DuPont (NYSE:DD) is a global chemical and technology conglomerate that manufactures materials used in automotive manufacturing, construction, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and electronics. Agriculture & Nutrition, Safety & Protection, and Electronics are the growth centers for the company, while its Performance Coatings, Performance Materials, and Performance Chemicals divisions serve as reliable sources of cash flow. 
Dupont has also manufactures genetically modified plants used to produce renewable energy such as ethanol and biobutanol. Rising oil prices have led to higher demand for alternative energy, and many states have started to require that ethanol be added to gasoline to reduce pollution and conserve oil. Since DuPont's acquisition of Pioneer Hi-Bred in 1999, the company has grown to become the world's largest seed company by sales, providing genetically modified plants that produce the highest levels of corn or soybean per acreage. Pharmaceuticals and Other.
Research and development spending is fixed at approximately 5% of net sales. DuPont brings more than a thousand new products to market a year.  In 2007, the company was ranked No. 1 in a Patent Board 500 ranking of patent portfolios of companies across the globe, with about 2000 new patent filings and over 20,000 patents in force worldwide.  DuPont operates more than 50 R&D centers around the world, aiming to attract the best available scientific talent and take advantage of regional knowledge necessary to create products catered to the varying needs of customers in every market with the highest concentration of research at its Wilmington, DE facilities.  DuPont's modern research concentrates on renewable bio-based materials, advanced biofuels, energy-efficient technologies, enhanced safety products, and alternative energy technologies. 
DuPont's business units compete in a range of markets. The company's competitors include chemical, agricultural, and biotechnology companies such as BASF SE (BASFY), Monsanto Company (MON), Dow Chemical Company (DOW).