Officials at Rio Tinto Minerals have announced the formal launch of their Asia Technology Center (ATC) catering to the growing borat market in Asia-Pacific.

Rio Tinto Minerals, a unit of top miner Rio Tinto, is a world leader in supply and science of borates, found in numerous products including high technology glass used in energy efficient flat screen electronic devices and fertilizers.

“Asia is the largest and fastest growing market for borates in the world, accounting for 50% of global demand,” while playing “an important role in promoting higher standards of living and addressing energy and food shortages,” said Rio Tinto Minerals CEO Xiaoling Liu.

Based in Suzhou, China, the ATC joins research facilities in the United States and is developed with laboratories, offices and work spaces, and built for growth. The ATC’s construction, designed for LEED silver certification for energy efficiency and low environmental impact, was completed in Q4 2012.

The ATC will provide key capabilities in glass and ceramics, metals and advanced materials as well as agriculture and specialty chemicals. The ATC supports Rio Tinto research for the world’s most economically prosperous region.