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Solvay joins Capricorn‘Cleantech’venture capital fund


Exploring new business developments in sustainable technologies

Solvay today announces that it has joined Capricorn Cleantech Fund, a venture capital fund which focuses on start up, early and development stage investments in clean technology-based growth companies across Europe. Solvay will act as a strategic partner. The other investors include the energy group Electrabel/Suez; French-Belgian bank Dexia; ParticipatieMaatschappij Vlaanderen, the Flemish government investment organization; and the European Union’s European Investment Fund (EIF).

Solvay’s commitment to Capricorn Cleantech Fund reflects its strategy to foster new business opportunities in sustainable technologies, with a particular focus on chemistry based on renewable materials, sustainable energies and environmental technologies. Solvay’s most advanced, recent projects in those areas include the manufacturing of epichlorohydrin from natural glycerine through Solvay’s proprietary Epicerol® process, the production of vinyls derived from salt and sugar cane as well as the development of membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) for fuel cells. The Group also participates in France’s BioHub® project for the development of “green” performance materials. Earlier this month, Solvay decided to invest in an innovative technology for the manufacturing of SOLVAir® Select 300, a new product for the treatment of sulphur dioxide (SO2) in flue gases. In addition, Solvay is the first technological partner of the Solar Impulse challenge, aimed at flying a solar-powered aircraft around the world.

“We are confident that our participation in Capricorn Cleantech Fund will stimulate the expansion of Solvay’s portfolio of ‘cleantech’ activities, through close contact with innovation throughout Europe,” commented Jean-Michel Mesland, General Manager Research & Technology, Solvay. “We will be in a privileged position to spot the best in-class for possible partnerships and to run a reality check on our own early-stage developments,” he explained. “Solvay firmly believes that innovators in the chemical industry are best suited to provide workable solutions to some of today’s most critical environmental challenges,” added Jean-Michel Mesland.

CAPRICORN VENTURE PARTNERS is a pan-European manager of venture capital funds investing in early stage technology based growth companies. The Cleantech Fund totals more than EUR 100 million and is Capricorn’s third consecutive venture capital fund. More information can be found on

SOLVAY is an international chemical and pharmaceutical Group with headquarters in Brussels. It employs more than 28,000 people in 50 countries. In 2007, its consolidated sales amounted to EUR 9.6 billion, generated by its three sectors of activity: Chemicals, Plastics and Pharmaceuticals. Solvay is listed on the NYSE Euronext stock exchange in Brussels (NYSE Euronext: SOLB.BE - Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLBt.BR). Details are available at


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