Innovation and growth

Growth needs innovation, innovation needs research. Research and development (R&D) thus enjoy an accordingly high priority within the company. The R&D strategy that Sika has been operating for several years guarantees a high innovation rate and has spawned many new products, the exclusive use of which the company has secured by patents.

Core competences

One key factor for the success of Sika’s R&D work is its strategic focus on clearly defined core competencies, namely bonding, sealing, damping, reinforcing, and protecting load-bearing structures in building and industry.

Sika’s sealing products are used to install durable wind-, rain-, and draft-proof barriers in flat roofs, complex tunnel systems, damage-prone water-retaining structures, and sophisticated curtain wall assemblies. Bonding ensures the permanent, elastic or structurally continuous connection of different materials, for example in vehicles, window assemblies, and even segmental bridges, where concrete units weighing several tons are joined together. Damping reduces vibrations in fixed and moving objects, thereby lowering resonance and noise emission in load-bearing structures and in vehicle interiors. Sika’s reinforcing solutions using Carbodur® products strategically improve the resistance of structures to static and dynamic loads, while protective elements serve to increase their durability. Sika coatings guarantee long-term protection for concrete and steelwork assemblies against climatic conditions, chemical action, pollution, and fire.

Research Strategy

Sika’s research activities are carried out at its major technology centers worldwide, with Switzerland as a key location. The research program targets the development of proprietary technology that provides key performance benefits and thus allows Sika’s product platforms to respond to global trends such as resource-saving building methods, energy-efficient and low-emission construction materials, high-speed manufacturing methods, or lighter and safer vehicles. Key projects focus on high-performance molecules with unique features, smart refining techniques for polymers and surfaces, and tailored laboratory equipment scaling to full-size production.

Sika complements its internal research efforts by working with major universities and scientific institutes on fundamental technology. One example is the "Mesh Mould" project, in partnership with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, for the development of a robotized construction method for building load-bearing concrete elements of any shape without formwork. This project won the Swiss Technology Award in 2016. Sika also participates in international research projects and networks. The "Lorcenis" project, for instance, which runs under the HORIZON 2020 program of the European Union, centers on durable reinforced concrete for energy infrastructure.

Development focus in individual target markets