Richmond, Virginia, is the site of the company’s new interdepartmental incubator, a 96,000 square foot facility that will see the hire of 50 additional employees and collaboration among R&D, customer service, HR, marketing, IT and more.
Making room for innovation
Evonik designed the facility to spark intrapreneurship. “The center will not only develop new products and processes but also bring together colleagues from different parts of the company to identify breakthrough technologies,” explains Klaus Engel, chairman of the Evonik Industries AG executive board.
The company already prides itself on having a reputation for innovation and has a strategy in place to foster new, profitable ideas. “The company believes the keys to innovation are creativity, courage and team spirit,” David DelGuercio, senior vice president and general manager, Evonik Nutrition & Care, North America, tells the press.
He believes that “the innovation culture of a company determines how fast employees are able to drive forward good ideas and convert them into a profitable business. The Richmond Business and Innovation Center will play an integral part in this.”
The company counts close to 500 projects in its innovation pipeline at present, according to a media release announcing the new facility.
Projects at the facility will range from cross-departmental cooperation to partnerships with local university research teams. “Here in Richmond, we are collaborating with Virginia Commonwealth University,” Engel says. “We are participating in a design project for process sustainability with VCU’s Engineering College and we are actively engaged with one-on-one discussions with renowned professors.”
Beyond new ideas, the Richmond Business and Innovation Center should bring more networking and creativity all around.
Last spring, the company signed a deal with Univar to deliver technology and distribution solutions in the Northeastern US.
And in October, Evonik opened an ingredient manufacturing facility in Brazil with the aim of streamlining the supply chain for cosmetics companies in the region. “Our new plant now enables us to satisfy the growing demand for local, sustainable products in South America more quickly and directly,” Claus Retting, head of the consumer specialties for Evonik, said at the time.