BASF Boosts Research Spending in 2014 Adding Labs in U.S., Asia

BASF SE, the world’s biggest chemical maker, plans to increase spending on research and development this year and is adding six laboratories in Asia and the U.S.

Half of the research activities at Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF will take place outside Europe by 2020, up from 28 percent now, board member Andreas Kreimeyer said today at a press conference at the company’s headquarters. It spent 1.8 billion euros ($2.5 billion) on research last year, he said.

The R&D drive will help BASF reach a goal of generating a quarter of its sales from products that are less than 10 years old by the end of the decade. The chemical company posted 8 billion euros in revenue, equivalent to 11 percent of total sales, from products that were less than five years old in 2013, it said at today’s conference.

“In absolute terms we lead the field in the chemical industry with our research and development expenditures,” Kreimeyer said at today’s conference. The company aims to spend about 3 percent of its sales, excluding an oil and gas unit, on research every year, he said.

BASF has established research cooperation in California with the universities of California in Berkeley and Los Angeles as well as Stanford University that focuses on biosciences and new inorganic materials for the energy, electronics and renewable resources industries, Kreimeyer said.

Seven universities in China, Japan and South Korea are involved in a research initiative with BASF to explore products for the automotive, construction, water and wind-energy industries, the executive said.

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