EU Commissioner for Science and Research visits BASF
Dr. Janez Potocnik receives information about BASF’s research strategy and ongoing projects
The EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Dr. Janez Potocnik, today (January 16, 2006) visited BASF Aktiengesellschaft in Ludwigshafen. The discussions with the members of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors Dr. Stefan Marcinowski and Peter Oakley focused on the chemical industry as the engine for innovation and growth. “BASF cannot grow profitably without innovations,“ said Marcinowski, member of BASF’s Board and Research Executive Director. “This is why we are planning to further expand our worldwide research operations and increase our research and development expenditures in 2006 to €1.15 billion.”
The EU Commissioner also received information about important fields of research at BASF which the company has combined into five growth clusters: nanotechnology, raw material change, energy management, plant biotechnology and white biotechnology. Another issue discussed was the current debate on genetic engineering in the European Union. “Europe can assume a leading role in biotechnology. This will generate added value and sustainable jobs. However, a reasonable legal framework must be created in order to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that this technology offers,” said Oakley, member of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors and responsible for the company’s biotechnology activities.
Since 1984, research and innovation activities in the European Union have been combined in a comprehensive framework program. Potoènik commented on the current debate on the budget, structure and focuses of the 7th Framework Program for Research and Technological Development: “The European Union has set itself a target of increasing research expenditure in the European Union to 3 percent of gross domestic product. Programs like BASF’s that create additional growth through higher R&D spending can make an important contribution to this objective.”
BASF is already participating in 12 current research projects that are sponsored by the European Union. For example, BASF research scientists have developed a new type of solvent with which carbon dioxide (CO2) can be removed very efficiently from power station flue gases. The company is contributing this new development to the EU research project “CASTOR,” which aims to investigate the removal and storage of CO2 from incineration flue gases. The prevention of fouling by marine organisms, for example on ships’ hulls, is the subject of the EU research project “AMBIO.” In this project, BASF scientists are working to produce of nanostructured coatings aimed at preventing algae and mollusks from colonizing. The EU research project “NanoSafe” concentrates on safety in the workplace and in production plants. Here, BASF is working to establish processes for the reliable detection, monitoring and characterization of nanoparticles.
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