Research and Development

In 2019, we invested €879 million in research and development in the Agricultural Solutions division, representing around 11% of sales for the segment. Our well-stocked innovation pipeline now has an even stronger focus on sustainable solutions. It comprises products to be launched between 2019 and 2029. With a peak sales potential1 of more than €7.5 billion, our pipeline includes innovations from all business areas. More than 30 pipeline products will be launched worldwide by 2029. These will enable higher yields and quality and even more sustainable production. The expanded research and development activities in the Agricultural Solutions division range from seeds, including traits, research and breeding capacities, to solutions that protect plants against fungal diseases, insect pests and weeds, and improve soil management and plant health.

Our biotechnology activities and our research and development capabilities comprise advanced breeding techniques, analytics, technology platforms, trait validation and specific research expertise. These are closely aligned with further activities in the field of biotechnology, which are part of BASF’s Bioscience Research unit. Research and development expenses, sales, earnings and all other data for BASF’s Bioscience Research unit are not reported in the Agricultural Solutions segment; they continue to be reported under Other.

Our seeds and traits research and development activities in field crops and vegetables enable us to leverage even greater innovation potential, and position us to seize future market opportunities and increase our competitiveness.

At BASF, we believe in finding the right balance for success. We believe that with our connected offer, we can achieve this for the environment, society and agriculture alike.

We have a strong, global network of research sites, an outstanding research pipeline and a wide range of products and solutions. These help farmers meet the demand for increased agricultural productivity and better nutrition for a growing population on limited arable land. Our aim is to improve crops and their cultivation, and to develop products and digital solutions for safe, field-specific application. From a sustainability perspective, this enables us to help farmers use resources efficiently, optimize crop cultivation and protection, and achieve greater and more secure yields in an increasingly challenging environment. Reconciling the production of nutritious food with environmental and climate demands requires a holistic approach. In the future, agriculture must be able to respect and balance the needs of nature and society, and take an open view in evaluating all the available technologies. The work of our research platform on gene identification focuses on the discovery and development of plant characteristics that enable higher yields and better quality, disease resistance, and tolerance of negative environmental factors such as drought. We apply all recognized scientific methods, including genetic engineering and selective genome editing.

Our innovative products and services help farmers to use natural resources more efficiently and promote biodiversity. We are involved with numerous scientific and public organizations and initiatives. Together, we are working on solutions for sustainable agriculture that meet long-term economic, ecological and social needs. For instance, in 2013 we established the Farm Network in Europe together with external conservation and environmental experts to increase biodiversity across intensively farmed land. In Germany, for example, there are currently 53 farms in the network. These show on 63,000 hectares of land how modern agriculture and biodiversity can go hand in hand.

1 Peak sales describes the highest sales value to be expected in one year. For more information, see the Glossary.