Research is our key to continuous business development. Accordingly, we are willing to spend 14% of revenue on research and development. During 2008 we expanded our research staff by 100. We now have a total of 1,130 employees working in Research & Development, more than 40% of these outside Denmark.
Our research projects are either carried out in partnerships or by us alone. In both cases all products in our R&D pipeline are continuously evaluated against market needs, requirements, and technical benchmarks, to ensure success. We have also introduced lifecycle assessments to make sure that the environmental impact is considered.
The sheer multitude, range, quality, and flow of projects in the R&D pipeline provide us with a comfortable basis for sustaining current business and ensuring continued growth. We believe a mix of large- and small-scale projects is optimal. The latter provide a high probability of a continued business basis, while larger potential projects often take the business to a new level and offer new opportunities.
Development work is ongoing within all areas, and within both new industries and new enzymes, for example for the starch, forest product, leather, brewing, detergent industries, and so on. There are currently more than 75 projects in the pipeline, with expected market release spanning the next 10 years. Our pipeline status has been stable for years.
Listed below are some of the development activities:
- New enzymes and concepts to replace other detergent ingredients with enzymes
- New technologies and improved processes for first-generation biofuel
- Enzymes for the production of second-generation bioethanol based on corn stover, corn cobs, and bagasse
- Enzymes for sustainable use of agricultural input in food production
- New enzymes that facilitate better use of phosphorus in feed, providing cost savings while reducing environmental impact
BioBusiness is an area in development, and needs time to grow to a significant size. The pipeline status is good, although by nature the flow is uneven compared to a mature business, and it will remain so for years to come. The R&D resources are allocated within both existing and new areas. Listed below are some of the development activities:
serum albumin for up/downstream pharmaceutical manufacturing and biomedical applications
Cost-competitive, high-quality hyaluronic acid (HA) products for medical devices and pharmaceuticals
Microorganisms for agriculture, providing biological alternatives to conventional agriculture
Antimicrobial peptides (e.g., outlicensed Plectasin NZ2114)
Development of production methods for glucose-based chemicals