The company’s innovative strength is also reflected in the Patent Asset Index of the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany. This index compares the effects of the patent portfolio on the competitiveness and innovative strength of companies. In 2012, BASF took first place in the Patent Asset Index in the chemical industry for the fourth consecutive time.
To continue being successful with innovations, in 2012 BASF increased its research and development expenditures to €1.7 billion (2011: €1.6 billion). At present around 10,500 employees are working in international and interdisciplinary teams on about 3,000 projects worldwide.
More innovative strength through global research
“In the future, we expect strong impulses and contributions for our innovation pipeline to come from the regions,” said Kreimeyer. In 2020, BASF plans to conduct half of its research outside Europe. “Our aim is to achieve greater access to customers, young scientists and innovation centers in the various regions.” In 2012, BASF opened seven new laboratories in Asia and the United States and expanded laboratories worldwide to achieve this goal. The proportion of research activities outside of Europe has increased from 24% in 2011 to 27% in 2012. “One of last year’s highlights was the inauguration of our Innovation Campus Asia Pacific at BASF’s new Greater China headquarters in Shanghai,” added Kreimeyer. With 450 research and development scientists, this is already BASF’s largest research site in Asia.
Global research network with more than 600 cooperations
An important part of BASF’s Know-How Verbund is a network of more than 600 interdisciplinary and international cooperations. The company works in a global network with top-ranked universities, research institutes and companies in a wide range of disciplines on numerous individual projects in order to achieve its ambitious growth targets. BASF recently inaugurated the research initiative “North American Center for Research on Advanced Materials,” launching several research projects in the material sciences field with partners in the United States.
“These joint research activities are our response to an important trend,” explained Kreimeyer. “As well as developing and producing molecules, we put together a package of chemistry combined with application know-how and services tailored to meet our customers’ requirements.”