MATRIC Slated to Open Office in Italy Next Month
Office in Milan to support existing and new customers
Charleston Daily Mail
December 17, 2009
by George Hohmann
Daily Mail Business Editor
CHARLESTON, W.Va.--The Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center, also known as MATRIC, will open an office next month in Milan, Italy.
Keith Pauley, MATRIC's president and chief executive officer, said," Our intention is to service existing and new customers through this development office. Currently between 25 percent and 40 percent of MATRIC's annual revenues come from European chemical and energy companies. So it becomes natural that in order to better communicate and service those companies, we would open a presence in Europe.
"The office will be called 'MATRIC Europa' and it will open on Jan. 18," Pauley said. "Our intention is to hire two to three former Dow Chemical scientists and engineers who will be located in that office."
The location is in the Insubria Biopark, outside Milan. It is a former Dow Chemical facility that was most recently operated by Pfizer Inc., the pharmaceutical company, Pauley said.
"We're going to have one lab and one office," he said. "It will be a very small beginning presence. The real intent of the office there is to develop new projects that will be accomplished or executed here in West Virginia."
Asked why MATRIC chose Milan, Pauley said, "Milan has broad access to most of Europe. We also have clients in Italy as well as France, Spain, Germany and the U.K.
"Really it was through communication with the individuals who will provide the local-level leadership there," he said. "We feel like having the right leadership is even more critical than having the right facilities. We sought out the most talented scientists and engineers that could support MATRIC and they introduced us to the facilities."
Pauley said opening an office in Italy is a big step. "We believe that if you're not competing in our business internationally, you're really not competing at all," he said. "We really want MATRIC and its offerings to be globally competitive."
The board of directors of MATRIC's commercialization unit approved the expansion on Nov. 30, Pauley said.
MATRIC was established five years ago to harness the brainpower that Union Carbide Corp. brought to the Kanawha Valley over the decades. The organization has been seeking to hire as many Dow Chemical researchers as possible as Dow downsizes here.
MATRIC has created and spun off nine companies and has just over 100 employees. Pauley said about 90 employees work at the South Charleston Technology Park. MATRIC also has small offices in Morgantown and Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Contact writer George Hohmann at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.