Cooperation with universities and science institutions is, above all, an opportunity for business to accelerate work on innovations. On the other hand, it is also an opportunity to encourage young people to do research and development. BASF – a global leader in the chemical industry – employs approx. 10,000 people worldwide: engineers and scientists who are involved in research and development, but also collaborate with around 250 universities, institutes and research groups around the world. This cooperation also takes place in Poland. BASF has just extended a decade-long partnership with the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw, and joint educational programs are also carried out by, among others, with the Warsaw University of Technology, the Silesian University of Technology and agricultural universities.
Cooperation between business and science gives a synergy effect. Both business and scientists can learn from each other. Scientists gain information about what is needed in business to be able to focus on solutions for the industry. Business needs innovation, without them we are not able to develop,”” says Katarzyna Byczkowska, managing director of BASF Polska.
For a global chemical concern, innovation is the cornerstone of business. BASF’s portfolio includes solutions such as UV filters used in cosmetics, a special variety of soybeans, which allows for higher yields, biodegradable plastics from which compostable food packaging, tableware and garbage bags can be made. It is a whole series of innovations, incl. for agriculture, construction, electromobility and dozens of other industries. Other solutions also include: a water-based stain-resistant coating for furniture, specialized dietary supplements, car catalysts, reflective paints, as well as a method of chemical recycling of waste, used in the production of oils or synthesis gas.
The company also supports student initiatives and, in cooperation with universities, organizes grant competitions for students. An example is “Drive Innovation. The future of sustainable transport ”. The just announced competition is to encourage students to create innovations for the automotive and transport industries, and the winners will receive a financial grant to continue their project.