Bayer and Tongji University link for research, training
By Xie Yu (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-12-14

Scholars, officials and businessmen exchanged ideas on managing and protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) at the Bayer-Tongji Intellectual Property Forum last Friday in Shanghai.

"Globally, Bayer spent 3.1 billion euros ($4.2 billion) on research and development in 2010, so protecting our patents and achievements is crucial to us," said Johannes M. Dietsch, president of Bayer China.

"We are pleased with the in-depth and far-reaching aspects of the forum."

After establishing a global Health Care R&D Center in Beijing in 2009 - Bayer's fourth worldwide - the company has "largely increased" its research budget in China, Dietsch said.

"We announced the expansion of our R&D center for polymers in Shanghai recently and we are also working on expanding cooperation with Chinese universities and institutions," he said, noting that the company expects more innovations to be created in China.

Although IPR protection in China is often criticized, Dietsch said he is encouraged by the improving IPR protection environment in China, and stressed the "efficiency" of government efforts.

Oliver Lutze, head of IPR at Bayer (China) Ltd, said the Chinese government discusses drafts of IP laws with foreign companies, which is "very helpful".

"They send drafts to industry associations and we collect opinions and send them back. In some cases our suggestions have been accepted and the drafts were changed," he said.

"It is very important to us and we are glad that we are heard," he added.

Dietsch said one weakness in China's IP environment is light penalties for violators.

In October, 2010 the State Council launched a more than six-month campaign to combat pirated goods, the most comprehensive effort by the central government in recent years.

In addition to IPR protection, Bayer is also stressing development of its eco-construction business in China.

Last week, the company established an eco-construction academy at Tongji University for R&D of eco-friendly materials and to train professional talents for the industry.

Through an investment of 1.5 million euros over five years, Bayer-Tongji Eco-Construction & Material Academy will operate as a direct affiliate of Tongji's College of Material Science and Engineering.

As China has surpassed the US to become the largest construction market in the world, the nation's current five-year plan mandates a 17 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 2015.

Official figures show more than 25 percent of the nation's total energy is used in construction.

Peter Vanacker, executive committee member of Bayer MaterialScience, said there will be great demand for energy-efficient materials as a result.

"By establishing this academy, we aim to create a platform to leverage resources in both industry and academia to support China in achieving its energy and environmental targets," he said.

Because China is such a big market with enormous potential, Bayer will introduce its most advanced technology to help reach the emissions target, he added.

Bayer MaterialScience started construction on China's first zero-emission office building in May in Qingdao.

China Daily

(China Daily 12/14/2011 page17)

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