DuPont has announced plans to invest more than Rs100 crores to construct its first research and development center in India. The DuPont Knowledge Center will be located in Hyderabad and is expected to accommodate more than 300 scientists and other employees.
"The DuPont Knowledge Center in India will focus on discovery research as well as applications development in a variety of areas," said DuPont senior vice president and chief science & technology officer Dr. Uma Chowdhry. "This location will allow us to engage some of the world's top scientific talent in bringing better innovation to both global and local DuPont customers faster."
DuPont has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ICICI Knowledge Park, Hyderabad, for a long-term lease that will allow DuPont to construct its own R&D facility on 15 acres of land in the park. The groundbreaking is slated for March and is expected to be fully operational in early 2009.
The DuPont Knowledge Center at Hyderabad will provide the needed research and development capabilities for DuPont to assist in business growth in India and other surrounding countries. It will be the sixth major DuPont R&D facility outside the U.S. Other major DuPont R&D facilities are located in Shanghai, China; Utsunomiya, Japan; Hsinchu, Taiwan; Wuppertal, Germany and Meyrin, Switzerland.
Research at the site will focus on "integrated science"—the addition of biology to traditional strengths in chemistry and materials science—to develop the company's application pipeline in India and other emerging markets. The site will initially focus on molecular biology, bio-informatics and polymer synthesis, with further R&D in the company's application pipeline across all five of its business growth platforms.
"The establishment of the DuPont Knowledge Center in India is consistent with our company strategy of going where the growth is," said Balvinder Singh Kalsi, president, DuPont India. "Our intent is to leverage Indian science and engineering talent for the benefit of DuPont customers and shareholders."
DuPont has appointed Homi Bhedwar director of the India Knowledge Center. Prior to relocating to Hyderabad, Dr. Bhedwar held R&D leadership positions in DuPont Electronic & Communication Technologies' businesses at the company's headquarters in Wilmington, DE. Most recently, he led a range of initiatives designed to support the company's high-growth businesses.
The DuPont Knowledge Center is expected to house research programs for several businesses in addition to molecular biology research for DuPont subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.