Doug Muzyka, DuPont’s chief science & technology officer, says the company’s reorganization of R&D in advance of its merger with Dow Chemical does not mean an end to corporate research at DuPont.
C&EN recently reported that DuPont will replace Central Research & Development with a new organization dubbed Science & Innovation. Concurrently, DuPont will eliminate 1,700 positions in its home state of Delaware, including researchers, as part of a $700 million cost reduction program.
Muzyka claims recent media reports have “mischaracterized” the changes at DuPont by maintaining that “corporately funded R&D is being completely eliminated, or that the cost reduction effort at DuPont is targeting R&D.”
As part of the R&D restructuring, he says, “we are redesigning the existing Central Research & Development operating model to assess and seed new, transformational science-based ventures as the next step in the evolution of corporately funded R&D for DuPont.” He adds that some staff from Central R&D and engineering will transfer to DuPont’s business units.
Muzyka also says the R&D budget impact associated with the cost reduction program is in line with the overall program, which aims to cut the firm’s global workforce by 10%. “DuPont will continue to be a leading investor in industrial research and development,” he says.
The changes, Muzyka adds, will position the company for its merger with Dow and the subsequent breakup of the new DowDuPont into three separate companies.
“DuPont remains fundamentally, deeply committed to scientific innovation,” Muzyka says. The cuts are the result of “careful analysis of how we can improve the overall productivity of our R&D functional company-wide.”