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SIAD begins construction of new €15 million Research Centre in Osio Sopra
Osio Sopra (Bergamo), 4 September 2019 - With a new investment of €15 million, SIAD underlines its reputation as an increasingly innovative company that embraces the challenge of researching the future.
Today the first stone was laid in the construction of the Research Centre for New Gas Applications, an innovative research laboratory for gases in the food, environmental and medical fields based at the SIAD plant in Osio Sopra, in Italy's Bergamo province. The new laboratory will be dedicated to research and experimentation for the production of innovative mixtures and special applications. The new research centre, which will be completed within the next year, will occupy an area of 2600 m2 and will allow the automated and robotic production of innovative gas mixtures, not only for the domestic market but also for international customers.
The strategic vision of the SIAD Group has always focused on the future in growing its business. For SIAD, innovation and research are central activities in this strategy: over 3% of the company’s turnover is invested in research and development activities, which are conducted by a team of 50 experts dedicated exclusively to this mission. Recently one of the main focal points has been on robotisation and automation, technologies that allow SIAD to produce up to 50,000 different mixtures every year, an increase of 30% compared with the company's previous activity.
The project is the result of the Agreement for Innovation between the Ministry of Economic Development, the Lombardy Region and SIAD S.p.A., aimed at supporting the investment programme through the “Gaseous products for therapeutic, diagnostic, food and metrology innovative applications and related automated production, use and administration systems” project.
In terms of production capability, the Research Centre for new Gas Applications will be equipped with a fully robotic line for the preparation of gas mixtures specifically designed for use in the medicinal field, including equipment for cylinder sterilisation and washing processes. The conception and construction of the automated-robotic line is an important pilot project for SIAD’s future cylinder production.
The new building will contain laboratories and equipment for the production of:
- metrological mixtures, which provide the reference for all analytical measurement in the gas phase and of which SIAD is market leader
- therapeutic gas mixtures used in the medicinal and pharmaceutical fields
- dedicated calibration mixtures having very low concentration compounds for environmental analyses
- gas mixtures to be used in the field of food traceability and for research in different sectors
- mixtures to improve the preservation of foods for the food industry
The technology to identify chemical and biological substances at very low concentrations present in gases will also be further developed. For this last purpose, the Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Chemistry will also be located in the new building.
Research has always been part of SIAD’s identity. Since the 1950s, thanks to its research activity, SIAD was the first Italian company to produce argon gas, an analyser specifically designed to analyse the nitrogen content in the cryogenic argon produced, high-purity hydrogen for the electronics industry and, subsequently, carbon monoxide produced by a proprietary process, high purity chlorine, production of gas used in the electronics industry such as diborane and phosphine, nitrogen monoxide, and calibration gas mixtures of which SIAD is leader in Italy and among the best producers in the world. It was 1964 when SIAD opened a chemical laboratory at the Osio Sopra plant, transferring and strengthening its existing laboratory in Bergamo, with the aim of marketing itself as an innovative company in the gas field.
The products developed then are still offered by SIAD, which has perfected their specifications over the years, and some are still produced with the chemical processes studied at that time. The laboratory built in the '60s is still active and used to process various products, of which SIAD is a leading producer.
Over time, the gas market has evolved and SIAD intends to continue with its innovative company philosophy by investing in a new facility specially designed to follow the needs and future developments of the market. In particular, collaborations with research institutes will be established to develop new medicinal mixtures with the aim of studying and introducing gases having particular therapeutic characteristics in the medical field. Some gases are already used for their therapeutic effect, such as nitrogen oxide, xenon and nitrous oxide, but many others can be used effectively in the medical field. Research will also be conducted to design and produce mixtures for rapid medical diagnosis using non-invasive procedures, such as breath analysis.