LCD panel maker AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) said yesterday it had reached an agreement with Evonik Industries AG of Germany to expand their collaboration into solar, lighting and other green energy businesses.
AU Optronics, the nation’s -second-largest flat panel maker after Chimei Innolux Corp (奇美電子), said in a press release that it had signed a non-exclusive agreement with Evonik Industries focusing mainly on research and development, as well as production planning and manufacturing.
The two companies will also collaborate on the recycling of polymethylmethacrylate (acrylic), while doubling PMMA capacity to about 85 kilotonnes a year at their joint venture in Taichung County.
AU Optronics and Evonik Industries began their partnership in 2008 through the establishment of the Evonik Forhouse Optical Polymers Corp (EFOP, 輔德高分子) joint venture in Weipu Township (外埔), Taichung County, which produces acrylic polymers for the TFT-LCD industry.
AU Optronics chairman Lee Kun-yao (李焜耀) said the joint R&D effort would ultimately benefit both companies, their customers and society in general.
“While we are developing our green energy solutions, we will need solid capability in material research and development. Evonik is a global leader in specialty chemicals,” Lee said in the press release.
Patrik Wohlhauser, chairman of Evonik Degussa GmbH, said in the release that the company’s joint development program with AU Optronics is targeted to “open up new application markets.”
Apart from AU Optronics, -Essen-based Evonik Industries also set up a joint venture with Taipei-based Cristal Material Corp (台灣晶盛材料) — Evonik Cristal Materials Corp (贏創晶盛材料) — at the Neihu Technology Park (內湖科技園區) in Taipei City in October last year to produce glass lenses for next-generation LEDs under the Savosil brand.