Our international and interdisciplinary research and development offers solutions to many future challenges. Our know-how, products and processes are driving forces of innovation in most manufacturing industries. They promote the long-term success of our customers, which in turn ensures our profitable growth and sustainable commercial success.
Megatrends such as rapid population growth and increasing energy needs are creating global challenges, which we meet with innovative solutions and projects for the future. The four global technology platforms: Polymer Research, Specialty Chemicals Research, Chemicals Research & Engineering, as well as Plant Biotechnology Research, act with the research and development units of the operating divisions as our knowledge and competence centers. The close cooperation with our partners worldwide is an important factor in the success of efficient and future oriented research. Our network includes 1,900 collaborative partnerships with universities, research institutes, startup companies and industrial partners.
We continued to expand our activities in the area of research and development in 2008. New types of BASF systems made from epoxy resin and hardener from the Baxxodur ® brand, for example, impart the rotor blades of wind energy plants with high mechanical cohesiveness and contribute to an acceleration of up to 30% in the production process. The first anti-microbial BASF-plastic Luran ® S BX 13042 has a germ-killing effect, which is useful in hospital beds, doctor’s chairs or on computer keyboards in offices. Our plastic Ecoflex ® is biodegradable and is used in shopping bags, organic waste bags, mulch foil in agriculture and food packaging. Trilon M ® , a chelating agent, can bind metals, thus preventing damaging reactions – making detergents highly effective and eco-friendly.
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Expenditure on research and development (million €)
In 2008, BASF had approximately 8,900 employees in research and development worldwide. We spent €1,355 million in this field, compared with €1,380 million in 2007. Despite the difficult economic environment, we want to maintain the same high level of spending in 2009 as in the previous three years. More than one third will be invested in products and technologies for increased energy efficiency, as well as climate protection, resource conservation and renewable raw materials. In 2008, we also started to adopt criteria for environmental protection and social responsibility in our innovation processes, in order to systematically take into account sustainability aspects.
Approximately 76% of expenses fell under the responsibility of the operating divisions, with around 24% being allocated to corporate research. From 2010, we expect product innovations alone to generate annual sales of €4 billion, 20% of this amount will be additional sales. In 2008, BASF filed 1,265 patents worldwide.
The methods that we introduced in the previous years to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of innovation processes are showing their effects. For example the PhaseGate Process proved itself in being a successful tool for project and portfolio management. Innovation projects are divided in five different phases, from the idea-generation to market launch, thereby making the decision-making processes more transparent. In process and product development, we increase efficiency through the intensified application of high-throughput methods, for example in the development of catalysts and formulations.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
- Spending of €1,355 million in 2008
- Over 1,900 cooperations with universities, research institutes and industrial partners
- Starting in 2010, annual sales of €4 billion from product innovations, 20% of which additional