Research & development and innovation
2019 R&D spend
Technology is at the core of our success
As a materials technology company, our future success depends on our ability to develop and market innovative products and services. We strive to meet the needs of a rapidly changing world and continuously search for new solutions for our customers. We dedicate our research and development (R&D) to solving some of the world’s largest societal challenges in the areas of clean mobility and clean air, resource scarcity and sustainability.
We have prioritized our R&D programs to support our Horizon 2020 ambitions, focusing on the development of closed-loop material solutions. We are working to meet growing demand by consistently investing in research for clean mobility materials and for recycling precious and other valuable metals.
From production and process technology to deep knowledge of metallurgy and materials science, a significant part of our technology is delivered using Umicore R&D findings. Umicore also develops technology in collaboration with industrial or academic partners and, where appropriate, we protect our intellectual property with patents. 56 patents were filed in 2019.
Umicore continues to invest in R&D and to attract international scientific talent to develop the next generation of sustainable products and process technologies for our customers. Umicore R&D employees cover 34 nationalities in 15 locations, and in 2019, 1 in 4 were women. Over the past 4 years, the R&D investments increased by 40%. In 2019 Umicore invested € 211 million on R&D with a significant increase in rechargeable battery materials development. The R&D spend represented 6% of revenues and capitalized development costs accounted for € 35 million.