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Evonik to invest €4 billion in R&D with increased focus on innovation

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

Evonik centre in Wesseling
Evonik centre in Wesseling

Related tags: Innovation

Specialty chemicals company Evonik plans to invest over €4 billion in R&D over the next decade, focusing on innovation that will lead to developments in its cosmetics product portfolio among others.

The investment is to focus on innovation in key areas to provide greater focus, international expansion, open innovation, and sustainable solutions.

"Our intention is to turn Evonik into one of the world's most innovative companies,"​ affirms Klaus Engel, the Chairman of the Executive Board, at its R&D press conference in Wesseling.

"Innovations are a key element of our growth strategy,"​ he notes, and went on to announce continued high investments in research & development for the future.

‘Elixir of life’

"Innovations open up new business areas and strengthen our leading market and technology positions."

The plan is to make tangible improvements and 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,"​ he says. Küsthardt  adds that the goal is to bring innovations to consumers with even greater speed and efficiency.

Three-point plan

To begin with this means an even greater focus to come from strategic innovation management, and the German company points to the cosmetics industry, among others, as a promising area for ingredient innovation.

Küsthardt also plans to push for the expansion of international competence centres, which aim to strengthen the competitiveness of customers, particularly in attractive growth regions, with research and applied technology that focuses on local needs.

Evonik is also deliberately opening up to external partners and cooperating with scientists and start-ups, which is an effort Küsthardt plans to intensify further.

Sustainability

Ever the talking point in our industry, and with good reason, sustainability has also been highlighted as a key driver of innovation.

Resource efficiency and climate protection are the basis for numerous energy-efficient and environmentally sound products made by Evonik.

The specialty chemicals company has multiple solutions on hand for environmentally friendly and resource-efficient mobility.

In fiscal year 2014, Evonik's R&D spending amounted to €413 million, an increase of 5% over the previous year (€394 million). The R&D investment ratio was 3.2% (2013: 3.1%).

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