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Ingredients & formulation

Ashland invests R$ 20 million in new technology center to continue growing in Brazil

Ashland has been in Brazil for nearly 70 years and wants to expand its participation in the Brazilian market. In order to do so, the global company - a market leader in the development, manufacture and sale of chemical specialties for different industries - invested R$ 20 million in the Ashland Brasil Tech Center, which opened in December.

"We needed to expand our presence in Brazil and this investment shows the trust we have in the growth potential in the country", says Liliana Brenner, marketing director for personal care and home care products in Latin America. Also in Brazil, the company has an additives plant in Cabreúva, in the countryside of São Paulo, for their health and well-being sectors.

Marketing director Liliana Brenner

Marketing director Liliana Brenner

The Brazilian technology center was constructed on a 2,000m² plot in São Paulo. It is the largest center ever built by the multinational company outside of the US. With personal care, home care, pharmaceutical, coatings, quality and microbiology labs, the space aims to promote integration. According to the company, the center will allow clients and partners to understand how specific technologies applies to their needs.

"We increased our Personal Care area and we will be able to offer a series of service platforms to our clients", says Brenner. Among the facilities are a database with over 350 prototypes following the main market trends, a salon for hair fiber tests, a space to assess the effectiveness of ingredients in skin care products and a pilot plant for studying the performance of technologies applied to bar soaps and formulations on a large scale.

"Now we also have a focus group room, where we can invite consumers and observe their behavior when they use the prototypes of formulas developed here in Brazil," says the director. "The increase will also allow us to bring new support equipment for the departments of hair and skin care", she says.

One of the novelties is Visia CR, used in research and actives application for skincare. Clinical analysis of facial images in high resolution, skin pigmentation assessment, red areas, damages, wrinkles, pores, oiliness control and textures are some of the studies that can be conducted with it.

"It is not commonplace equipment, that can be easily found", says Brenner. The company is present in over 100 countries. Brenner says that apart from Brazil only two other countries have this equipment in their Ashland tech centers: the United States and China.

Even though the company does not disclose their revenue expectations, the marketing director says that the R$ 20 million investment in the Ashland Brasil Tech Center was key in supporting a number of departments and promoting growth in the country.

"Our goal is to grow two digits in the personal care market", says Brenner. She adds that in the last few years - due to the economic recession in Brazil - results had not been as good as they expected. However, Brenner says she is optimistic about future opportunities in the national market.

Renata Martins

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