Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev cut the ribbon of the first domestic R&D centre for the development and testing of polymer products – SIBUR PolyLab located at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre.
The ceremony was attended by Maxim Akimov, Deputy Prime Minister, Denis Manturov, Industry and Trade Minister, Dmitry Konov, Chairman of SIBUR Holding's Management Board, Victor Vekselberg, Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation's Board, Arkady Dvorkovich, Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, SIBUR’s partners and other guests.
Polymers are well-known synthetic materials that are durable, strong, eco-friendly, etc. enough to be widely used in construction, utilities, automotive, healthcare, food and other industries. As Russia’s largest petrochemical company, SIBUR places special emphasis on leveraging the world's top research findings and technology innovations to develop new polymer properties.
PolyLab’s key priority is to promote the use of polymers both to manufacture existing products, and to design novel solutions to drive technological advancement in healthcare, consumer goods, automotive, and construction industries. The lab will foster the use of recycled materials and the application of polymers in circular economy.
To this end, the samples of new PE and PP grades will be transformed at its pilot manufacturing lines into pipes, medical goods, films, food packaging and other products. This will provide a deeper insight into polymer properties and impact on the end product quality to further improve the materials and boost production efficiency.
PolyLab’s latest developments seek to boost the competitive edge of domestic polymers and polymer-based products. This becomes increasingly important amid the ongoing startup and commissioning of SIBUR’s ZapSibNeftekhim, Russia's largest petrochemical facility. ZapSibNeftekhim's products are expected to become a major substitute for foreign polymers and help boost non-commodity and non-energy exports.
A new element in SIBUR’s R&D infrastructure, PolyLab is also set to become a leading competence centre for the entire petrochemical industry. The centre will be developing new products in collaboration with industry partners, hold training sessions and technical workshops, educate engineering personnel and stage other experience sharing events.
PolyLab currently employs 40 experts with unique qualifications in different industrial areas. Its more than 5,000 sq m area houses over 100 most advanced equipment units to conduct R&D projects, including lines for films and pipes, injection moulding, compounding and modelling other ways of processing polymers into end products. All in all, project investments exceeded RUB 2.2 bn*.
As part of the opening event at Skolkovo, SIBUR held a conference for polymer processing companies and signed memoranda with global chemical R&D leaders – Norner AS, 3M, Reifenh?user Group and BASF. The memoranda of cooperation provide for the development of new improved grades, organisation of educational events for SIBUR’s clients and implementation of polymer recycling technologies.
Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation: "SIBUR PolyLab R&D centre is the first project of its kind in Russia, and I hope it will enjoy strong demand. Being a joint project of SIBUR and Skolkovo, PolyLab offers excellent opportunities for both innovation and business. Today, it is crucial to introduce modern technologies into production, use the latest materials and adopt a client-centred approach, or, in other words, to listen carefully to client’s ideas. I am sure that with such large centres as PolyLab, companies will operate as efficiently as possible.
The Centre will serve as a platform to produce materials that are now widely used across various industries from medicine to agriculture, which will also give SIBUR an opportunity to further drive the growth of the Russian petrochemical segment.
I would like to wish the new Skolkovo resident every success! Let me congratulate all PolyLab employees on such a milestone project and may you achieve some remarkable results!
Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the Management Board at SIBUR Holding, said: “PolyLab boasts a unique set of cutting-edge processing, manufacturing and laboratory equipment essential for a full-cycle testing of polymers, from granules to end products. Together with our partners at Skolkovo, we believe that PolyLab will bring together companies seeking to leverage advanced eco-friendly materials to build sustainable business, industry and society.”
Victor Vekselberg, Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation's Board: "PolyLab R&D laboratory is a milestone project for the Skolkovo Innovation Centre. This ecosystem element will allow us to integrate solutions offered by Skolkovo startups into the production cycles of companies from the chemical and associated industries.”