By David Reed, UT EditorLeverkusen, Germany- Bayer MaterialScience is to double the size of its Polymer Research and Development Centre (PRDC) in the Pudong area of Shanghai in the People's Republic of China.When completed, the PRDC will be Bayer MaterialScience's first facility in Asia-Pacific to host technical development and research facilities for all four of its business units operating in the region: Polyurethanes; Polycarbonates; Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants; and Thermoplastic Polyurethanes. The new centre will allow each of these business units to provide technical service, new application development, as well as training for staff and customers."The PRDC is a visible expression of Bayer MaterialScience's commitment to innovation and customer partnership in China," notes Dr Juergen Dahmer, Bayer MaterialScience President for the Greater China region, in a 26 Oct. statement issued by the German firm. "Our investment in this expansion project also reflects our goal to continuously invest in the latest and most state-of-the-art facilities for this centre," he added.As part of the expansion project, two buildings to house technical facilities for the Polyurethanes and Coatings business units will be constructed adjacent to the PRDC's existing facilities at the Jinqiao Export Processing Zone, while an existing warehouse will be extended, the Bayer statement explained. The unit was first established in 2001, making Bayer MaterialScience one of the first foreign companies to establish a facility in Shanghai to support its research and development efforts. The PRDC currently hosts various facilities for polyurethanes and engineering plastics applications. These include equipment for the development and testing of polyurethane formulations, as well as high-tech processing technology and clean-room laboratory facilities to help customers optimise the process engineering involved in the production of DVD-Rs using Makrolon, Bayer's polycarbonate material.In addition to the Shanghai-based facility, Bayer MaterialScience emphasises that it also operates a laboratory for adhesive materials in Guangzhou in southern China. This laboratory, which has been operational since 2004, focuses on the testing and development of adhesive raw materials for the footwear, furniture, automotive and sealants industry."