Innovation

Through state-of-the-art processes, and working in partnership with our customers, we are realizing the full potential of carbon black. Evolving together is therefore a key enabler to achieving cutting edge sustainable products.

Microscope

Our culture of innovation

Innovation is embedded throughout our business, motivating us as we strive for continuous improvement. We leverage partnerships and explore new design processes to constantly expand the potential of our product. Our customers say that our carbon black identification technology is the best on the market, and we gladly share our process with them.

Cutting edge facilities support cutting edge thinking

To ensure we remain at the cutting edge of our industry, we depend on scientists and engineers who are dedicated to taking us forward. We therefore provide our scientists with state-of-the-art research facilities, bringing together our Research and Development (R&D) and Manufacturing teams from around the world. Our two principal R&D Centers in Taloja (Maharashtra, India) and Marietta (Georgia, USA) are supported by satellite laboratories around the world. We recognize that cutting edge thinking supports sustainability, helping us achieve our goals and share progress along the way. We aim to further develop our products to advance circularity.

Read about our culture of innovation (PDF, 13.7 MB) in our report.

Inviting innovation from everyone

Year on year, we have worked to build a culture of participation. We formed our Innovation Action Team (IAT) in 2019, aiming to create a workplace that encourages ideas from every employee. The IAT empowers employees to continually evolve our products.

To further this aim, we launched our first Hype Open Innovation campaign in 2019, inviting employees to submit their suggestions via an online platform. From the 87 ideas submitted, 18 were selected for implementation, including teleworking, improving diversity and developing a network of engagement ambassadors across the company.

Hype Open Innovation Campaigns

Circularity with Continua™

Applying circular thinking, Continua™ is our new product, created by recycling end-of-life tires.

Continua™ logo

Sharing the strength – our partnerships

Through establishing partnerships, with a view for long-term positive impact, we utilize both expert knowledge and industry experience to create sustainable products for our customers.

A joint development agreement with CHASM Advanced Materials

Together, we are advancing the development of nanomaterials by producing stronger, more sustainable materials for a variety of uses, such as high-performance tires and next-generation batteries. We recently transitioned to a strategic partnership with CHASM to continue developing sustainability solutions to address increasing customer and industry needs.

Our collaboration with GranBio

In 2020, we announced the introduction of a patent-pending Nanocellulose Dispersion Composite (NDC™) for qualification by tire and rubber companies. This NDC™ masterbatch, the result of a three-year joint development program with GranBio, provides improved tire rolling resistance and vehicle fuel economy.

Supporting start-ups

Looking for ways to reduce our environmental footprint, we are partnering with several U.S. Department of Energy grant winners, to capture and convert our CO2 emissions into carbon nanomaterials, which are then reincorporated into our products.

We reinvested 5.4% profit in research and development in FY2021.

New areas of development

Our team of highly qualified scientists are supporting the diversification of our business. For example, they are researching new carbon blacks for use in lithium batteries to improve:

  • Energy efficiency

  • Power density

  • Charging speed

These batteries could be used in the next generation of electric vehicles, in grid storage systems to improve the efficiency of wind farms or for home energy storage.

By expanding in markets such as batteries, tire materials, inks and plastics, we can increase value for both our business and our customers. Our best-in-class example of how innovation has expanded our business is through Continua™, our new sustainable carbonaceous material offering.

In our report you will find more information on:

  • Our employee-focused Hype Open Innovation campaign
  • Innovation partnerships
  • New areas of research and development

Applying circular thinking

Leading the way for the industry, we have achieved circularity at scale with our Continua™ offering while applying the same principles in carbon black production.

Working towards our 2030 goals

Take a look at our progress, including our awards, targets and our contribution to global goals.