Singapore - Bayer MaterialScience has invested SG$12 million ($8.53 million) in a Functional Films Research Centre in Singapore. The upstream research facility will focus on coated high-tech films and nanotechnology to meet the ever-evolving and growing demand of the electronics market in Asia Pacific, said a 22 June statement from Bayer.
BMS may broaden the unit's capabilities in coming years, the statement added.
Using its own materials technologies, Bayer MaterialScience said it will pursue joint projects with partners to create advanced technological breakthroughs in electronics. These include functional films that can be applied to flexible screens and three-dimensional displays, and nanomaterials like conductive inks used in printed electronics or energy-efficient lighting technologies.
"The opening of this facility is a clear indication of our continued commitment to Singapore and its unique position as an economic and business hub for the Asian region. This confidence is underpinned by the fact that demand continues to grow for new and innovative film-based products," said Patrick Thomas, ceo of Bayer MaterialScience AG, headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany. Speaking at the launch of the research centre, Thomas added: "Much of the research and development for these new materials will be undertaken at this new centre," going on to thank the government of Singapore and the Economic Development Board for support in establishing the facility.
For Bayer MaterialScience, this is the first research centre of its kind in Asia Pacific and outside Germany. It houses 30 researchers and support staff.
"Since 2008, Functional Films of Bayer MaterialScience has been building up research resources and networks in the Asia Pacific region for customer-oriented developments, primarily in Japan, Korea and Taiwan," said Marcus Yim, managing director of Bayer South East Asia. "By collaborating with a network of research organisations and business partners in Singapore and the whole of Asia Pacific, we will put to use the innovative ideas to fast-track products for tomorrow's markets like automotives, electronics and displays," he continued.
Bayer MaterialScience's Functional Films business is based around polycarbonate films, but there are many developments also in films made of thermoplastic polyurethanes, for example in the field of printed films to replace wired circuit boards for electronics uses. These films would dramatically cut the current cost of wide-screen televisions and display screens, according to an interview withThomas on CNBC TV. Such uses of TPU films are some way from commercialisation yet, Thomas admitted.