Innovation and Research

Sika Labs in Preston, UK

Sika is leading the industry with its comprehensive portfolio of high-quality, sustainable solutions. Sika’s capability to address sustainability megatrends is evaluated from a life-cycle perspective along the value chain. The Sika brand is a worldwide symbol for technically superior, user-friendly, and long-lasting products. Bringing innovation to life requires customer centricity and courage. For Sika, innovation means implementing something new that adds value. Sika employees drive progressive solutions that move the industry forward and show customers the value of innovative approaches.

Courage for Innovation

Team R&D South Africa on site with a customer

In R&D, Innovation is the process of developing solutions that create value. Only solutions which bring true benefits to customers help us to stay the clear market leader and to drive growth.Innovations at Sika therefore encompass much more than a new formulation. Packaging, 3-D-developments, real time communications add value too. Value added products based on higher performance and sustainability benefits - these are the drivers for Sika’s growth.

With the Sika Strategy 2028, the integration of innovation and sustainability has emerged as a compelling imperative. Innovation and sustainability are inextricably linked, and their convergence in Sika’s corporate agendas reflects a necessity for long-term success. The confluence of these two critical elements has become a necessity to give answers to today’s challenges in the construction and automotive industry. The strategic correlation between sustainability and innovation supports Sika’s journey to net zero.

Sustainability as Innovation Driver

Sika Brands

Combining innovation and sustainability allows Sika to help transform the construction and transportation industries. Sikadoes this by placing sustainability aspects at the core of strategicand operational innovation processes, while simultaneously drivingoperational efficiency and excellence across the organization. Sika’s goal is to innovate products that enable sustainable construction and transportation, reducing environmental impact along the value chain.

Sustainability has become the key driver for R&D projects at Sika. It fuels the quest for alternative, renewable materials, low carbon solutions, new recycling concepts, more efficient production methods like modular building, resource efficiency, healthier and safer spaces for living and working, enhanced product flexibility, and digitally enhanced solutions.

Customer Centricity

Sika Brands

Sika helps its customers meet their challenges by developing new products in response to tighter climate-related and chemical regulations, increased sustainability awareness among their customers, and a shortage of skilled labor. Sika prioritizes customer-centricity in innovation and sustainability by actively engaging with customers to understand their needs and challenges. Customers and market partners contribute to tailoring product development and solutions to address specific customer requirements while promoting sustainability through sustainable materials and practices.

Sika aims to deliver value-driven innovations that not only meet customer demands but also align with environmental and social responsibilities, fostering long-term partnerships and sustainable growth.

Intellectual Property

The protection of intellectual property (IP) plays a vital role in competitive markets. While inventions need to be protected against imitators, ensuring FTO (freedom to operate) for new products over third-party IP is important too.

To achieve the best possible benefit for the Group, the patent strategy is fo­cused on three basic pillars (i) risk management and mitigation for third-party patents, (ii) protection of new inven­tions according to commercial relevance of the products/solu­tions, and (iii) leveraging patents to support business. 188 new inventions were reported in 2023 (previous year: 168), and 108 new patent applications were filed (previous year: 104). By the end of 2023, Sika’s patent portfolio included 1,600 unique patent families with 5,680 single national patents.

In 2023, Sika concluded the worldwide roll-out of its new Intellectual Property (IP) Tool to streamline invention submission and to ensure transparent innovation management. Furthermore, in 2023, Sika integrated a substantial portfolio of patents and inventions as part of the acquisition of MBCC and its associated brands.

Digitalization of Sika Products and Solutions

Sika leverages digital technology to optimize or enhance processes related to the use and life cycle of its products and solutions. One example of optimization at Sika is the range of calculation software available to its customers. These tools allow for more speed in the selection of Sika products, hence avoiding waste or shortage of material during a given application. 

Digitalization is also revolutionizing the construction and manufacturing sectors through 3D printing, concrete pouring without formwork (MESH), digital planning, and support tools that increase accuracy and save time. Sika is the only company capable of supplying all of the technologies required for industrial 3D concrete printing from a single source.

The range of solutions includes mortars, admixtures, and the printing system together with the software. Sika has teamed up with several partners to commercialize 3D concrete printing technology in the construction industry and to capture its vast potential. Sika’s solution combines sustainability with operational efficiency and productivity improvements. Software developed by Sika focuses on modeling complex 3D printed elements. Advanced Sika 3D printing technologies allow the realization of new building concepts and more complex shapes while achieving a perfect printing quality with minimum material.

Another strategic topic is the modular approach to construction, which increases the degree of automation and efficiency in the realization of construction projects, while simplifying compliance with rigorous safety standards. With its products, systems, and solutions, Sika can accelerate technological change on construction sites. In roofing solutions, Sika offers an efficient system for leak monitoring and detection. In digital construction, a range of exciting challenges across economic, environmental, technical, and architectural fields are evolving. Sika covers all activities required for the complete digitalization of the construction industry, including design, processes and operations, additive materials, and connected devices.