Germany-based BASF has launched the North American Center for Research on Advanced Materials to develop new materials for the automotive, building and construction, and energy industries.

Through this initiative, the company will partner with Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst over a five-year term creating 20 new post-doctoral positions at the three universities.

BASF CFO Hans Engel said the partnership with these American universities is a key expansion of the company’s international research network.

"It is part of BASF’s strategy to further extend our global research and development activities. We rely on strong partners for this project," said Engel.

BASF’s Advanced Materials and Systems Research president Christian Fischer outlined the need for creative solutions to problems of clean drinking water and energy security worldwide.

"I am convinced that BASF’s market oriented materials and systems researchers, together with the outstanding scientists at the American universities, make up the ideal team for seeking out technically and economically viable solutions," opined Fischer.

A scientific committee, which includes scientists from BASF, Harvard, MIT and UMass Amherst, will play an advisory role in the research.

In addition, the researchers will contribute the required expertise in transforming research results into technically feasible processes.