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Chemical Heritage Fdn.
Co-Innovation of Materials, Standards, and Markets: BASF’s Development of Ecoflex: Studies in Materials Innovation #4
Product innovation in the chemicals sector today requires not just scientific and technological advances but also compliance with standards and regulations, along with marketing to sophisticated intermediate firms and end users. Yet the very novelty of new materials often means that product standards, health and safety regulations, and consumer markets are underdeveloped or absent. This report presents a case study of Ecoflex, a biodegradable polymer manufactured by the German chemical co. BASF. The case illustrates how near-simultaneous development of the molecule, standards, and user communities distinguished Ecoflex from competitors’ offerings and fostered flexible thinking about its market identity. Illustrations.
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