Archive | January, 2011

DuPont’s Kullman talks biotech at Davos

With DuPont in the throes of acquiring Danish biotechnology concern Danisco in its first big ($6.3bn) M&A deal for many years (in fact since it bought the Pioneer seeds business for $7.7bn in 1999), it was no surprise to see it promoting white (industrial) biotech at the just-ended Davos World Economic Forum. DuPont chairman and […]

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SABIC boosts innovation spend

Saudi Arabia’s petrochemicals and polymers giant SABIC is looking to move further into downstream products in the Kingdom as access to cheap ethane feedstock wanes. To support the drive, which includes it looking at investments in polyurethanes, polyamide and other new materials, it will be stepping up its spend on inhouse innovation. al_Ubaid is driving […]

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Unleashing Chinese innovation

Two factors are currently spurring Western chemical companies to commit ever-increasing innovation investment to China. One, the country is now the world’s largest market for chemicals (according to Cefic figures), and two, the government is shifting the focus to domestic demand to drive growth, rather than it being export-led. Dow Corning’s new China Business and […]

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EU cuts FP7 red tape

The European Commission has adopted measures to make participation in the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7) easier and more attactive, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Which is to be applauded. The chemical industry has long grappled with extracting funding from this huge but bureaucratic public initiative, but until the creation of […]

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Thai group goes green

Innovation involving green chemistry is getting plenty of investment and coverage these days, but it’s not so usual to see non-Western companies making big commitments. But just the other day Thailand’s PTT Chemical, a major producer of petrochemicals, made a $60m investment in US-based Myriant Technologies, which specialises in enzymatic production of speciality chemicals from […]

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“Killer paper” holds promise, and danger?

 Source: ACS The march of nanotech silver particles in the fight against bacteria seems relentless. Readers of this blog may recall the technology lies at the heart of the Tata Chemicals’ Swach water filter which won the ICIS Innovation Awards in 2010. And the chances are your socks also contain silver nanoparticles to fight […]

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Key patent activity rises in 2010

Patent activity is often taken as a proxy to measure innovation, at the company, sector or country level. So the recent findings from Thomson Reuters Derwent in its World Patents Index for 2010 makes interesting reading. Not only does the report show who is most active in 12 key technology areas, but it offers an insight to chemical producers […]

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Five innovation mistakes

Companies have been wrestling with getting the most out of their innovation spend for many years. Most have developed tactics and strategies for dealing with ideas generation, incubation, pipeline filling and project assessment and culling. But none of these answers the question: why are some companies, or individuals come to that, more successful than others? Richard Watson, who […]

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Mega-trend focus grows

Recent news from Clariant that it is investing Euro50m in a new global innovation centre in Frankfurt, Germany, came with the statement that "our product innovations will also address current mega-trends such as renewable energies, energy efficiency and renewable resources with a view to opening up new business opportunities beyond current markets." The new centre […]

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ICIS Innovation Award winners celebrate

As this innovation blog is brand new, I thought I'd take the chance to bring everyone up to date with the results of the ICIS Innovation Awards for 2010.These Awards are sponsored overall by silicone specialist Dow Corning and with category sponsorship by consultancy CRA International and distributor U.S. Chemicals. Full details are on the Awards […]

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