WACKER ENDOWS AN INSTITUTE OF SILICON CHEMISTRY AT THE TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH

   

Joint press release of WACKER and TU München - NEW INSTITUTE, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE WACKER CHAIR OF MACROMOLECULAR CHEMISTRY, ESTABLISHED WITHIN THE FACULTY OF CHEMISTRY - FUNDING TO TOTAL SIX MILLION EUROS - CEO PETER-ALEXANDER WACKER: “THE INSTITUTE UNDERSCORES THE ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF SILICONE CHEMISTRY AND STRENGTHENS GERMANY’S POSITION AS A RESEARCH BASE”

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Munich (euro adhoc) - Wacker Chemie AG has endowed an "Institute of Silicon Chemistry" within the Faculty of Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The new institute will be under the direction of the Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry, which will in future carry the name WACKER. An agreement to this effect was signed today by the TUM and the Munich-based chemicals group. WACKER is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of hyperpure silicon and silicones.

WACKER will finance the new institute completely for at least six years and also help to finance the WACKER Chair. The chemicals group has earmarked six million euros for this purpose. The funds will be used for research projects and grants, and for research and project-related purchases. Potential beneficiaries of institute grants will include some 50 doctoral candidates.

The WACKER Chair and the new institute will be headed by Prof. Bernhard Rieger, whose appointment was timed perfectly for the signing of the agreement. Prof. Rieger is known as one of the world’s most eminent experts in macromolecular chemistry. The new institute will be accommodated in the TUM’s chemistry annex in Garching, and will start work at the beginning of next year.

Dr. Peter-Alexander Wacker, CEO of Wacker Chemie AG, said: "Silicon and silicone chemistry account for about 80 percent of our sales and are therefore of huge economic importance for us. We regard the new institute and the WACKER chair as an important element in consolidating our leadership in this field." He continued that macromolecular silicon chemistry holds particularly strong potential, which therefore needed focused research efforts in collaboration with a top-notch university. At the same time, this measure would increase Germany’s attractiveness as a research center.

"The foundation of the ‘Institute of Silicon Chemistry’ underscores the many decades of successful partnership between the Technical University of Munich and WACKER," stated TUM President, Wolfgang A. Herrmann. "It is also further proof of TUM’s excellent standing as an international leading-edge research center." Only last October, the German Scientific Council and German Research Association declared the TUM to be a "University of Excellence. "The Faculty of Chemistry has always been ranked among Germany’s top research institutions, which puts the new institute in a strong position", Herrmann continued.

The organofunctional oligomeric and polymeric silicon compounds, whose structure/effect relationships remain to be elucidated, are an attractive field for fundamental research at the new Institute. The TUM Chemistry Faculty provides unique chemical expertise for novel catalytic production processes. In terms of applications, new materials could be developed, with tailored properties and unprecedented property combinations, such as hardness, water repellency, gas permeability, UV stability, heat resistance, fire resistance and good low-temperature flexibility. Other research areas include conductive silicon polymers and hybrid polymers, the chemistry of surface coating, and silicon nanoparticles. Interdisciplinary research will concentrate on the interfaces to physics, biotechnology, pharmacy, environmental chemistry and material sciences.

Silicones in Brief Silicones are the basis of materials with highly diverse product properties for virtually unlimited applications. Their versatility has made them indispensable in many different sectors, ranging from construction and transport, automotive, textiles, electrical and electronics, to the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and paper industries. Under the car hood, silicone rubber protects the electronics against moisture and dirt. Silicone paint additives provide the desired high gloss. In detergents, silicones prevent the washing machine from foaming over and in shampoos they give hair its silky sheen. Silicones are also ubiquitous in medical technology. Highly compatible and hard wearing, they are used in medical tubing or for sealing the filter elements of dialysis units.

WACKER is one of the world’s biggest silicone manufacturers. WACKER’s products include silanes, silicones, silicone fluids and emulsions, silicone elastomers, silicone sealants, silicone resins and pyrogenic silica, which is sold under the trade name WACKER HDK®  In Germany, WACKER SILICONES are produced at Burghausen in Bavaria and at the Nünchritz site in Saxony. WACKER also operates silicone production sites in Brazil, China, India, Japan and the USA.

WACKER in Brief WACKER (www.wacker.com) is a globally active chemical company headquartered in Munich. With a wide range of state-of-the-art specialty products, WACKER is a leader in numerous industrial sectors. Its products are required in many high-growth end-user sectors such as photovoltaics, electronics, pharmaceuticals and household/personal care products. In 2005, the Group posted sales of some EUR2.76 billion, with approx. 80 percent being earned outside Germany. WACKER employs about 14,400 persons at currently 22 production sites in Europe, the Americas and Asia and in some 100 sales offices worldwide. Wacker Chemie AG is listed at the Frankfurt (Germany) Stock Exchange (ISIN: DE000WCH8881).

The TUM in Brief The Technical University of Munich (www.tum.de) runs a three-site campus in Munich, Garching and Freising-Weihenstephan. Some 20,000 students - about 20 percent of whom are not from Germany - attend its twelve faculties. The TUM employs about 400 professors and a staff of 8,500 people (including the "Klinikum rechts der Isar" hospital). The wide range of subjects - covering natural and life sciences, technology and medicine - makes the TUM unique in Europe. In October 2006, the TUM was nominated an "elite university" as part of Germany’s drive for tertiary-education excellence. Two clusters of excellence and the "TUM International Graduate School of Science and Engineering" (IGSSE) represent further successful aspects of the TUM’s forward-looking strategy. The TUM is thus raising its profile on the international stage.

end of announcement                                                 euro adhoc 21.12.2006 08:30:00
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ots Originaltext: Wacker Chemie AG
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Further inquiry note:
Wacker Chemie AG
Media Relations & Information
Christof Bachmair
Tel. +49 89 6279-1830
Fax: +49 89 6279 1239
christof.bachmair@wacker.com

TUM
Press & Communications
Dieter Heinrichsen
Tel. +49 89 725122778
Fax: +49 89 289 23388
heinrichsen@zv.tum.de

Branche: Chemicals
ISIN:      DE000WCH8881
WKN:        WCH888
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