The Urethane Blog

BASF Celebrates 150 Years

BASF celebrates its 150th anniversary

“We create chemistry – yesterday, today and tomorrow”


Throughout the event at the Feierabendhaus, the stage was dominated by a distinctive collection of 15 screens of various sizes that broadcast the pictures and videos for the guests.

BASF celebrated its 150th anniversary today in the Feierabendhaus in Ludwigshafen. “150 years is a special company anniversary – an opportunity to look back and reflect, but also to look forward,” said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and Malu Dreyer, Minister-President of the State of Rhineland-Palatinate also congratulated BASF in front of an audience of more than 1,000 guests from government, business, science and society.

“We create chemistry – yesterday, today and tomorrow”

Over the past 150 years, BASF has grown from a company with 30 employees to become the world’s leading chemical company with around 113,000 employees in 80 countries. “Our success today is due in part to the fact that the right course was set years ago. Especially in chemistry, we are constantly building on the achievements of our predecessors,” said Bock.

The company looked back at its 150-year history in a multimedia presentation on 15 large screens. Following the beginnings with dyes, the industrial production of ammonia for fertilizer was achieved a few years later. Then plastics were added. Since then BASF’s portfolio has continuously developed and grown – ranging today from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection to oil and gas.

BASF’s Chairman thanked the company’s customers, suppliers, service providers and partners: “We are pleased that many of you are in attendance from all over the world. We have worked closely with you for decades, together we have grown, we have jointly pioneered new technologies and thus expanded into new markets.”

“We were only able to achieve all of this with a high-performing and motivated leadership team and the commitment of each individual employee. We are proud of the skill and dedication of this team and how they work together globally. We will duly celebrate this at our sites around the world,” said Bock. Also at the anniversary celebration were many BASF employees who won a draw to attend the event as well as employees with birthdays on April 6 – the day BASF was founded.

Chemistry – a key industry

Innovations based on chemistry have helped to solve the challenges of the future since 1865. “Chemistry was, is and will continue to be a key industry in the future,” said Bock. BASF’s Chairman emphasized that BASF has initiated a global co-creation program with partners in its anniversary year on the topics of energy, food and urban living. BASF is thus taking a new approach in accordance with its “We create chemistry” strategy. The Creator SpaceTM program brings different target groups together to develop joint solutions.

During the anniversary event, five scientists talked about current research projects at BASF with moderator Barbara Hahlweg from German TV station ZDF. The discussions showed the contributions chemistry makes in the area of energy efficiency.

  • Dr. Michael Bäcker, chemist and founder of the company Deutsche Nanoschicht GmbH, which was acquired by BASF in 2013, explained how superconductors can transport electricity almost without loss.
  • Civil engineer Andreas Tselebidis presented Green Sense Concrete® – an innovative concept to optimize concrete mixtures, which contributes to energy savings in construction.
  • Chemist Dr. Marina Safont demonstrated how BASF wants to contribute to the success of electromobility through improved battery technology.
  • The magnetocaloric concept as an energy efficient and environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional cooling in households was described by chemist Markus Schwind.
  • Engineer Dr. Sumana Chaturvedula illustrated how BASF optimizes its own processes to use energy more efficiently.

Premiere of “Symphony No. 8: Water Dances”

One highlight of the event was the premiere of the composition “Symphony No. 8: Water Dances,” which Michael Nyman composed especially for BASF’s anniversary. The English composer was inspired by typical company sounds, which BASF employees worldwide collected and submitted in 2014. The symphonic work was performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London, led by the Spanish conductor Josep Vicent