Staff Correspondent

MUMBAI: Dow India has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra Government to set up a global R&D centre at Chakan, Pune. The centre is expected to be operational by 2008 and will employ 500 researchers by 2010.

Initial project related activities are under way on the 100-acre land allotted to the company by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and more than 125 researchers are already employed and operating in a rented facility. The initial investment in the facility is Rs. 400 crore ($100 million).

The MoU was signed on Wednesday by V. K. Jairath, Principal Secretary (Industries), Government of Maharashtra and VipulShah, CEO, Dow Chemical International Pvt. Ltd., in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Chief Secretary, Johnny Joseph, Executive Vice-President, Dow Chemical, Michael Gambrell, Technical Director, Dow India’s global R&D centre, Deepak Parikh, and other senior officials of the State Government.

Mr. Gambrell, said, “Dow Chemical has had a presence in India through various subsidiaries over the last 50 years. We are committed to contribute to the rapid industrialisation of the country”. “In order to make that happen, we will leverage the State’s strong and progressive policies to create globally competitive businesses,” he added.

According to Vipul Shah, CEO, Dow Chemical International Pvt. Ltd, “With total investment going beyond $100 million, the centre will have the capacity to bring a new product to the market — from concept to commercialisation. The R&D centre will be an integrated centre, serving multiple clients and geographies and will accelerate the growth of the region through customer support, application development and problem solving in the areas of water, personal care, paints and coatings. Dow India is excited that the centre will partner government laboratories and educational institutions, funding research to generate intellectual property.”