Germany-based chemical manufacturer BASF AG and Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard University’s Office
of Technology Development have agreed to jointly establish the BASF Advanced Research Initiative
with the aim of defining and undertaking projects that may lead to commercial development by BASF.
Application areas include applied physics, physics, applied mathematics, chemical biology, systems
biology, bioengineering and materials science
The initiative, based at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will benefit
from relationships with a number of schools and departments within the university. BASF will fund
Harvard researchers directly, initially supporting 10 postdoctoral students. The company expects to
provide up to $20 million over the next five years.
Dr. Jens Rieger, scientific director, Polymer Research, BASF; Dr. David Weitz, Mallinckrodt
Professor of Physics and Applied Physics; and Dr. George Whitesides, Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers
University Professor; will lead the initiative and work to create a research network within the
university. Harvard faculty researchers will be able to distribute and publish any research
findings resulting from the initiative.
Initial research topics include finding new chemical approaches to materials and processes
such as carbon dioxide chemistry; understanding the formation of biofilms and developing strategies
to inhibit or limit their growth by surface or material modification; and targeting new and
improved concepts to deliver active ingredient molecules to a particular place where they develop
activity in a controlled procedure.
“We are delighted to be working together with one of the world’s most respected universities
for science and engineering,” said Dr. Stefan Marcinowski, executive research director and member
of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors. “We expect this initiative to generate new and
unconventional innovations, which can lead to future products that are relevant to the needs of
November 13, 2007