Last Update:
Mar. 10, 2011
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Part of the audited Consolidated Financial Statements and Management´s Analysis

Research and development

Meeting challenges, developing solutions, shaping the future

  • Around 9,600 employees working in research and development
  • Project portfolio with around 3,000 projects
  • Clearly surpassed 2010 aim of generating €6 billion in sales from product innovations
  • Expected sales of up to €8 billion from product innovations in 2015
  • Value of BASF’s research pipeline: nearly €21 billion

Research and development is one of the foundations of BASF’s strategy. In international and interdisciplinary teams, our researchers work on solutions for the challenges of the future and ensure BASF’s sustainable, organic growth. With our new products and processes, we drive innovation in nearly all industrial sectors. In this way, we help our customers to be more successful in the long term.

The objectives of our future-oriented projects are determined by global megatrends such as population growth, increasing urbanization and rising demand for resources and energy. BASF has further strengthened its research performance, which supports the economic upturn and drives our growth.

Our global team of highly qualified employees with various specializations is the cornerstone of our innovative strength. In 2010, the number of employees involved in research and development increased to around 9,600. Our knowledge and competence centers are our four central technology platforms: Polymer Research, Specialty Chemicals Research, Chemicals Research and Engineering, and Plant Biotechnology Research. These are supplemented by the decentralized development units in our operating divisions.

Our project portfolio included around 3,000 projects in 2010. Expenditures on research and development increased by €94 million to €1,492 million. The segments’ operating divisions are responsible for the majority of research, with expenditures accounting for 78% of the total. The remaining 22% was allocated to cross-divisional, strategic corporate research, which concentrates on BASF’s growth clusters. We continue to invest around one third of our research and development expenditures in products and technologies for increased energy efficiency, as well as in climate protection, resource conservation and alternative raw materials.
For more on research and development in the segments, use the links to the right

Expenditure on research and development by segment

Expenditure on research and development by segment (pie chart)

Thanks to our close cooperation with numerous partners from science and business worldwide, we have created an international and interdisciplinary Know-how Verbund – an important factor in the success of efficient and future-oriented research and development. Our network includes around 1,900 collaborative partnerships with universities, research institutes, startup companies and industry partners.
More on research organization

One example of this type of cooperation is the international competence network for electrochemistry and batteries established by BASF in 2010. It aims to address fundamental questions relating to materials and components of battery systems for electromobility and stationary electricity storage. This also builds on the HE-Lion project, a consortium sponsored by the German Ministry of Education and Research in which BASF and 17 partners from industry and science are developing higher-performing, safe and more affordable lithium-ion batteries for future propulsion systems.

With our project portfolio, we make a considerable contribution to BASF’s economic success. We clearly surpassed our 2010 goal of generating sales of €6 billion with product innovations – new and improved products or applications that have been on the market for a maximum of five years. In 2015, we aim for sales of up to €8 billion from product innovations.

We published the net present value of our research pipeline for the first time in 2010. To determine this value, business plans are created for each project that take into account the expected expenditures for the product’s research, development and production as well as anticipated sales. With the help of these business plans, we calculate the net present value of our projects if they are successful. Overall, our research pipeline is worth nearly €21 billion, demonstrating how important research and development is for BASF’s sustainable growth.
For a multi-year overview of research and development expenditures,
see the ten-year summary

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