Yara has grown through a combination of scientific research and commercial daring that revolutionized modern agriculture. Yara’s current goal of becoming the "Industry Shaper" means the company needs to be at the forefront of developing new products and technology.
Yara employs its tradition of innovation to nurture a culture that encourages the search for improved methods and the development of new solutions – to explore and seize future growth opportunities, and to drive business development. In keeping with this, Yara develops and utilizes its comprehensive, combined industrial and agronomic knowledge base, which is considered a major asset, contributing to the company’s competitive edge.
To uphold Yara’s long-term growth perspective, R&D activities focus on sustainable agriculture and commercializing new environmental solutions. Yara runs three R&D centers, one located in Porsgrunn, Norway that includes the two Core Competency Communities (CCCs): Process R&D and Manufacturing support CCC and Catalyst Systems CCC. In addition to the site in Porsgrunn, R&D activities are carried out at Yara’s R&D centers at the company’s plant located in Sluiskil, the Netherlands, and at Yara’s Research Center Hanninghof, Germany.
Identifying business opportunities arising from global challenges and employing Yara’s core competencies to develop and offer solutions lie at the core of the corporate strategy – making innovation a main business driver. Innovation is particularly geared towards creating opportunities within the three focal areas of Yara’s strategic approach of creating impact: resources, food and the environment.
In 2011 Yara established three innovation platforms as the framework for driving business development and launching solutions and services. Within these the company coordinates prioritized projects closely connected to its core business, enabling a holistic approach to exploit value with maximum efficiency.
Within the Emissions to Air innovation platform Yara explores opportunities arising from air pollution, for example, from cleaner technologies. Yara has a leading position in abating hazardous NOx emissions, and targets innovation that develops applications and solutions for a growing global market.
Within the Water Scarcity innovation platform Yara explores opportunities related to water shortages challenging agriculture. Yara has a leading position in fertigation solutions reducing water use, and innovation targets increasing agriculture’s water use efficiency.
Within the Resource Efficiency innovation platform Yara explores ways to improve the use of scarce resources other than water, notably land and phosphate. Yara has a leading knowledge position with the Crop Nutrition Concept furthering nutrient use efficiency, and explores opportunities to increase the efficiency of phosphate use and to improve processing technologies.
With the new Coffee & Cocoa innovation platform Yara combines crop specific nutrition knowledge with recent experiences from public private partnerships and value chain approaches, such as participating in the Coffee Task Force in Vietnam.
Research & Development
Yara has organized its R&D organization to work more effectively and meet the company’s strategic ambitions. The new structure is made up of three core competency communities: Product and Application Development; Process Research; and Catalyst Systems.
In addition to a reinforcement of internal capabilities, Yara established a systematic approach to open innovation through partnerships. A series of collaborations with universities, institutes or companies supplements internal capacity in support of specific projects. In 2013 the cooperation with Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (Embrapa), Brazil’s chief research organization, established joint trials to investigate the economic and environmental benefits of Yara fertilizers in tropical sites.
Innovation is also carried out through global engagements and partnerships, such as the Sahara Forest Project in Qatar, confirming the concept of successful year-round greenhouse production of cucumbers in the desert, based entirely on renewable energy.