BASF Realigns Research Focus

By Chemical Processing Staff

Apr 02, 2012

BASF has announced that the company is realigning its research to focus on global industries, with the main emphasis placed on growth and technology fields that address social challenges. The new orientation is based on BASF's ”We create chemistry” strategy through which the company is intensifying its focus on sustainability and innovation as growth drivers.

For 2012, BASF is planning to increase R&D spending to €1.7 billion from €1.6 billion in 2011. In 2020, the company wants to achieve sales of around €30 billion with products that have not been on the market for more than 10 years. To accomplish this, BASF is strengthening its collaboration with key industries and concentrating on growth fields relevant to society such as “heat management,” “water treatment” and “organic electronics.”

Research platforms have been tailored to various business and technology areas and assigned specific topics. BASF Future Business, for instance, is expanding its focus on “energy management,” “organic electronics” and “medical solutions,” while BASF Venture Capital is investing in startup companies specializing in innovative chemistry and system solutions.

A higher concentration on “health and nutrition” will be pursued through new photostable UV filters and broadband UV filters that protect the skin against UVA and UVB rays. Contributions to the sector will also be made through pharmaceutical excipients with the development of a polymeric solubilizer that can make high active substance concentrations available for the body.

BASF’s focus on drinking water and water treatment was established with the acquisition of inge watertechnologies in 2011. Opportunities are now being addressed with products such as flocculating and coagulating agents for wastewater treatment and membranes for (ultra)filtration.

In 2011, the number of BASF employees working in R&D increased to around 10,100 from 9,600 in 2010. In the markets of North and South America, as well as Asia that are important for the chemicals business, however, BASF research is still underrepresented.

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