|al_Ubaid is driving innovation harder at SABIC|
SABIC reported sales of Riyal150bn ($40bn) last year, suggesting innovation spend will rise to over $800m shortly. In its latest report the company indicated it spent $140m on technology and innovation in 2009.
To put that spend into proportion, here are the 2009 R&D spend figures for the top chemical companies, as listed in ICIS's Top 100 companies:
Company Spend, $m As % of sales
BASF 2,004 2.76
Dow Chemical 1,492 3.32
LyondellBasell 145 0.47
SABIC 140 0.51
Mitsubishi Chem 1,477 5.44
DuPont 1,378 5.27
INEOS 85 0.34
Bayer 1,289 5.92
SABIC has indicated its plans to move downstream several times to me recently, first at the 2010 K plastics show in Dusseldorf, where I interviewed vice president and CEO Mohamed al-Mady, and again at the ICIS/Booz & Company petrochemicals roundtable in Frankfurt, in which SABIC's executive vice president for corporate strategy and planning, Abdulla Bazid took part.
In 2009, in recognition of innovation’s key role in driving rapid growth, boosting market share and enhancing corporate positioning, SABIC created its Technology and Innovation (T&I) unit as a single, unified global organization, fully aligned with its research and development plans. Technology departments were created within strategic business units and all SABIC technology centers were linked via a virtual network.