Materials matter more than ever, and Eastman is a powerful force in the world of materials innovation.
That power yields a diverse array of benefits: A flourishing enterprise that delivers consistent return to stakeholders. The sort of workplace where a premium placed on creativity, ideas, and diverse perspectives yield deeply satisfying careers and a high-performing team.
And, certainly not last, material solutions where there is a need.
The need for innovation stretches wide and deep. It stretches to customers who need innovation partners, who, through open collaboration, will deliver differentiated end-market solutions. To consumers who rightly demand products that perform while being safer and more sustainable. To the world at large, which faces expansive, complex problems that must be surmounted to improve the quality of life for people around the globe, today and for generations to come.
All those needs intersect with the capabilities and people at Eastman – and they dovetail with the company's purpose, too. Steve Crawford likes to frame up that intersection with Eastman innovation with a question: "Why do we need Eastman?" The answer resonates with the company's chief technology officer on a fundamental level.
"We are at heart an innovation company; it's something that is hardwired into the Eastman DNA and something we can trace back decades," Crawford says. "So, you might say that our roots remain the same, but we have evolved as a company and our fundamental purpose for innovation has evolved, too, as the world has changed around us. There are complex world issues before us that demand solutions and drive our innovation focus: health and wellness, an emerging middle class, the need for efficiency and sustainability of our natural resources, and feeding a growing population. Eighty percent of our innovation programs now connect to a compelling macro trend.
"The global challenges we all face are so complex that they will only be solved at a molecular level, which is where we come in. Eastman is uniquely capable of solving some of those problems, so it's a given that we must innovate in the interest of our stakeholders, our customers and our Eastman team. There is an overarching purpose for us, though:
We have a moral responsibility to innovate."
How we innovate
The evolution of Eastman from a chemicals producer with a diversified portfolio to a specialty company and materials innovator can be illustrated in three connecting chain links that yield an unmatched capability: world-class technologies + application development + relentless engagement of the market = differentiated materials innovation.
Our world-class technology platforms
technology platforms are extremely tunable, adaptable, and differentiated versus others in the materials innovation space.
Those platforms include heritage Eastman technologies that harken back to the very founding of the company in 1920 as well as the significant upgrades of our portfolio through smart specialty acquisitions in the past 10 years.
From PVBs comes films for heads-up display and UV protection in automobiles; modified polyesters give birth to peerless coatings for automobiles and industrial equipment. Alkylamines enable us to collaborate with customers and deliver products that help feed a rapidly expanding world population.
Want a deep dive into one of those platforms? Cellulose esters draw deep from the Eastman history books, more than 80 years back, but it is a sustainable technology that bridges to the future. Read more about cellulose esters.
Cellulose Esters: A material with a past that bridges to the future
By focusing our innovation efforts on programs that spring from those world-class technologies, Eastman brings differentiated solutions to transportation, building and construction, consumables and textiles, consumer durable goods, and animal nutrition and crop protection.
Our technology platforms lead to solutions for the market, and there is a bridge between the two that is Eastman's innovation secret sauce: application development.
The brilliant minds of our own Eastman team of course understand our own technologies, but the backbone of our evolved innovation strategy was an equal understanding of our customer technologies. Our application development expertise enables us to understand how molecular design affects functionality across the value system. Think of it like this: How does changing how a polymer interacts with spinning equipment create a fiber that, when used in a specific fabric design, can optimize properties a consumer cares about: wicking rate, cooling effect, softness?
What is the end result?
World-class technologies plus application development plus relentlessly engaging the market results in Eastman innovation. To what end? We cannot fully count the end results. They number in the thousands and are growing at an exponential rate. But chances are, Eastman innovation and the resulting solutions have enhanced the quality of your life, in potentially thousands of ways. Here is a snapshot of Eastman products that intersect with and improve lives around the world:
For a deeper look at how Eastman innovation enhances the quality of life in a material way, where we see materials innovation going tomorrow, and how Eastman people regard sustainability as a touchstone for Eastman innovation, we are excited about a new way we can connect:
Enhance Magazine: A Chronicle of Eastman Innovation.
This new digital magazine will be suffused with stories on the topics above and many more, and it will be published on a regular basis with an accompanying blog to help you stay current with all things innovation – at Eastman and in the materials space in general.
We invite you to
subscribe to EM and take a look at these stories:
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Eastman: We aim to be THE materials innovation company.
That statement is in bold type and is a bold statement.
But we do not say it lightly. Innovation is why Eastman is here. We are inspired to challenge ourselves and collaborate openly and often – within Eastman and without. We are determined to deliver the solutions that customers expect from us and the world needs from us.
Innovation at Eastman? We are open for business.
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