General
Information
Last Update:
March 1, 2012
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Innovation

Meeting challenges, developing new business areas

  • Around 10,100 research and development employees worldwide
  • Research pipeline with around 2,800 projects
  • €1,605 million in research and development expenditures in 2011

Innovation based on research and development is the foundation of BASF’s strategy for profitable growth and long-term business success. Highly-qualified employees are working in international and interdisciplinary teams to find answers to the challenges of the future. With our innovative products and processes, we provide solutions for nearly all industrial sectors.

The rapidly growing world population presents society with special challenges. The demand for food, clean water and energy is growing and society’s needs are increasing, but resources are finite. Sustainable solutions are therefore required – and chemistry can make an important contribution.

Our innovative strength rests on our global team of highly qualified employees with various specializations. In 2011, the number of employees involved in research and development rose to around 10,100 (2010: 9,600).

We were able to further expand our Know-How Verbund through the newly added research and development activities of Cognis. We maintain our own research site in Düsseldorf, where we concentrate on topics pertaining to surfactants, renewable raw materials and lipid biotechnology. The establishment of the first Innovation Campus Asia Pacific is a step forward in our goal to make our research activities more global. This research and development center will accommodate around 450 employees at the site in Shanghai, China, and is scheduled to open in the second half of 2012. It will strengthen our activities in innovation for the Asian market, helping us to serve the needs of this rapidly growing market even better.

Another integral component of our Know-How Verbund is a network of around 1,950 cooperative partnerships around the world with universities, research institutions, partners in industry and start-up companies. For example, we opened the jointly operated laboratory BELLA (Battery and Electrochemistry Laboratory) with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in 2011. There, we explore innovative materials and functional components for the battery generations of today and tomorrow – because high-performance, affordable batteries for everyday use are the key components for the mobility of the future. Together with automobile manufacturer Daimler, we have developed the smart forvision concept car, which combines our ideas for comprehensive electric mobility. In the smart forvision, special emphasis was placed on energy efficiency, temperature management and lightweight design. In such projects, BASF’s innovations set new standards.

Expenditure on research and development by segment

Our research pipeline included approximately 2,800 projects in 2011. Expenditures on research and development increased by €113 million to €1,605 million (2010: €1,492 million). The operating divisions accounted for 77% of research expenditures, while the remaining 23% was allocated to cross-divisional, strategic corporate research. Around one third of our research and development expenditure was once again invested in projects for increased energy efficiency and climate protection. We aim to achieve sales of around €30 billion in 2020 with innovations – new and improved products or applications that have been on the market for 10 years or less.

One way in which a company measures its innovative power is by the number and quality of its patents. In 2011, BASF filed for around 1,050 new patents worldwide. Furthermore, we ranked first in the Patent Asset IndexTM for the third time in succession. This method, which compares patent portfolios industry-wide, found BASF to be the most innovative company in the chemical industry worldwide.

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