Innovations based on effective and efficient research and development are an important growth engine for BASF. We work in interdisciplinary teams on innovative processes and products for a sustainable future. This is how we ensure our long-term business success with chemistry-based solutions for almost all sectors of industry.
A growing need for energy, food and clean water, limited resources and a booming world population – reconciling all these factors is the greatest challenge of our time. Innovations based on chemistry play a key role here, as they contribute decisively to new solutions.
We set ourselves ambitious goals: In 2015, we wanted to achieve sales of around €10 billion with new and improved products or applications that had been on the market since 2011. Despite the challenging market environment, we have achieved this sales goal. EBITDA from innovative products and processes on the market since 2011 was below the targeted amount of €2.5 billion in 2015, according to current estimates. Yet we nevertheless reached our associated goal, which was to achieve margins with innovations that exceeded those of the rest of the product portfolio. In the long term, we aim to continue significantly increasing sales and earnings with new and improved products.
Our innovative strength is based on our global team of highly qualified employees with various disciplines. We had around 10,000 employees involved in research and development in 2015. At the beginning of 2015, we arranged the central research units Process Research & Chemical Engineering, Advanced Materials & Systems Research, and Bioscience Research into three global platforms headquartered in the regions significant for us: Europe, Asia Pacific and North America. As knowledge and competence centers, they form the core of our global Know-How Verbund, joined by the development units in our operating divisions. BASF New Business and BASF Venture Capital supplement this network. Their task is to develop attractive new markets and new business models for BASF based on new technologies.
In order to develop future business areas for BASF, we have defined growth and technology fields for which we expect high sales potential in 2020. The focus of our research is derived from three major areas in which chemistry-based innovations will play a key role in the future: resources, environment and climate; food and nutrition; and quality of life. We regularly review the attractiveness of these growth and technology fields for BASF and adjust our portfolio as necessary.