Innovation in chemistry enables economic, environmental, and social development, and thus plays a key role in meeting the needs of Asia Pacific’s growing population in a period of rapid urbanization. BASF is committed to fostering innovation in this dynamic region by constantly enhancing its local research capabilities. In the future, around a quarter of BASF’s global research and development (R&D) activities will be in Asia Pacific.
BASF has been continuously expanding its research and development footprints in Asia Pacific, to drive innovation by integrating customer and market needs at an early stage. With major R&D sites located in China, India, Japan and Korea, BASF had around 1,160 (2016: 1,100) R&Demployees in Asia Pacific by the end of 2017.
BASF operates two Innovation Campuses in Shanghai, China, and Mumbai, India. This concept is unique to Asia Pacific and brings all parties, including R&D, business and production units, to a single integrated site. The Innovation Campuses are integral parts of BASF’s global Know-How Verbund, and house global, regional and local R&D projects.
Innovation Campus Shanghai, located at BASF’s Pudong Innovation Park in Shanghai, China, was inaugurated in2012 and expanded in 2015. In July 2017, a new battery materials lab opened to address the R&D needs of thebattery materials market and the fast-growing e-vehicle industry in China. Additionally, a new R&D building began construction in 2017 to house the new Automotive Application Center and the Process Catalyst R&D Center,which will be operational by end of 2018. Innovation Campus Shanghai is the global headquarters of Advanced Materials & Systems Research. It has a broad research portfolio in theareas of advanced materials, chemical process engineeringand environmental catalysts. Combining technical development capabilities of the operating divisions, as well as industrial design expertise featured in Asia Pacific Design Center, the Innovation Campus Shanghai serves the innovation demand of almost all major industries.
Also in 2017, BASF inaugurated Innovation Campus Mumbai, with complementary research focusing on cropprotection and specialty chemicals. It includes state-of-the-art laboratories for chemical synthesis, application andprocess development, as well as analytics. The Innovation Campus Mumbai brings all new and existing R&D activitiesin Mumbai under one roof, located next to the office buildings and production plants at the Thane site in Navi Mumbai.
Across Asia Pacific, BASF R&D centers with specialized focus areas contribute to developing innovative solutions that address the region’s challenges of resource efficiency, food and nutrition, and quality of life. BASF’s R&D Center in Amagasaki, Japan, focuses on developing innovative materialsto improve battery performance, while covering other R&D activities in electronics, pigments, plastic additives, packaging and adhesives. The company’s R&D Center in Suwon, Korea, specializes in electronic materials development inclose collaboration with major customers in Korea and across the region.
BASF places great value on open innovation through close collaboration with academic and industry partners around the world. It maintains a global network of around 600 partners from universities, institutes and companies, forming a key pillar of BASF’s global Know-How Verbund.
In Asia Pacific, Network for Asian Open Research (NAO, formerly known as the Network for Advanced Materials Open Research) has been a joint platform directed by BASF and leading universities and institutes in the region since 2014. In December 2017, NAO was expanded to include a broader range of university partners and research areas. The network now consists of 10 partners from China, Japan and Korea. Areas of collaboration have been extended to cover all technologies under BASF’s three global technology platforms, namely Advanced Materials & Systems Research, Bioscience Research and Process Research & Chemical Engineering.
Since its establishment, BASF and its partners have completed more than 20 joint research projects, with 10 postdoctoral students joining BASF after the projects completion. Currently, NAO projects cover research areas including new monomers and polymers, surfaces and interfaces, zeolites, hybrid materials, coatings, as well as digitalization in R&D.
In September 2017, BASF hosted an event held by the global Innovation Roundtable® network at Innovation Campus Shanghai, attracting about 180 innovation managers, R&D experts and executives from many international companies. The two-day roundtable discussion focused on "Design Thinking & Scouting for Start-ups" and "Collaborative Business Model Innovation". Innovation Roundtable is a learning networkfor best practice sharing, and fosters future collaborationsamong companies.