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BASF, HPE Team Up to Bring Safer Chemicals to Market More Quickly, Cost Effectively

chemicalsIn a move that aims to make it cheaper and faster to bring safer chemicals to market, BASF and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are partnering to develop a supercomputer for industrial chemical research.

The new supercomputer, located at BASF’s Ludwigshafen headquarters, is based on the latest generation of HPE Apollo 6000 systems. It will drive the digitalization of BASF’s worldwide research, the companies say.

“The new supercomputer will promote the application and development of complex modeling and simulation approaches, opening up completely new avenues for our research at BASF,” said BASF chief technology officer Dr. Martin Brudermueller in a statement.

The system will make it possible to answer complex questions and reduce the time required to obtain results from several months to days across all research areas, the companies say. As part of BASF’s digitalization strategy, it plans to significantly expand its capabilities to run virtual experiments with the supercomputer. It will help BASF reduce time to market and costs by, for example, simulating processes on catalyst surfaces more precisely or accelerating the design of new polymers with pre-defined properties.

“We expect this supercomputer to help BASF perform prodigious calculations at lightning fast speeds, resulting in a broad range of innovations to solve new problems and advance our world,” said Meg Whitman, HPE president and CEO in a statement.

The BASF-HPE announcement comes as manufacturers are expressing frustration over the time and expense it takes to bring new substances to market, which they say is caused in part by last year’s updates to the Toxic Substances Control Act. The manufacturers say a backlog of chemicals awaiting EPA approval is hurting business, and the US economy at large.

Only 33 new chemicals have been allowed to enter commerce since the law was amended, according to American Chemistry Council president Cal Dooley: “This is stunning for a program that has historically reviewed about 1,000 substances annually.”


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