If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



DuPont Cuts 2016 R&D Budget Ahead Of Merger With Dow Chemical

Spending: CEO Ed Breen tells investors DuPont is “still one of the highest R&D companies in the world”

by Marc S. Reisch
January 28, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 5

Continuing to pare research and development, DuPont plans to cut its spending on R&D in 2016 to between $1.6 billion and $1.7 billion, a roughly 10% decline from the $1.9 billion the firm devoted to research in 2015.

DuPont revealed the budget cut while announcing a decline in fourth-quarter sales and earnings. The reduction will take the firm’s R&D spending to roughly the same amount it spent in 2010. And it follows the company’s January dismissal, according to C&EN sources, of more than 200 Central Research & Development scientists at its Experimental Station near Wilmington, Del.

Those layoffs were part of a larger cost-saving effort that includes cutting 10% of the firm’s 54,000 employees and reducing costs by more than $700 million. The effort is in advance of DuPont’s planned merger with Dow Chemical, which will be followed by a split of the combined company into separate agricultural, materials science, and specialty products firms.

During a conference call with investors, CEO Edward D. Breen defended DuPont’s research spending, saying the firm will still be “one of the highest R&D companies in the world.”

Breen noted “we were very selective” in making the R&D reductions. He also attempted to reassure investors that “the long-term success of our businesses will be driven by innovation and strong returns on R&D investments.” He added, “I know there’s been a lot said and talked about it, but through the last 15 years, R&D has averaged $1.65 billion.”

Breen also revealed that DuPont would reduce spending on new plants and equipment by more than 20% in 2016. “After looking hard at every project and its expected returns, we approved 2016 capital expenditures of $1.1 billion,” he said.



This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.