Putting Our Science to Work: Tom Connelly Discusses Increasing R&D Returns

At an investors’ conference in New York yesterday, DuPont Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer Tom Connelly reviewed the company’s three growth strategies and highlighted the advances being made in several of the business platform’s new product pipelines.

We continue to put our science to work in the global markets we serve.Strong results in 2006 have given us positive momentum in 2007,” Tom said. “Connecting customer-driven market insight with our technology capabilities is proving to be the difference. Our productivity and return on innovation investment are increasing.”

Tom linked DuPont’s customer-driven innovation to expanding profit margins and the accelerated increase in return on invested capital, both of which have risen substantially in the past three years. He pointed to the recent announcement of DuPont’s seventh major R&D facility, the DuPont Knowledge Center in India, as an example of “putting our science to work” and “going where the growth is,” two of DuPont’s key growth strategies. He also indicated the next R&D facility will likely be in Eastern Europe and will be announced within the next two years.

DuPont has several metrics in place to measure the progress of its R&D pipeline. The metrics have shown continuous improvement over the last several years.

Pricing momentum: DuPont continues to deliver positive pricing momentum, and has achieved 12 consecutive quarters of pricing gains.

“It often takes our new products three to five years to reach the steep part of their growth curve. We are just beginning to gain traction from our most recent innovations and expect to see strong returns that will enable us to continue our pricing momentum strategy,” Tom said.

Patents filed and granted: Patents filed by DuPont scientists have more than doubled since 2001, while patents granted saw a more than 20 percent increase from 2005 to 2006. DuPont scientists currently hold over 5,700 active U.S. patents and have approximately 4,000 U.S. patents pending.

New products: In 2000, DuPont set a goal to generate 33 percent of its revenue from products introduced in the last five years by 2005. In 2005, the company met the goal, and in 2006 increased its revenue from products introduced in the last five years to 34 percent. DuPont has launched an average of more than 1,000 new products or new product applications in each of the past three years, commercializing over 1,100 new products or new product applications in 2006.

“We have developed a disciplined and rigorous process for accelerating DuPont’s diverse product pipeline. I am confident that our acceleration and revitalization program is working,” Tom said.

Tom also summarized the company’s previously announced capital investment plans and reviewed DuPont’s leading-edge work in biofuels and biomaterials that are expected to create significant growth opportunities for the company in the future.

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