Midland, MI – May 9, 2002 — The importance of chemistry, the enabling science, is now front and center as The Dow Chemical Company is awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of The United States, George W. Bush at The White House in June, 2002. Dow Chief Executive Officer, Michael D. Parker, will accept the award on behalf of Dow. According to the official citation, Dow is being awarded the National Medal of Technology "for the vision to create great science and innovative technology in the chemical industry and the positive impact that commercialization of this technology has had on society."
"Innovation and great science are part of Dow's legacy. It goes all the way back to our founder, H.H. Dow, who had over 100 patents, and the great men and women of science who followed his example," said Richard M. Gross, corporate vice president of Dow Research and Development. "That tradition of scientific innovation continues, and is recognized by this National Medal of Technology. Dow's mission statement 'to constantly improve what is essential to human progress by mastering science and technology' clearly places science and technology as the foundation of our company," Gross added.
The National Medal cites breakthroughs in enabling technology which were rapidly integrated with existing capabilities to create new advanced products. A good example is Dow's metallocene catalysis platform. A metallocene catalysis discipline was established in Corporate R&D in the mid-1980s when several new classes of metallocene catalysts for olefin polymerization were discovered. The metallocene catalysts allowed much improvement in control of polymer chain microstructures. Dow's INSITE* technology is the integration of a family of metallocene catalysts, the newly discovered constrained-geometry, single-site homogeneous catalysts, with its polyethylene solution process and a unique 1-octene comonomer position.
Five new families of polyolefin products have been commercialized since 1993 based on INSITE technology using constrained-geometry catalysts. These products include ENGAGETM elastomers, AFFINITY* plastomers, NORDELTM IP EPDM, UNIPOLTM EPDM and ELITE* enhanced polyethylenes. The latest use of INSITE technology is in the Dow polypropylene business which include new polypropylene polymers such as high-melt-strength differentiated polypropylene, INSPIRE* HMS. This use is only the first in another family of new product innovations--INSPIRE performance polymers. Dow's INSITE technology has been recognized over the past several years with four R&D 100 Awards.
The National Medal also cites Dow for advances in the development of advanced materials for the electronics industry. A new organic polymer, SiLK* semiconductor dielectric resin, was invented, developed, and commercialized by Dow for the fabrication of high performance integrated circuits. The new material was invented specifically to meet a critical need of the microelectronics industry, enabling the construction of microchips that are faster, use less power, and integrate more complex functions. Additionally, new light-emitting polymers were developed and commercialized for the fabrication of an entirely new class of display devices. These displays are brighter, thinner, and more energy efficient at equivalent brightness.
Dow has developed numerous other materials and technologies. These innovations include QUESTRA* syndiotactic polystyrene, a family of crystalline polymers to meet the needs of the electronic communications marketplace for high-flow materials to form the thinner walls of today's connector housings.
Innovation in the field of polypropylene foam led to the introduction of a whole new family of foams based on Dow's foam extrusion technology. STRANDFOAM* EA is providing enhanced automotive safety with superior energy absorption, absorbing 20% - 30% more impact energy than conventional padding used inside cars. STRANDFOAM plastic foam received the 2001 Automobile News PACE Award and was also named one of R&D Magazine's 100 best new products of 2000.
Still another example is the Dow polyurethane support ring used in the Michelin PAX Run Flat Tire System. This was the culmination of an 18-month effort that leveraged excellence in materials science and materials engineering to develop a flexible support ring that offers the consumer the convenience of driving up to 125 miles at 55 miles per hour on a flat tire.
Dow is a leading science and technology company that provides innovative chemical, plastic and agricultural products and services to many essential consumer markets. With annual sales of $28 billion, Dow serves customers in more than 170 countries and a wide range of markets that are vital to human progress, including food, transportation, health and medicine, personal and home care, and building and construction, among others. Committed to the principles of sustainable development, Dow and its approximately 50,000 employees seek to balance economic, environmental and social responsibilities.