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Digitalization in research and development

Our research and development competences are leading in the chemical industry. We aim to build on and leverage this strength to develop innovations together with our customers. One of the key levers for achieving this goal is digitalization.

Digital technologies are indispensable for everyday R&D operations

Digitalization gives our teams in research and development additional opportunities to implement their creative ideas and to collaborate intensively with others around the world. Here you can find more information on how we integrate digital technologies into everyday operations and make them an integral part of any project workflow:

Digitalization-in-RD_quriosity

Curious about Quriosity? 

Calculating the most promising polymer structure from thousands of possibilities? This is impossible for a normal computer. But it's no problem for our supercomputer Quriosity – thanks to the computing power of tens of thousands of laptops. Quriosity helps us to discover previously unknown relationships, to advance completely new research approaches and to substantially reduce development times. By the way, the supercomputer received its name from our employees following an online naming contest.

Get to know our supercomputer

For scientific and business work, more and more computing power is needed to answer increasingly complex questions. Classical digital approaches are gradually reaching their limits. New ways must be found to achieve the necessary computing power to handle huge volumes of data, to use artificial intelligence or to resolve answers more accurately while reducing the time to solution. That is why BASF invests into next generation computing technologies.

Learn more about Next Generation Computing and Quantum Computing at BASF 

In the new research building B007, BASF research moves closer together. Here, scientists from material physics, formulation and specialty chemicals research work door-to-door. They develop new solutions together with polymer chemists in the neighboring building. A bridge, shortening paths, interconnects the two buildings. 

Furthermore, open communication areas facilitate exchange between the scientific disciplines. This stimulates creative ideas, and benefits the efficient development of effective solutions.

Rui de Oliveira (left) and Karsten Seidel (right), from Material Physics, exchange experience and discuss research findings.

Make the most out of your R&D through Data Science

Find the best solution for complex product development based on state-of-the-art statistical trial planning and predictive modeling. Optimize your R&D and experience faster, cheaper and more reliable product development with our intuitive tool that does not require statistics or data science experience. Discover new formulations & recipes hidden in your own data – powered by machine learning.

Learn more

Farmers in Europe will soon benefit from Revysol®-based products to fight resistance and optimize their farm operations

Revysol® is an innovative fungicidal active ingredient for crop protection from the triazole group. Unlike conventional azoles in the market, Revysol is the first Isopropanol-Azole, a unique chemistry discovered and developed by BASF combining an outstanding performance with a favourable regulatory profile and selectivity.

Digital technologies supported and accelerated the development of our new fungicide. A new ingredient needs to not only demonstrate high biological effectiveness, it also needs to meet registration requirements like favorable toxicological profile. Already in the early research phases, the screening process for fungicides was optimized and digital technologies like molecular modeling were employed to meet these various requirements, thus contributing to quick identification of compounds with optimal performance. 

Digitalization examples

Die Digitalisierung in der Forschung trägt dazu bei, die Forschungsarbeit effizienter zu gestalten, Wissensnetzwerke auszubauen und mehr Freiräume für Kreativität zu schaffen. Die Chemikerin Dr. Fangfang Chu und Dr. Eduard Schreiner, Experte für molekulare Simulationen, diskutieren über die Computersimulation einer Mikroverkapselung. Diese werden genutzt, um Wirkstoffe zum Beispiel vor Feuchtigkeit und Sauerstoff zu schützen. Mit Hilfe der Simulation können die komplexen chemischen und physikalischen Wechselwirkungen innerhalb der Mikrokapsel besser verstanden und vorhergesagt werden. So können Versuchsreihen im Labor gezielter geplant werden.

Digitalization gives researchers additional opportunities to implement their creative ideas and to collaborate intensively with others around the world. In the view of BASF experts, it is essential to integrate digital technologies directly into the daily work of the R&D units. Direct access to knowledge-based systems is necessary to enable effective problem-solving and it opens up new horizons. A cloud-based app platform, for example, will make it considerably easier for all researchers to expand knowledge networks. In recent months, successful projects by BASF researchers have already demonstrated the enormous potential that digitalization offers in research. For example, researchers were able for the first time to conduct a systematic investigation of the data on catalysts used in the production of the intermediate product ethylene oxide. The investigation found correlations between the formulations and the application properties of the catalysts, which enabled their performance and lifetime to be predicted more accurately and faster. Another example are computer simulations of microencapsulation. It is used to protect active ingredients, for example from moisture and oxygen. Simulations help to better understand and predict the complex chemical and physical interactions within the microcapsule, allowing laboratory test series to be planned more precisely.

agronomic models.jpg

BASF is also playing an important role in the digital transformation of acgriculture, where it relies on internal and external cooperation. The online application Maglis® helps farmers use available information more efficiently and make better decisions regarding the cultivation of their fields. The firm ZedX, which BASF acquired at the end of May, specializes in developing agronomic models for weather, plant growth and infestation with diseases, weeds and pests. BASF and ZedX have already jointly developed  a model that, based on weather and environmental conditions, identifies the right window of application for a BASF herbicide.

With the increased use of digital technologies in research and development, we are strengthening BASF’s position as the world’s most innovative company in the chemical industry.
Vorsitzender des Vorstands der BASF SE und Chief Technology Officer (CTO) der BASF SE, verantwortlich für die Bereiche Corporate Legal, Compliance, Tax & Insurance, Corporate Development, Corporate Communications & Government Relations, Corporate Human Resources und Corporate Investor Relations
Martin Brudermüller
Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors

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