‘Innovations are essential for BASF’s profitable growth’, emphasised Dr Stefan Marcinowski, Member of the Board of Executive Directors and Research Executive Director of BASF, during a press interview in which he presented the company’s research strategy. Under the international watchword ‘We innovate for growth’, BASF are expanding their global research and development activities and investing additional funds for these initiatives. The aims are to stimulate growth from inside the company, increase global research capabilities and build up development centres in the regions.
BASF wish to concentrate major technology-driven issues of particular relevance to the future in growth clusters: energy management, raw material change, nanotechnology, plant biotechnology and white biotechnology. These cross-sectional technologies are outside the realm of the classical disciplines and can only be brought to fruition by interdisciplinary and international cooperation. Between 2006 and 2008, a total of €800 million will be allocated for the research activities pursued within the five growth clusters. BASF expenditure for research and development is projected to increase to €1.15 billion in 2006, representing about 18% or €180 million more than in 2004 (not including expenditure for oil and gas exploration). Compared with 2004, the proportion of corporate research will increase by €65 million to €250 million, while the remaining funds will be contributed by the operating divisions.
This global expansion of research activities will involve an increase in BASF’s scientific staff by more than 10% (compared with the baseline year 2004). Altogether 180 new posts will be created in the next few years. About 80 additional scientific experts will be working at the BASF technology platforms in Ludwigshafen and Limburgerhof. ‘In important regions of the world, BASF are establishing additional research capacities for which they will be selectively recruiting specialists’, explained Dr Stefan Marcinowski.