Tokyo (Vocus) April 15, 2009
Through a sustained commitment to research and innovation, industry can continue to deliver significant new materials and solutions to address some of the world’s toughest challenges, DuPont Senior Vice President and Chief Science & Technology Officer Uma Chowdhry told a forum of Japan’s top chief technology officers today.
“From my vantage point looking across global economies and major markets one thing is clear: continued investment in technology-based innovation will enable the global economy to rebuild,” Chowdhry said at the Japan Management Association for DuPont. “Our customers are looking for new ways to do business, to serve their customers, to grow, to become more efficient and to reduce their environmental footprint,” Chowdhry added. “Today’s success is based on a more strategic exchange with customers and with the entire market system.”
DuPont serves a broad set of markets with more than 80 percent of sales in 2008 from six major industries: agriculture and food; motor vehicles; construction; plastics and chemicals; electronics; and aerospace. In 2008, more than 60 percent of DuPont sales were outside the United States and nearly one-third were in the emerging regions.
“Flexibility, agility and speed are needed when you are managing the diversity of the DuPont portfolio. While these are difficult times, this portfolio has never been better positioned to address some of the world’s most pressing needs,” Chowdhry said.
Chowdhry said DuPont uses its core science and technology competencies in the following areas:
More and better food -- DuPont uses a diverse set of technical competencies including genetics, biotechnology, chemistry, and advanced computational and analytical sciences to increase the farmer’s yield per acre and ensure safety of the world’s food supply.
Alternative energy -- DuPont has long been a leader in the most advanced materials for photovoltaics and fuel cells. Leveraging the company’s historic materials science, chemistry and engineering capabilities along with the new field of nano-structured materials, the company is providing superior new materials for the growing needs in photovoltaics, wind energy, batteries and fuel cells. DuPont also is a global leader in the development of advanced biofuels technologies that are being achieved by leveraging a wide network of collaborations with our core strengths in chemistry and engineering along with our world-class capabilities in industrial biotechnology.
Energy efficiency -- DuPont continues to develop high-performance polymer materials for different value chains. Two product areas of increased focus are materials that reduce vehicle weight and increase fuel economy as well as materials that drive continuous improvement in sustainable packaging materials. DuPont has been a leader in the polymer field and is seeking to make further step changes in the performance of plastics through nanostructures and engineering. The company also designs and delivers products that enable its customers to use less energy in their production environments.
Renewable materials -- Biology can make new and novel materials that traditional chemistry cannot, Chowdhry said. Today, DuPont and its affiliates offer more than a dozen products containing a minimum of 20 percent renewable content by weight to industries ranging from consumer apparel, cosmetics and personal care, to industrial applications such as aircraft de-icing. The manufacturing processes utilize renewable resources to reduce the world’s dependence on non-renewable petrochemical feedstocks.
Safety and security -- DuPont has a wide range of technologies in advanced fibers, materials science, polymers, nanotechnology and engineering that are applied to make the world’s most recognized high-performance fibers and technologies to develop new products that protect people, automobiles and buildings.
DuPont measures the strength of its innovation pipeline by sales from new products, number of new products launched, and patents filed and granted. In 2008, DuPont revenue from products launched within the past five years was more than $10.5 billion, or 35 percent of the company’s revenue. The company launches nearly 1,000 new products annually and has seen a steady increase in patents filed and granted since 2000.
“Our markets are dynamic, and the key factors for success in a given area can change quickly. An innovation culture must encourage and support a process of dynamic project and portfolio management to maintain alignment and maximize success. Our aspiration is to create a safer more sustainable life for people around the world by providing superior technology with market utility – the essence of innovation,” Chowdhry said.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries and regions, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.