BASF, the world’s largest chemical maker, increased its R&D spending last year by 6% to $2.5 billion and expects to boost it by about the same amount in 2014. The R&D investment, more than that of any other chemical company, represented 2.45% of BASF’s sales in 2013. The German firm has a research workforce of 10,650 working on about 3,000 projects. BASF introduced 300 new products in 2013, and according to PatentSight’s Patent Asset Index, a system for measuring companies’ technological strengths, it has the strongest innovation portfolio in the chemical sector. BASF’s researchers collaborate with more than 600 universities. “Interdisciplinary and international cooperations are a decisive element of BASF’s know-how,” Andreas Kreimeyer, BASF’s board member responsible for research, told reporters at the firm’s annual research press conference last week. BASF’s target is to boost its research spending outside Europe so it accounts for half of all R&D spending by 2020, up from 28% last year.