Ciba Replots Its Strategy For R&D | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: February 13, 2008

Ciba Replots Its Strategy For R&D

Swiss specialty chemical maker to create six global research centers
Department: Business

In a reevaluation of its R&D and innovation strategy, Ciba Specialty Chemicals will consolidate its R&D operations into six centers, at yet-to-be-determined locations.

The company currently carries out R&D work at 15 sites around the world. Redirecting the work will lead to greater focus and efficiency, says CEO Brendan Cummins. The company will allocate resources to projects with the highest growth and profit potential where, he adds, "we believe we have the technology basis to support our competitiveness."

The six research centers, to be established during 2008, will serve the company's core business areas: protection and stabilization, color, solids/liquid separation, paper strength and coating, rheology and interphase chemistry, and polymerization and curing agents.

The centers will be buttressed by industry-focused application centers and regional tech centers that provide customer support. Ciba will also support a process innovation and development center to provide seed funding for new businesses in emerging technologies.

As Cummins notes, Ciba's business in sunscreen active ingredients, now considered a core operation, was started from scratch about seven years ago. Possible new business areas include printed electronics, security printing for product authentication, and labels and indicators. Spending "will remain at current levels," Cummins adds, "but we will be spending it quite differently than we have in the past."

Ciba says it spends more than $230 million annually on R&D.

 
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