Polymer Science In many products of AkzoNobel, organic polymeric compounds are major components that provide the essential performance properties. Therefore, polymer science is a subject of common interest for experts in our organization. The Polymer Science Community of Practice provides a forum for our experts to share their knowledge and experience of the polymer and coatings systems that exist and to work together on the development of new and improved chemical and physical approaches. Particularly as there are increasing regulatory and consumer demands for lower energy and for more environmentally-friendly low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) and water-based polymerization, curing processes and renewable bio-based products. The CoP also plays an integrating role in our contacts and collaborative relationships with universities and research institutes on scientific developments related to polymer science. Focus areas in the Polymer Science CoP are: Waterborne technologies – in our Performance Coatings and Decorative Paints business areas, where we make and sell coatings for industrial and consumer applications, but also in our Specialty Chemicals business area, where we provide ingredients to coatings formulators. Crosslinking chemistries – the drying of paints, curing of resins, vulcanization of rubbers are processes that involve the ‘cross-linking’ (coupling) of polymer chains. The three dimensional polymer networks that form as a result of cross-linking give polymers the strength, toughness and dimensional stability needed to make many high performance products. Renewable raw materials - the company's need for knowledge of and capabilities in RRMs will grow significantly in the future, if only to reduce the impact of oil price volatility and avoid security of supply problems of the petrochemically-derived raw materials we buy, reduce the environmental burden of our products and provide new sources of functionally rich raw materials from which we can develop novel products with differentiated effects and properties.