potential to develop new, more granular post-consumer recycling streams. The Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0, driven by AIM – European Brands Association, and powered by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, has the goal of assessing whether the digital watermarks technology can enable better sorting and higher-quality recycling rates for packaging in the EU. Today, more than 160 partners across the value chain are working together to refine and commercialize this concept. Sonoco, one of the largest global sustainable packaging companies, is a member of the HolyGrail 2.0 initiative to prove the viability of digital watermarking for sorting packaging waste and the business case at scale, likely with global implications. Trials in Copenhagen found that using digital watermarks on packaging resulted in 98 - 100 percent being correctly detected, with a subsequent total ejection rate of 90 - 100 percent. During the live trial in a mix of five different packaging types of various brands, 96 percent of Sonoco’s rigid paper containers were correctly detected and ejected. This demonstrates an additional approach to sort Sonoco’s EnviroCan™ rigid paper containers into the paper recycling stream. “At Sonoco, we recognize the critical importance of developing sustainable packaging solutions that will protect and preserve our planet for future generations. We are proud to be a member of the HolyGrail 2.0 initiative and are pleased with this successful trial to further our sustainable packaging portfolio. We are committed to advancing sortation and recycling of packaging of all types.” Jeff Schuetz, Staff Vice President, Consumer Technology Imperceptible postage stamp sized, digital watermarks on packaging aim to make it possible to effectively sort the material into specific waste streams. Conventional sorting technologies are not able to reliably identify multi-material packaging, so they can end up in the wrong recycling streams or drop to the refuse stream all together. With this new digital watermarking technology, it becomes possible to separate materials more accurately into distinct streams, even in cases of multi-material packaging. It is even possible to distinguish between packaging coming from food and non-food applications, which becomes increasingly important for the use of recycled material in new packaging. With the trials in Copenhagen, Sonoco can show high compatibility of its rigid paper containers using this technology across all sizes and material specifications. About Sonoco Founded in 1899, Sonoco is a global provider of consumer, industrial, healthcare and protective packaging. With net sales of approximately $5.6 billion in 2021, the Company has approximately 22,000 employees working in more than 300 operations in 32 countries, serving some of the world’s best-known brands in some 85 nations. Sonoco is committed to creating sustainable products, services and programs for its customers, employees and communities that support our corporate purpose of Better Packaging. Better Life. The Company ranked first in the Packaging sector on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies for 2022 as well as being included in Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies for the third consecutive year.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

QunaSys co-hosts industry, government leaders for Pistoia Alliance Global Knowledge-Sharing virtual event

QunaSys Inc. | July 05, 2022

QunaSys, a global leader in the development of innovative quantum algorithms in chemistry and a Pistoia Alliance member company, will co-host the Pistoia Alliance Global Knowledge-Sharing event held on July 7, which will bring together scientific, business and government leaders from Japan and around the world to improve innovation in health and the life sciences. The Pistoia Alliance is a global, not-for-profit alliance that works to lower barriers to innovation in life science and healthcare R&D. The Alliance has organized these webinars to provide specific examples of where its pre-competitive collaboration model of shared-risk and shared-reward can bring value and support to improve life sciences and health through science and innovation. Quantum computing is one of the technologies that is positioned to make dramatic improvements in the fields of health and the life sciences, particularly in the field of pharma. QunaSys CEO and co-founder Tennin Yan will discuss emerging use cases and how quantum is poised to impact the future of pharma R&D. He will participate on the future of pharma R&D panel discussion, which will be facilitated by John Bolger, CEO of Matador, a Pistoia Alliance member company, along with industry experts from Daiichi Sankyo, Preferred Networks and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and the Pistoia Alliance. About QunaSys Inc. QunaSys is the world's leading developer of innovative algorithms in chemistry focused on accelerating the development of quantum technology applicability. QunaSys enables maximization of the power of quantum computing through its advanced joint research that addresses cutting-edge technologies providing Qamuy™, the most powerful quantum chemical calculation cloud software; fostering development of collaboration through QPARC industry consortium; and working with research institutions from academia and government. QunaSys software runs on multiple technology platforms with applicability in all chemical related industries to boost quantum computing adoption.

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Spotlight

In keeping with its history of manufacturing innovation and excellence, Amgen is leading the way in the development and use of manufacturing technologies that will set the standard for the future. Standardized, modular, and flexible design makes it easier to reconfigure to produce different drugs or move from one plant to another.

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