3M aims to invest almost 6 percent of its annual sales in research and development by 2017, and 3M President and CEO Inge Thulin says the process is already underway. Thulin shared 3M's future growth strategies, including a strengthened focus on innovation, during 3M's 2013 Outlook Meeting.
Thulin says 3M plans a steady increase in R&D investment and a focus on "new products for new markets, international opportunities and disruptive technologies." Thulin says the company's innovation oversight team has begun to review more than 50 R&D proposals for investment.
3M is also building a new laboratory at its headquarters in Maplewood, MN. The new lab, scheduled to open in early 2015, will house 700 scientists currently working in other facilities. Thulin says the facility will be designed for the development of innovative technologies and will be a hub in 3M's global research network.
3M is expecting a healthy 2013. CFO David Meline said the company is expecting 2 percent to 5 percent organic sales growth, with the strongest sector growth in 3M's health care business and the strongest geographic growth in developing markets.