TechConnect Interview with Dr. Michael Pcolinski, Vice President, Technology and Innovation, BASF
What are technology/solution areas that you have a primary interest in?
Our “We Create Chemistry” strategy for the future focuses on the world mega-trends important to all of us for shelter, transportation, food and energy. All stages of the development chain are of interest to us, but proposals involving an advanced stage of development will be given more attention. The evaluation process consists of several stages. It starts with quick screening, scoping and triage, and it continues with several rounds of interviews, internal reviews and in-depth dialogue against a comprehensive set of questions and criteria tailored to probe novelty and fit of the approach, scalability and potential solution implementation issues and partnership fit.
What level of commercial maturity do you typically look for when making an investment?
We are stage and source skeptic; however, it is natural that the more developed concepts and solutions closer to implementation will be given more attention. We have internal clients interested in ideation around new applications, but we also have teams more focused on traditional R&D collaborations or commercially attractive innovation. Depending on the project goal, there will be types of partners that are better fit for a specific project due to better alignment of their core competencies and their mission.
Please describe your firm’s Innovation model and how this model helps to find new innovations.
Innovation at BASF takes many forms that are customized to our culture and position in the value chain. We often use a variety of activities such as market and business intelligence interviews, events, scouting and innovation matchmaking. In parallel we are working on a BASF proprietary Open Innovation framework that embraces the key philosophical elements.
Why work with the TechConnect National Innovation Summit as a technology and early stage company prospector? Who are you looking to meet with?
TechConnect’s Summit gives us an opportunity to meet and evaluate all different types of platforms, from customers, government agencies, small start-ups and potential research partners, to look at our areas of interest and begin the collaboration discussion with us if they see if an opportunity for solving the key industry problems together through innovation and commercialization of solutions.