We want to outperform our competitors; what benchmark should we set for R&D?

While catalyst performance is always desired, higher performance is not always necessary, as the product market is adequately supplied and the higher potential activity cannot always be used due to other constraints. Before setting out to develop a new product, you should therefore determine how many customers would benefit from that new solution and try to define the acceptance criteria that would convince those customers to switch to the new product. Consider co-developing the new catalyst if a customer is open to that. That would generate useful feedback during development and create a first user. In short, the benchmark for R&D needs to be set on the basis of customer feedback and their willingness to accept such a new product (at a new price) as significantly better than available alternatives.