Oxiteno brings an analytic approach to innovation
Oxiteno is a leading multinational producer of surfactants and specialty chemicals in the Americas, headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil with operations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Its customers are among the largest companies in the world, spanning multiple sectors from crop solutions, home and personal care, coatings, oil and gas, industrial application, nutrition & health, and functional fluids. In an industry facing regulatory changes on a constant basis, Oxiteno’s Research & Development (R&D) team has achieved a leadership role in innovation and chemical product development with the help of the PatSnap connected intelligence platform.
Maintaining industry leadership
Bianca Campos, a member of Oxiteno’s Innovation Management Office (IMO), says “technology and competitive intelligence are a major part of our innovation strategy, and we use this information as part of our daily routine, not just in R&D but in the business as a whole.” A key part of the IMO team’s role is keeping pace with competitive IP and technology intelligence to better understand and assure freedom to operate in the many markets the company serves, as well as trending technologies. That insight plays a critical role in developing new products and solutions in an industry where innovation is constantly changing. “As an organization at the forefront of the chemicals industry, technology, and competitive intelligence is crucial. It’s not only important to anticipate trends and envision the R&D efforts of our competitors, but also crucial in helping Oxiteno more effectively collaborate with our customers and offer solutions that will meet sustainability innovation that is yet to come.” Collecting and connecting the dots on all this information to inform decision-makers presents a complex challenge. “The chemical industry is a top ten industry when it comes to patent filing, with over three million patents filed, and it is important to have access to as much data as possible on published patents,” adds Campos. According to Campos, “an additional challenge was developing an “IP (intellectual property) consciousness” at Oxiteno that went “beyond the innovation area to the business units.” This means providing Oxiteno’s business units with meaningful innovation intelligence beyond patent data, such as chemical structures and regulatory information.
Actionable insights in one place
To address these challenges, Oxiteno turned to PatSnap. Prior to using PatSnap, “we had to put a lot of pieces together from different sources.” With PatSnap though, “we now have almost all of the necessary information in one place that is very user-friendly and easy to use.” Ultimately, Campos says, the goal is to “generate value to the business through actionable insights.”One of the main areas in which Oxiteno uses PatSnap is to support R&D workflows by searching patent data to answer questions like “what are competitors working on?” and “how has the technical challenge been solved by others based on patent literature?” Other areas include identifying white spaces, aligning innovation and IP goals, and feeding business strategy. With Oxiteno’s 2019 sustainability mandate, PatSnap’s role expanded to help forecast sustainability considerations and opportunities.
Knowing your customer
Oxiteno excels at understanding not only where its customers are now, but where they are going in the future, and Campos says this is an area where PatSnap provides high value. In one specific instance, Campos says “our technical and development team needed to understand the next generation of a particular customer’s products because we had a strategic meeting with them coming up to discuss partnership possibilities.” According to Campos, PatSnap provided information “not only information on the customer’s recent patent filings, but on the overall innovation strategy of the customer.” This allowed the Oxiteno team to understand where Oxiteno’s portfolio of expertise and solutions fit into this customer. “As a result, our team was more prepared and confident in the meeting.”
A clearer, comprehensive picture
Since Oxiteno transitioned to using PatSnap, Campos has a clearer, comprehensive picture of chemicals and patents that are – and will be – transforming the chemical industry. Some of the key features that help Campos obtain this picture are:
- PatSnap’s Workspace feature is especially useful because all the relevant information is in the same place, Campos says. “It’s very easy and very quick to find what I need.”
- The Semantic Search function is very powerful because “I am not simply depending on selected keywords. So I know I’m not missing anything.”
- The Insights and Discovery module are “exceptional to connect the technology with the business and innovation strategy.”
She also enjoys having the ability to add her own comments, classify risks, and perform analyses in the same tool that she is using to search, read and evaluate the documents. “I can also set up specific alerts.”When asked, Campos is happy to encourage others to try PatSnap for themselves. “The customer services team is amazing because I can ask them questions, describe my expectations and discuss the analyses I’m performing. Perhaps most importantly, like Oxiteno, they have a mindset for innovation and are open to new ideas and approaches.”
Oxiteno’s innovation story by the numbers
- 48 new product developments delivered in 2020.
- 50+ granted patents in 14 countries.
- 500 trademarks registered around the world.
- 130+ employees allocated in R&D.
- 2 global R&D centers and 3 R&D facilities.
- Anticipate trends and envision the R&D efforts of competitors.
- Collaborate with customers and offer solutions that will anticipate the future of the chemicals industry.
- Enable AI-driven connected innovation intelligence in its R&D efforts.
- Gain a deeper understanding of the chemical industry landscape.