We know that ideas often come from various places, so we also have a strong outward focus to develop better safety solutions. On a large scale, this takes the form of our numerous corporate research organizations that identify trends in technological advancements that we may be able to integrate into 3M’s capabilities and products. We also partner with leading universities and external technology groups to support and advance a wide variety of technology platforms that we can translate into real-world solutions.
Ultimately, the greatest fuel that drives our innovation is our ability to find necessary and uncommon connections between our technology and the many hazards that workers face every day.
For example, over four decades ago, 3M identified a need for a simple and effective respirator to help reduce workers’ exposure to certain airborne particles. We subsequently developed the first NIOSH-approved filtering facepiece respirator. This introduction not only launched an entirely new category of personal protective equipment (PPE), but it also served as a catalyst for more worker-inspired innovations in the decades to follow.