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03-31-2015

Evonik to Invest over EUR 4 Billion in R&D

Evonik Industries AG, Essen, Germany, plans to invest over EUR 4 billion in research and development over the next decade. "Our intention is to turn Evonik into one of the world's most innovative companies," affirmed Dr. Klaus Engel, the Chairman of the Executive Board, at a R&D press conference last week.

Dr. Ulrich Küsthardt, chief innovation officer at Evonik (figure: Evonik Industries)

In fiscal year 2014, Evonik's R&D spending amounted to EUR 413 million, an increase of 5% over the previous year (EUR 394 million). The R&D investment ratio was 3.2% (2013: 3.1 %). The company plans to significantly expand its innovation pipeline to keep up a steady flow of new products and solutions. Dr. Ulrich Küsthardt, who was appointed Chief Innovation Officer at Evonik earlier this year, presented a three-point plan for this purpose: "We must become more focused in our projects, more international in our research, and more open in our exchange of knowledge."

The Evonik R&D pipeline is well-filled with some 500 projects, with even greater focus to come from strategic innovation management. Promising innovation areas for Evonik include ingredients for the cosmetics industry, membranes, specialty materials for medical technology, food supplements and animal feed additives as well as composite materials. Küsthardt also plans to push for the expansion of international competence centers. The aim is to strengthen the competitiveness of customers, particularly in attractive growth regions, with research and applied technology that focuses on local needs. Finally. Evonik is deliberately opening up to external partners and cooperating with scientists and start-ups ("Open Innovation"), an effort Küsthardt plans to intensify further. This also includes corporate venture capital activities, for which a budget of some EUR 100 million has been set aside. Such investments and shareholdings give Evonik insights into innovative technologies and businesses in the early development phases. The company's latest acquisition is Nanocomp, a Finnish company that develops nano-optical structures for applications in 3-D gesture recognition, medical technology, and displays.

Company profile

Evonik Industries AG

Kirschenallee
DE 64293 Darmstadt
Tel.: 06151 18-01
Fax: 06151 18-02

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