LG Chem announced on March 2 it will invest the firm’s biggest-ever 1 trillion won ($895 million) in research and development (R&D) this year, accounting for four percent of last year’s sales
“The investment will be made aggressively with a goal of posting 16.3 trillion won (US$14.5 billion) in sales from newly developed products by 2020, doubling this year's 8.5 trillion won (US$7.6 billion),” Park Jin-soo, vice chairman and CEO of LG Chem said at a press conference at the LG Chem R&D Campus in Daejeon.
He went on to say, "We will become one of the top five global chemical companies with 50 trillion won (US$44.7 billion) in annual sales by 2025," Park said at a press conference at the LG Chem R&D Campus in Daejeon.
"To this end, we will make preemptive investments in developing core technologies not just for profitability but also for the preparation of long-term business." Park said, adding that the company will continue to increase its R&D investment by 10 percent a year to make it 1.4 trillion won (US$1.25 billion) by 2020 while expanding the number of R&D workers to 6,300, up from 5,300 this year.
“About 30 percent of the new investment will go to the battery business and advanced materials for vehicles.” he added. Based on such R&D activities, LG Chem plans to expand sales of products such as super-absorbent polymer, engineering plastic, reverse-osmosis membranes and high-capacity cells for electric vehicles and energy storage systems. In the life-science sector, the company will concentrate on developing synthetic drugs, vaccines and bio-similars.
In the meantime, LG Chem’s R&D Campus, which was established in 1979 as the largest private research institute in the state-run Daedeok Science Town in Daejeon City, has led the company’s R&D activities. The campus is comprised of five centers: Corporate R&D, Basic Materials & Chemicals, Battery, IT & Electronics Materials and Life Sciences. Besides the facility in Daejeon, LG Chem runs another R&D center in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province. Once LG Group completes the nation's largest R&D complex, LG Science Park in Magok, western Seoul, by the second half of this year, LG Chem will send 2,500 researchers to the facility to synergize with other group affiliates.