At our heart, 3M is a science company. For more than a century, our success has been built on research and development and the kind of innovative solutions that come from it. I talked about some of this at the Internet of Things World Forum in Dubai last week with other leaders from companies and organizations like event host Cisco, GE, Siemens and Rockwell Automation.
Road signs that reflect light back at you, window films that lower building energy costs, respirators that protect workers and help them breathe easier – all of these products were born out of 3M’s drive to solve real world challenges.
To do that, we look not just at the needs of individuals and businesses, but at how they all come together around the world to shape global megatrends. Population growth, particularly in urban areas, is a great example. With increased urbanization comes increasing needs around energy, traffic management and pollution, among other things.
In October we announced a dedicated lab for Smart Urban Solutions in Singapore. This is a three-year, $7.2-million investment in tackling urban needs around energy, water and the environment for Southeast Asia, where population growth is having a tremendous impact.
There are tough challenges ahead, but we see them as opportunities to use our strengths of technology and domain knowledge of diverse markets to improve the lives of people as the world is getting urbanized. “Smart cities” are one of the ways we will be able to apply 3M science to life around the world.