AkzoNobel invests in Coatings R&D lab in Shanghai.

The Colour Run In Beijing

AkzoNobel is expanding its Songjiang research site near Shanghai with a facility devoted to the company’s Performance Coatings businesses. The focus of the center will be on finding innovative solutions aimed at packaging, coil, specialty finishes, and powder coatings markets. The company invested more than 6.5 million in the center and plans to have it finished by June 2015.

With the expanded research center AkzoNobel will increase its capability and capacity to serve the growing Asian demand and fulfill the company’s desire to grow. Currently the Chinese region generates around €1.6 billion revenues for the company. The new facility enables the company to innovate closer to its Chinese customer base and accelerate the development of products adapted specifically to the Asian market.

The Songjiang site near Shanghai was already recently expanded to create one of AkzoNobel’s largtest resin plants for performance coatings in the world. The new facility will double the number of people working in R&D at Songjiang and will be the company’s second largest research base in the world, behind Felling in the UK.

By Annemieke Zuurman

Source: AkzoNobel

China supercomputer world’s fastest

China has the world’s most powerful supercomputer for the third time in a row as the country once again ups its presence in the global top 500 of powerful computers. The computer with the name Tianhe-2 was top of the twice-yearly list that keeps tabs on supercomputer development and growth.

The top performing computer, Tianhe-2, had its power measured at 33.86 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second). It has been just five years since IBM’s Roadrunner became the first computer to break the 1 petaflop/s mark. That machine was shut down in 2013 due to excessive power consumption.

tianhe2 or Milky Way2 in Guanzhou

China had 76, up from 63 in the last count. This is almost as many as the UK (30), France (27) and Germany (23) combined. The full list will be published on Monday at a conference in Leipzig, Germany. The top500 list is a widely-recognized barometer of the state of worldwide supercomputing. It has been published twice yearly since 1993.

Tianhe-2 is owned by the Chinese government and operated by the National University of Defense Technology. It is used as a “research and educational” tool.

source: Top500.org

HAMR Platform launched successfully.


Yesterday afternoon the first edition of HAMR took place at the Holland High Tech Center in Suzhou.

The Holland Advanced Machinery and Production Rotation (HAMR) is an initiative by NOST Shanghai to connect Dutch companies within this industry. The platform fulfills the need for these firms to connect and share industry know-how. The Advanced Machinery sector is facing various challenges in China, for instance; high turnover rates of personnel, training, talent management and legal issues, dealing with suppliers, establishing a healthy company-infrastructure and business development on the local market. These challenges are mostly dealt with on an individual basis.

The objective of the HAMR platform is for companies to connect and share experiences on these challenges. The platform aims to create an informal atmosphere to ease communication between members. Yesterday started off with two presentations by the Holland High Tech Center and Nanopolis. Afterwards, the Dutch concept of a ‘borrel’ was introduced to the participants which led to lively discussions and new contacts. The hosting of the event will be rotated among members, so everyone gains the opportunity to present their company.


By Annemieke Zuurman

Impressions: _DSC6202_副本 _DSC6209_副本 _DSC6230_副本

Open access for Chinese publications within 12 months

The National Natural Science Foundation (NSFC) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have announced a new open access policy for academic researchers (see CAS statement). All articles that are based on governmental Science and Technology programs, as well as all publicly funded projects should become accessible to everyone within 12 months after publication. This is either achieved via the publishers, and universities will also provide access via their own repositories to which researchers upload their published manuscripts.

Open access has become a subject of debate on a global scale. In the recent years, open access publishing groups like the Public Library of Science (Plos) and Biomed central (BMC) have gained both impact as well as popularity, and originally closed publishers such as the Nature publishing group have also opened a number of open journals.

The aim of an open access policy is to enhance knowledge and global involvement in the scientific community. CAS and NSFC made the announcement a week prior to the Global Research Council, a platform for major funding agencies worldwide, which was organised in Beijing in the end of May.





Sinovac’s organized battle against HFMD

Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) has become a serious childhood disease in Asia. The disease has a viral origin. The virus that is associated to the most severe form of HFMD is the enterovirus 71 (EV71). In most cases, infection does not cause symptoms or only leads to rash and speckles around the mouth, hands and feet, but the infection may occasionally spread and cause other symptoms as well, such as meningitis and airway infection. In 2008, out of 490,000 reported infections in China, 126 children died after being infected by this virus.

Whereas EV71 may be most dangerous virus among those that lead to HFMD, there are other viruses as well that cause the disease and lead to serious and critical symptoms. It is therefore not surprising that the disease is battled from multiple directions. Governments, schools, companies, hospitals and researchers are all trying to limit the damage caused by HFMD by imposing hygiene and school-closing programs, developments of vaccines and drugs for treatment.

This year, a large Chinese consortium, indeed consisting of a number of health centers and universities, either national or from Jiangsu, Beijing, Xi’an, and Sinovac, a vaccination developer from Beijing, successfully completed the phase 3 clinical trial for a vaccination against EV71. Over 10,000 children between 6 and 35 months of age received two doses of a vaccine, or placebo, and were followed for 12 months. The vaccinated children were 7 times less likely to develop EV71-cuased HFMD; also, while EV71 infections lead to 24 hospitalizations in the placebo group during this period, none of the vaccinated children were hospitalised. Altogether, the vaccine was reported to be safe and effective for one year. The consortium will continue to develop this vaccine, in order to maximize its efficacy for a longer period of time.

This study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1304923) and the Lancet (doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61049-1) with clinical trial numbers NCT01508247 and NCT01507857.


… and make sure schools are closed in case of a HFMD outbreak (image from nursing101.wikispaces.com)