INNOVATION

BAT counts on R&D to put 50m customers on unburned products

The firm is on a mission to reduce the health impact of its business.

In Summary
  • It invests almost £350 million a year to find innovative ways to reduce its effects on public health
  • The development is based around consumer preferences, as well as applying evolving science and innovation to products.
BAT'S global R&D hub in Southampton, UK
BAT'S global R&D hub in Southampton, UK
Image: HANDOUT

Global Cigarette maker, British American Tobacco (BAT) has edged up its plans to have 50 million consumers of its non-Combustible products by 2030 by setting up a virtual research and development centre.

The firm, which also trades at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) says its global R&D hub in Southampton, UK allows people to explore its cutting-edge science and innovation.

In a statement, Scientific Research director at BAT David O’Reilly said the experience builds on the firm’s open and transparent approach to the science underpinning its reduced-risk product portfolio and beyond nicotine activities.

The company regularly welcomes visitors in-person to its global R&D hub, with more than 3,500 people viewing the facilities first-hand since 2011.

However, with travel significantly reduced, the virtual experience allows a person from across the globe to access and understand BAT’s scientific research, Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) activities, and gain perspectives and insights from experts.

"Our focus on science and research has enabled us to make significant progress in developing and evolving our new category products, which are rigorously tested and scientifically substantiated as reduced-risk alternatives to cigarettes,’’ O’Reilly said.

The R&D is based around consumer preferences, as well as applying evolving science and innovation to products.

"This allows us to offer a range of enjoyable, reduced-risk alternatives to cigarettes while ensuring we maintain very high safety and quality standards,’’ he added.

With 360-degree lab tours, animations, videos, scientist profiles, podcasts, and more, the R&D Virtual Visitor Experience is the one-stop hub for those looking to find out about BAT’s science.

The firm is on a mission to reduce the health impact of its business.

It invests almost £350 million a year to find innovative ways to reduce its effects on public health and aims to have 50 million consumers of its non-Combustible products by 2030.