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  3. Research and Development

3M Research & Development

There is a strong thread that connects our four business groups to the vast amount of science we do and the thousands of scientists and researchers we have around the world — it's our research and development. R&D is the heartbeat of 3M. We invest about 5.9 percent of our sales back into the science that makes 3M strong. That investment helps produce more than 3,500 patents each year and a steady stream of unique products for customers. Click on the hot spots in the image below to learn about the latest in R&D at 3M.
  • Image of the new 3M Research and Development Lab, building 280

Building Fact

Designed to be a LEED Certified building

Building Fact

100+ 3M products used in the construction

Building Fact

Under the parking lot is a 640,000 gallon storm water retention system (size of an Olympic Pool).


We are a new group, working on new products for new markets – like optical films that can go into augmented-reality wearable devices. It’s exciting that we are investing in higher-risk, higher-reward innovation. – Susan Kent

3M Electronics Materials Solutions

I am working on an adhesive for a new dry erase surface with my counterparts in the New Platform group, who were in another building. Now, I can see them face-to-face and collaborate much easier. This fits perfectly into 3M’s core culture. –Ying-Yuh Lu

3M Stationery & Office Supplies

This space represents an opportunity to work differently. Sometimes that’s enough to cause you to think in a different way. Just like visiting customers, you see things in new ways. We don’t know yet what can happen. – Lee Stanek

3M Aerospace and Commercial Transportation

This building is beautiful and future-oriented. This is the ideal environment to brainstorm together and with our customers. We will work on solutions to reduce emissions, improve safety lighting and develop advancements for automotive.
– Terry Ceulemans

3M Automotive
Building Fact

There are 414 trees, 2,730 shrubs and 4,366 perennials planted on the site


  • The company owns 49 technology platforms, which range from adhesives and abrasives, to ceramics and nanotechnology. Our scientists around the world share and combine these technologies across all our businesses to invent and manufacture cutting-edge products. Roughly one-third of 3M’s sales come from products introduced in the last five years.

Infographic of the 3M technologies: materials, processes, digital, capabilities, and applications.

  • Wanted: insatiable curiosity. 3M’s work – with integrity, collaboration and innovation at its core – changes lives, homes and businesses in real ways every day. Here, you can explore your talents and reinvent your career – all with one company.

  • 3M applies science to life around the world. The Carlton Society is our science hall of fame, honoring the very best among our scientific community for extraordinary work as scientists and mentors.