A growing need for nutrient-rich food supported by a healthy lifestyle is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Innovations based on science play a key role here, contributing decisively to new solutions. Effective and efficient research and development are a prerequisite for innovation as well as an important growth engine for us.
Malnutrition is still a major concern, in both developing and developed countries. In 2014, 1.9 billion adults aged 18+ where overweight. 62% of these people are living in developing countries. The obesity problem is additionally impacting a specific segment of the population – young children. This is a massive long-term problem, since children with obesity are very likely to remain obese as adults and are at risk of chronic illness.
Changes in our lifestyles over the past centuries, the aging world and the development of the environment are contributing to the occurrence of several non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and diabetes. NCDs are a global issue which doesn't differ in developed or developing countries. In 2012, 42% of lives lost to NCDs were premature and avoidable.
These concerns, driven by malnutrition and unhealthy nutrition, affect all societies. Obesity and overweight in particular are quickly progressing as a consequence of our lifestyles, and of the food available to us.
A healthy lifestyle is no longer about getting the right amount of calories, it is more about getting the right nutrients at the right time. Everybody wants to live a healthy and active life for as long as possible. Understanding consumers is vital to developing solutions that can be used every day.
We know that investments in Research and Development are the only way to find better food solutions that will solve these problems and help people live healthier lives. The best investment for tomorrow is therefore the Research and Development we do today.
We need a fundamental understanding of the human body and the effects and roles of essential nutrients in order to develop beneficial nutritional products. This includes human development, prevention and curing of medical conditions and diseases. We also leverage our strong heritage of excellence in science and engineering.
In 2012, BASF launched the Asia Research Grant. The program grants awarded to researchers in Asia Pacific to study nutritional topics relevant for Asian-Pacific demographics and diets. This strategic platform is also a collaboration between BASF, researchers and manufacturers coming together to investigate and gather first-hand findings in new research areas.
BASF has established two scientific advisory boards with the world's leading independent scientists. They help us assess the most promising innovation ideas for our current and potential ingredients and advanced health solutions.
We have Nutritional and Health laboratories around the world. Our network of Application Labs offers an outstanding array of services on a worldwide basis with special attention paid to regional preferences and cultural differences. We develop products jointly with our customers on site for the dietary supplements, beverage and food market segments.
We believe that our long history of developing products for human nutrition combined with our continuous investments in innovative and differentiating solutions make us a strong contributor to overcoming the future challenges of human nutrition and meeting the requirements of evolving nutritional lifestyles.
We are convinced that only companies that share our view of the future will be able to shape the future of the human nutrition industry. By collaborating with such companies all along the value chain we are able to create customer-oriented solutions that fit daily habits and can be integrated into daily life.