Can you do these without having created corresponding buildings?
It does seem like I can click on the optimization and patent icons, and spend my chemicals, even if I haven't built the patent lab or optimization center.
During the game, I seem to see blue optimization bars, and also see my name tagged to patents.
But then at end of game, it doesn't seem like the purchases are actually registered in the final summaries.
So I am therefore curious what is going on here, and whether this might be an aspect of the UI that deserves attention (ex. lock patent spending until patent lab is built).