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BASF Readies 150th Birthday Celebration

Anniversary: German chemical giant launches crowdsourcing events focused on sustainability

by Alex Scott
December 12, 2014

To celebrate its 150th anniversary next year, BASF, the world’s largest chemical maker, is embarking on a series of crowdsourcing events in major cities around the globe. The German firm will take up ideas introduced by companies, academics, nongovernmental organizations, and individuals at the weeklong events with a view to funding “tangible projects” through to commercialization.

Dubbed the Creator Space tour, the crowdsourcing program kicks off in Mumbai in January with an event focused on new ways to provide fresh water.

The tour will subsequently stop in Shanghai, New York City, Sao Paolo, and Barcelona before ending in November at BASF’s home city of Ludwigshafen. Each stop will feature discussions and events around urban living, energy, or food. The firm has also set up Creator Space to collaborate on the topics online.

“We see the anniversary program as a sort of laboratory in which we can try out new ways of working together over the year—within BASF and with people outside the company,” said BASF Chairman Kurt Bock at a media briefing.

To mark its anniversary, BASF will also host science symposia plus other events and activities. In Ludwigshafen near the company’s actual 150th birthday on April 23, the composer Michael Nyman will debut “Sounds for 150,” a musical composition featuring more than 1,200 “typical BASF sounds,” Bock said. The company has even commissioned a series of celebratory wines, including one from a vineyard planted in 1865, the year that BASF began selling its first product, synthetic dyes.

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