Digital Incubation Unit (DIU) –
We drive digital innovation

The Digital Incubation Unit (DIU) discovers and validates digital business models and corporate ventures for BASF’s Coatings division. At the DIU, we focus on the fascinating interplay between the challenges of the automotive and surface treatment industry and the opportunities offered by digital trends.

Our goal is to address pain points with digital solutions by examining potential business sectors of the future. Our mission is to be proactive in shaping today and tomorrow for BASF Coatings with disruptive digital solutions.


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DIU Muenster office with photo of Shanghai

The agility of a startup in a global company

As BASF Coatings’ incubator, we combine the best of both worlds: the exploratory, agile mindset of a startup with the expertise and network of a global corporation. In a protected space, we validate ideas for digital business models based on Lean Startup and Design Thinking principles, in short innovation cycles. Are we getting positive feedback from the market? Do we have the right resources for implementation? Is the business model sustainable and does it have a good chance of success? Then, we develop scalable corporate ventures.

In order to drive innovation, we focus on agile working methods and empowerment. Our team is very at home in the digital world and can look to strong partnerships and networks. That helps us to incorporate external perspectives into our developments from an early stage.
Dominic Rudloff

Dominic Rudloff

Head of Digital Incubation Unit

Global setting

The DIU is represented at two sites: Münster, Germany, and Shanghai, China. Münster is the Coatings division’s main site and the place where the DIU originated. The Shanghai site is another key stepping stone on the way to a global setup. Be it the digital hub near the port in Münster or the co-working space in downtown Shanghai, both sites are located in a protected space, giving them the independence they need to act as effective incubators. Here, we are creating an environment that promotes a dynamic, creative, agile approach. We see ourselves as a united, international team and are in constant dialog with one another. 

You can find more information about the DIU here:

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