European Business and Policy Leaders Discuss the Role of Innovation and Energy

Sep 29, 2010, 07:18 ET from Dow Corning

BRUSSELS, September 29, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

- Dow Corning-Sponsored Roundtable Spotlights European Commission Vision to Accelerate Development and Deployment of Economic Stimulating, Low-Carbon Technologies

Political representatives and business leaders today provided a glimpse into the role that innovation and energy technologies will play in the economic recovery and environmental protection in Europe.

The roundtable at the European Parliament in Brussels was sponsored by Dow Corning and co-hosted by Members of the European Parliament (MEP) Fiona Hall and Sirpa Pietikainen. Panel participants exchanged views on pressing issues that will be addressed this autumn by the European Union's institutions to position Europe for the 21st Century, including the upcoming innovation strategy and the revision of the EU's industrial policy.

European legislators Hall (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe, United Kingdom) and Pietikainen (European People's Party, Finland), as well as Stefan Tostmann, head of Unit Energy Technologies and Research Coordination (European Commission, DG Energy) contributed to the debate. In addition, Attila Nagy, energy attache at the Permanent Representation of Hungary; Jorge Nunez, research fellow at the Center for European Policy Studies; Sam Cross, energy policy adviser at EurElectric, and Jean-Marc Gilson, Dow Corning executive vice president and general manager of Specialty Chemicals participated in the roundtable discussion.

"Developing effective low carbon technologies is vital to both economic recovery and environmental protection," said Dow Corning's Gilson. "We share the European Commission's vision of increased development and deployment of such advances, and support its chosen methods including European Industrial Initiatives and funding mechanisms that aim to encourage and strengthen research and innovation in this area."

"Europe must ensure that companies can operate in a business-friendly environment that promotes low-carbon technologies and innovation," said Pietikainen, "which will contribute to solving Europe's greatest challenges by reducing costs and improving resource efficiency in production processes."

"Encouraging businesses to invest will have a number of positive effects, including more high-tech jobs for European workers, a cleaner environment, and less dependence on fossil fuels for businesses and homes," added Hall.

The event comes a day after Dow Corning unveiled its plans for a $13 million investment in a European Solar Energy Exploration & Development Center (SEED). This investment will expand the company's capability to innovate with silicon-based materials and technologies at its European headquarters in Seneffe.

"The new Energy Exploration & Development Center increases Dow Corning's innovation capabilities in Belgium, allowing us to expand our European research and innovation portfolio and continue to add to our scientific and technical expertise," said Eric Peeters, Vice President and head of Dow Corning's Solar Business. "The new facility will open new possibilities for materials development and take our application research to the next level, enabling closer collaboration to better meet the needs of our customers."

NOTE TO MEDIA: B-roll, audio files and high resolution images are available on: http://www.dowcorning.com/content/about/aboutmedia/SEED.aspx. Video formats: preview webcast in flash (.flv) and professional broadcast in H264/Mpeg4. Audio format: radio in MP3

About Dow Corning

Dow Corning (http://www.dowcorning.com) provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company's Dow Corning(R) and XIAMETER(R) (http://www.xiameter.com) brands. Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning's annual sales are outside the United States. Dow Corning's global operations adhere to the American Chemistry Council's Responsible Care(R) initiative, a stringent set of standards designed to advance the safe and secure management of chemical products and processes.

Dow Corning is also the majority shareholder in the Hemlock Semiconductor Group (http://www.hscpoly.com) joint ventures, which includes Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C. Hemlock Semiconductor is a leading provider of polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices and solar cells and modules. Hemlock Semiconductor began operations in 1961 and has announced more than $4 billion of investments since 2005.

About Dow Corning Solar

Dow Corning Solar Solutions(http://www.dowcorning.com/content/solar) provides materials and services for the entire photovoltaic supply chain, from silicon feedstock for ingot and wafer production to solar module assembly materials. It is leveraging its unique position and global leadership in the silicon and silicone value chain to deliver solutions that will make a difference in the photovoltaic industry and help photovoltaic producers fulfill the mid- and long-term promises of solar energy.

SOURCE Dow Corning