New Chief Innovation Officer at Evonik
Dr. Ulrich Küsthardt has been the new chief innovation officer at Evonik since the beginning of this year. Küsthardt, who succeeds Dr. Peter Nagler, plans to continue strengthening the company’s innovation capacity, continuing his predecessor’s successful work. “Our strategy must be aimed at stimulating Evonik’s growth with attractive fields of innovation. We want to be one of the world’s most innovative companies,” Küsthardt said. Dr. Nagler will remain involved with the topic of innovation and step up efforts to internationalize innovation at Evonik in the future.
Küsthardt, who holds a doctorate in chemistry, began his career at an international consulting firm. Starting in 1997, he held positions at a predecessor of Evonik, initially in controlling as well as in marketing and sales. He later went on to manage various business units, heading up the Coatings & Additives Business Unit of Evonik Industries from 2008.
Innovations are an essential driver for profitable growth at Evonik. They pave the way for new areas of business and strengthen leading market and technology positions. The innovation pipeline of the specialty chemicals company is well-filled with roughly 500 short-, medium-, and long-term projects. To keep up the flow of ideas and innovations in the future, too, the Group has increased its spending on research and development by an average of nine percent per year since 2009. R&D spending in 2013 totaled €394 million.