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 new approaches.
Global Innovation Management
Sika’s long history of innovation has made it a recognized global technology leader in many markets worldwide. The Sika innovation culture reflects courage for innovation, creation, and knowledge and the importance of networking and cross-functional teamwork. Sika’s research and development activities are conducted by 1,780 employees across 18 Global Technology Centers and over 100 local and regional research and development facilities.
While investing in its Technology Centers, the company also nurtures an international network of scientists, partners, suppliers, and customers. In addition, an innovation management team seamlessly integrates sustainability and innovation across functions, facilitating initiatives and solutions to meet evolving customer needs and market dynamics. This team consists of the Global Innovation Manager and exploration teams in all Regions to facilitate projects and partnerships. Sika's collaborative approach to innovation management embraces the specific exploration process and adopts a customer-centric mindset.
Global Digital R&D Laboratory
Global Innovation Challenge
Sika's concept (“Nuage”) for digitalizing R&D processes worldwide facilitates collaboration across teams in different geographies and enables researchers to conduct experiments and simulations using digital tools and technologies. The new global digital laboratory allows researchers to work remotely, collaborate with others in real time, and access a wide range of data, software, and hardware resources. The collaboration of the Nuage project team with experts from every core technology group and Region, as well as from IT, procurement, operations, and technical service, has been a prerequisite for success.
The Global Innovation Challenge has been designed to stretch both individuals and teams in terms of ways of working and mindset by collaborating on real-life projects. It is an initiative to foster the innovative drive of high-potential employees. This program prepares a new generation of innovation leaders and embraces key change drivers such as sustainability, digitalization, and the circular economy. In 2023, Sika ran the second GIC with candidates from 15 countries. The teams found solutions for challenges like digitalization/AI, raw material scarcity, removable adhesives and sealants, and sustainable packaging.
Sika participates in Hackathons for sustainability and innovation. To harness the creative and technical talents of the global hackathon community, Sika participated at the HackZurich in 2023. This Hackathon united the world's best tech talents representing several elite universities and leading organizations from more than 85 countries, to collaborate and develop innovative web-, mobile- and hardware applications. The result of this hackathon led to a concept for an interactive platform connecting and synchronizing Sika knowledge to enable communication and fast data extraction. Hackathons were also supported in other countries.
SCOUTS – The Worldwide Innovation Platform
Sika launched the innovation platform “Scouts”, allowing all employees worldwide to contribute their knowledge towards innovation-focused initiatives, and to connect with colleagues to find the right solution for business-related challenges. Scouts is part of Sika’s innovation management and essential to harnessing the creativity of all employees. Campaigns on Scouts for example aim to collect ideas that support the company and its customers on the net zero journey.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Cross-functional collaborations within Sika, alongside partnerships with technology companies, scientific institutions, and universities, have yielded fresh insights and scientific breakthroughs. This collaborative effort has resulted in products and solutions that both offer enhanced performance and bring about sustainability benefits.
Sika enhances its research efforts by cooperating with renowned universities and scientific institutions such as ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich), EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne), University of Pennsylvania (USA), Princeton University (USA), the Beijing University of Chemical Technology (PRC), and similar institutions across the globe.
In addition, Sika’s subsidiaries cooperate with research institutes in their local markets An example of a successful scientific partnership on a corporate and local level is the partnership with the University of Cádiz (UCA). Sika and the UCA cooperate in concrete protection, building facades, and industrial processes. The cooperation results from a successful partnership focusing on innovative techniques for preserving concrete structures.