In the last five years, science-based company 3M has invested nearly $8.5 billion in research and development, the symbolic heartbeat of the company, that will help nurture fresh and innovative ideas. The company continues to increase that investment. It now spends 5.8% of its sales on R&D, up from 5.3% in 2011.
“Finding innovative solutions doesn’t happen by accident, you must devote time, energy and capital to encourage a culture where people feel empowered to look for them,” said Ashish Khandpur, 3M senior vp-R&D and CTO. “Science is what we do, who we are, and it’s the foundation for the incredible technology we create and apply to enhance millions of lives around the world.”
Now, 3M is strengthening its scientific capabilities even more with the opening of its new, state-of-the-art R&D lab at its headquarters in St. Paul, MN. The company is celebrating the event today with a ceremony inside the nearly 470,000-sq-ft facility. The $150-million investment will enhance collaboration and technology sharing even further throughout the company, and it has many scientists excited for the future of 3M innovation.
“This space represents an opportunity to work differently,” said Lee Stanek, product commercialization mgr.-3M Aerospace and Commercial Transportation. “Sometimes that’s enough to cause you to think in a different way. Just like visiting customers, you see things in new ways. We are working in a different space, collaborating with different people – we don’t know yet what can happen.”
The new lab will bring together scientists and researchers from multiple 3M businesses under one roof, opening up endless collaborative ways to combine the company’s 46 technology platforms to create new and useful solutions for customers.
Solutions like the ones Jagat Singh, senior product development engineer-3M Electronics Materials Solutions Div., is working on with his team. They are developing a material to help enable longer life spans and higher energy in batteries.
“I love the design of the new R&D building. It’s an open and inviting space that lends itself perfectly to accommodate collaboration and innovation,” said Singh.
“As we look to the future, what excites me most is how technology will be able to provide sustainable resources for the growing needs of global populations, while also balancing our planet’s future for generations to come.”
More info: www.3m.com/researchanddevelopment