• Braskem announces new renewable innovation center in Lexington, Massachusetts

    DATE: 11/24/2022

    Published by: Braskem

    The investment will drive the discovery of new technologies aligned with Braskem’s commitment to a carbon-neutral circular economy

    Braskem, a market leader and pioneer in the production of biopolymers on an industrial scale, announced today the construction of a new renewable innovation center located in Lexington, Massachusetts. At 3,252 square meters, it will focus on accelerating innovation of renewable chemicals and sustainable materials.

    The capacity of the new center will expand Braskem’s competences in biotechnology, catalysis, process engineering and open innovation. Special focus will be given to early-stage science and engineering related to the conversion of biomass-based feedstocks – including sugars, cellulose, vegetable oils, and lignin – into sustainable chemicals and materials. This will enhance Braskem’s resources dedicated to discovering technologies that will generate new growth-oriented offerings centered on carbon circularity. The new innovation center is the most recent expansion of Braskem’s global presence in innovation and technology.

    Mark Nikolich, CEO of Braskem America, said, “Our new renewable innovation center reflects Braskem’s ongoing commitment to a carbon-neutral circular economy with positive effects on the environment. Braskem intends to invest approximately $20 million to build our renewable innovation center and will continue to invest in the development and retention of a world-class innovation team based in metropolitan Boston to create unique intellectual property in the areas of sustainable chemicals and materials. All of this will be fundamental for the future success of Braskem’s global business.

    “The City of Lexington is leading the way in adopting sustainable carbon neutral policies and committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to meet its climate action goals. The commitment of Braskem’s renewable innovation center to a carbon-neutral circular economy is aligned with Lexington’s goals and commitment to attracting companies and development that demonstrate sustainable innovation. The new facility will be a great addition to the bioscience ecosystem in Greater Boston,” said Sandhya Iyer, director of economic development for the city of Lexington.

    Today’s announcement is mainly due to the work of Braskem’s existing research team in Boston, led by Daniel MacEachran, the company’s global head of biotechnology, who is leading the expansion of the new innovation center and professional staff. The initial design and construction phase is already underway, and Braskem expects the project to be completed by the second half of 2023, after obtaining final validation and commissioning. The new center is strategically based in the innovation and biotechnology ecosystem of the world-class Boston metropolitan area, located within an hour’s drive of more than 60 universities and colleges. The work at the new center in Lexington will complement Braskem’s global performance in research and development, currently carried out in the Brazilian cities of Campinas and Triunfo, and in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    “Braskem is already a global leader in renewable polymers and chemicals, and this important new investment in a purpose-built renewable innovation center in the United States further solidifies our position. With clear and ambitious long-term commitments to people, science, and the planet, the early-stage innovations we are exploring today will enable a more sustainable future,” said Daniel MacEachran.

    From promoting plastic circularity to driving the biomaterials revolution, Braskem is committed to decreasing dependence on non-renewable resources and reducing carbon emissions with the major goal of generating benefits for a better society.

    Antonio Queiroz, Braskem’s Vice-President of Innovation, Technology and Sustainable Development, stated: “We believe that disruptive innovation is the path to sustainability. We want to expand Braskem’s capacity to create a new industry standard by increasing investments, dedicating resources, and attracting bright minds. We know that to achieve true sustainability, we also need to be innovative when creating new materials. The launching of Braskem’s new I&T [innovation and technology] center will promote the development of new solutions for chemical and plastic products”.

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