To speed up the rollout of newly developed products, the Product Creation Process (PCP) was revised during the 2015 business year. In 2016 the implementation process continued. After instructing the relevant staff members, the new version was put into place throughout the company. The regional technology support functions are responsible for compliance with the PCP in their area and perform regular PCP audits to review process quality. The audits ensure that employees always have an up-to-date state of knowledge that meets the high standards specified by Sika and that local chemists are familiar with the latest technologies. At the same time, special workshops are held to collect innovative ideas from the regions and leverage these for the Group.
Total expenditures on research and development for the Group in the year under review totaled CHF 161.4 million (previous year: CHF 160.6 million), equivalent to 2.8% of sales (previous year: 2.9%).
Sika maintains exclusivity over its innovative products through the systematic registration of its intellectual property rights. 84 new inventions were reported in 2016 (previous year: 87) and 72 new patents applications were filed (previous year: 70). By the end of 2016 Sika’s patent portfolio included 682 unique patent families with more than 2,600 single national patents.