Intelligent, inspired, diligent research has always formed the foundation for historic breakthroughs at DuPont. This has been emphatically true during the company's first 200 years, and it remains absolutely central as DuPont strides confidently into the future.
Through research, our lives become more comfortable, safer, more efficient, better. The positive differences surround us. DuPont scientists discovered nylon and spurred a modern materials revolution. DuPont researchers glimpsed the staggering possibilities in a white, waxy solid synthesized by fortunate happenstance and gave us Teflon®. Because of DuPont research, clothes stretch with Sorona®, homes breathe with Tyvek®, kitchens and bathrooms are stronger with Corian®, workers protected with Kevlar® and Nomex® – the list is famous. Through DuPont research, great ideas truly have become transformative realities.
DuPont builds on this illustrious tradition by annually directing $2 billion toward research and development, investing substantially in a vigorous process that never rests, with some projects just beginning to reveal potential as yet others reach commercial fruition. Research is a high reward endeavor — yielding innovative products, unique technology and new intellectual assets. It is also high risk. Trying to create technologies and products to fill society's needs are challenges that are not always overcome. That is expected, and it is the very nature of sound, inquisitive research.
DuPont guides the research process thoughtfully and responsibly to maximize outcome and minimize risk. Chief Science and Technology Officer Tom Connelly leads DuPont research direction and focus. Through his leadership and vision, DuPont R&D matches the rapid pace of business markets today. It attracts and retains expert personnel with the fervent desire and intellectual means to make a difference. It is moving closer to the marketplace, bringing products to market faster, entering and considering collaborations with other institutions to leverage knowledge and skills, and seeking new global markets and applications. This vibrant R&D process unfolds at several forums within DuPont: the Corporate Technology Council, Central Research and Development and DuPont Engineering.
The Corporate Technology Council is the forum for the technical leaders of DuPont to meet monthly and share ideas and thoughts on integrating technology into new markets, new businesses or new products. Comprised of the technical directors in each of the businesses and research functions in the company, The Corporate Technology Council shares information and works to identify opportunities that may lie between businesses. The council sponsors the Lavoisier Medal for Technical Achievement, an annual award that marks the lifetime achievement of scientists or engineers. The scientists and engineers must have a career of accomplishments or technical and creative contributions that have measurable business impact, technical achievement of enduring significance, a career of significant accomplishments and are a role model for current employees.
Prolific research emerges from the Central Research and Development (CR&D) group. This team of more than 1,500 professionals works on discovery research and technologies — some of them based on integrated science, others based on one of the company's traditional disciplines — to meet market needs. Discoveries in CR&D have led to new products such as ink jet inks. CR&D also provides leveraged scientific services for existing businesses within DuPont. The group spearheads both critical functions at one of the world's largest and preeminent R&D facilities: the DuPont Experimental Station, and supplements those pursuits at Shenzhen, China.
DuPont Engineering Technology, known as DuET, develops marketable research ideas into full-scale products and technologies. With world-class skills, personnel, resources and equipment, DuET ably provides the company — and its global customers — with product and process optimization support. Whether the technology or product is used outside the company, or is in development within DuPont, DuET assists expertly.
In sum, research has always been, and will always be, the essential pillar of DuPont innovation. Through a comprehensive structure with dedicated professionals, strategic alliances, superior facilities and a dynamic, nimble process, research coaxes miracles of science into being every day.