ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Innovation comes in many forms. Whether it’s a new design to make a product more useful to the customer or a novel way to apply an emerging technology to a real-world problem, true innovation needs support to foster and grow.
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 percent of its sales on R&D, up from 5.3 percent 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 vice president of R&D and chief technology officer. “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, Minn. The company is celebrating the event Friday with a ceremony inside the nearly 470,000 square foot 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 manager, 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 for 3M Electronics Materials Solutions Division, 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.”
To learn more about 3M R&D and the new lab, visit the webpage: www.3m.com/researchanddevelopment
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $30 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at www.3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNewsroom.