3M is cho­sen for group tar­get­ing en­ergy sav­ings

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By YU WEI in San Fran­cisco yuwei12@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

The multi­na­tional US con­glom­er­ate 3M Co has been cho­sen as a part­ner for a con­sor­tium whose goal is to im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in both the US and China.

The con­sor­tium — called USChina Clean En­ergy Re­search Center Build­ing En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency (CERC-BEE) — se­lected the Min­nesota-based 3M be­cause it has “great po­ten­tial to re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion for both US and China,” Zhou Nan, di­rec­tor of CERC-BEE, told China Daily. Zhou also is a sci­en­tist and the deputy group leader of the China En­ergy Group of Lawrence Berke­ley Na­tional Lab­o­ra­tory.

The ini­tia­tive for the center was es­tab­lished by US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and for­mer Chi­nese pres­i­dent Hu Jin­tao in 2009 to fa­cil­i­tate the joint re­search and de­vel­op­ment of clean en­ergy tech­nolo­gies by teams of sci­en­tists and engi­neers from the US and China.

Since then, the two na­tions have brought uni­ver­si­ties, na­tional lab­o­ra­to­ries and busi­nesses to­gether to iden­tify key ar­eas in clean en­ergy re­search.

Hav­ing com­pa­nies as part of her team is par­tic­u­lar im­por­tant for the pro­gram, Zhou said. “On the one hand, we want to de­velop a prod­uct that even­tu­ally could be used com­mer­cially. On the other hand, we re­ally em­pha­size in­no­va­tion since we are a re­search de­vel­op­ment pro­gram. We be­lieve com­pa­nies can be adding more value to re­search de­vel­op­ment,” she said.

CERC-BEE has eight in­dus­trial part­ners on the US side, in­clud­ing 3M. The pro­gram has a port­fo­lio in six key ar­eas, in­clud­ing build­ing de­sign and op­er­a­tion, build­ing equip­ment and re­new­able en­ergy uti­liza­tion.

Zhou said she and her team are con­stantly look­ing for new part­ners to join the pro­gram, and that to do so they must meet cer­tain cri­te­ria, in­clud­ing tech­ni­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties and the abil­ity to con­trib­ute ex­per­tise to the project. Zhou said 3M met all the cri­te­ria.

One of the projects that CERC-BEE is fo­cus­ing on is five demon­stra­tion build­ings in dif­fer­ent cli­mate zones in China, at which 3M en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency tech­nolo­gies and lo­cally sourced Chi­nese build­ing com­po­nents will be in­cor­po­rated and stud­ied.

“Leak­age is a big prob­lem for many Chi­nese build­ings,” said Zhou. “3M has this unique prod­uct called air sew­ing that uses tape to sew around win­dows, gaps be­tween walls. So we feel if such a prod­uct can be used in China, it can re­duce the con­sump­tion of heat­ing en­ergy in build­ing, es­pe­cially in North­ern China.”

3M, founded in 1902, is a diver­si­fied tech­nol­ogy com­pany that man­u­fac­tur­ing a wide range of prod­ucts, in­clud­ing elec­tronic ma­te­ri­als, med­i­cal prod­ucts and in­dus­trial prod­ucts.

It set up shop in China 30 years ago and over the years 3M China has be­come the US com­pany’s largest op­er­a­tion over­seas, with 11 man­u­fac­tur­ing bases, 12 sub­sidiaries, 27 of­fices, one R&D center and four tech­ni­cal cen­ters across the coun­try.

“3M’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the con­sor­tium will not only help us drive the grow­ing mar­ket for large-scale en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and sus­tain­abil­ity projects for­ward, but will give all mem­bers the op­por­tu­nity to learn first­hand about the en­ergy ef­fi­ciency needs of the Chi­nese mar­ket,” Ste­fan Babi­rad, tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor for 3M In­dus­trial Ad­he­sives and Tapes Di­vi­sion, said in a press re­lease. “This part­ner­ship will also al­low us to gain in­valu­able cus­tomer feed­back to help shape fu­ture in­no­va­tions.”

“We are proud to join this ini­tia­tive to study and im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency in both the US and China,” said Ashish Khand­pur, vice pres­i­dent of re­search and de­vel­op­ment for 3M’s In­dus­trial Busi­ness Group. “We look for­ward to ap­ply­ing 3M in­no­va­tions to solve chal­lenges with our part­ners and lead the way for im­prove­ments that stand to make a global im­pact.”

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