Digitalization in research and development
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:
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.
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 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.
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.