BASF is breaking ground on the third phase of its Innovation Campus Shanghai and establishing an academic sounding board as part of the Network for Asian Open Research (NAO). The expansion includes an additional research and development (R&D) building and one R&D workshop building. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 with the total investment reaching €280 million.
With this expansion, BASF says it will strengthen its R&D capabilities for advanced materials and systems as well as for chemical engineering in order to serve the needs of growing industries, such as automotive, construction, and coatings.
Accompanying this expansion, BASF says it is establishing a sounding board made up of experts from top universities in Asia as part of the Network for Asian Open Research (NAO). The sounding board will strengthen innovation pipelines and accelerate market introduction by providing professional consultancy for R&D projects, anticipating industry trends, and enhancing the collaborations between BASF and universities.
Launched in 2014, NAO is a joint platform of BASF and 12 universities and institutes in Asia Pacific. To date, more than 70 joint projects have been completed, covering a wide range of research areas including monomers, polymers, surfaces and interfaces, coatings, catalysis, battery materials, chemical and process engineering, insecticides, as well as digitalization and smart manufacturing.
“Innovations have made BASF the leading chemical company and they are the key driver for our profitable organic growth. We are increasing our R&D presence in Asia, intensifying our open innovation activities and strengthening our capabilities to meet the needs of our customers in Asia and across the globe,” says Dr. Jeffrey Lou, President, Advanced Materials & Systems Research, BASF.
BASF says the Innovation Campus Shanghai has become an innovation powerhouse for the company and its partners. Over the past five years, the Innovation Campus Shanghai has applied for more than 220 patents.
For example, together with pet toy manufacturer GiGwi, BASF is co-developing toys for pets made of BPA-free Infinergy, which makes the toys more abrasion-resistant. BASF says other R&D successes include Acronal EDGE 7686, a polymer technology for exterior wall coatings. Coatings made with this polymer have high color durability and dirt pick-up resistance, which help to keep buildings looking new for longer.