If research and development are the metaphorical heartbeat of 3M, then the 3M Tech Forum Annual Event is where that metaphor comes to life. I attended this year’s event, where some of the most brilliant minds across our organization came together to share their recently commercialized successes, technologies and ideas.
The two-day showcase is put on by the 3M Technical Forum, which encourages interaction across the company and allows scientists to share their work. Part of what sets 3M apart as a science-based company is our ability to connect and intertwine our 46 core technology platforms, and the Annual Event highlights the results.
An impressive 4,000 visitors from 29 countries turned out over the two days to see our technology in action. We were even able to broadcast the experience – via a mobile robot – to 3M locations around the world, including Brazil, Germany and across the United States. We had seven international groups represented, and another 32 3Mers from 16 countries and regions across the globe who couldn’t be at the event were still able to showcase their work interactively on monitors throughout the forum.
I never leave this event without being pleasantly surprised. It’s exciting to see the diversity in countries and divisions, but the thing I’m most impressed with is the spirit of collaboration among colleagues. I look forward to the learning that comes out of the event – 3M is a big company and a lot of things are happening in different parts of the world. The true excitement will happen three or four months from now, when I’ll start hearing stories about connections that were made at the event and ideas that were sparked turning into a product or innovation that will create value for our company. Putting science to work is what 3M is all about.