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Looking back over our history: Important innovations at BASF

The chemical industry has always driven innovation: Synthetic dyes, ammonia as basis for fertilizers, polymers as e. g. raw material for insulation foams and packaging, synthetically produced vitamins, liquids crystals for displays, blockbuster fungicides and plant biotechnology.


Over the years, however, the focus has shifted. In the 1970s, the emphasis was on developing new molecules because these innovations generated the greatest value. From the 1980s up to the end of the century the focus increasingly moved to improving applications and adapting products. Today, the focus of innovation and value creation is moving further in the direction of functionalized materials and solutions.

Modest beginnings: BASF in 1866

History of BASF

Read more about BASF's history from the birth of the chemical industry and the era of dyes until the sustainable start of the new millennium.