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Evonik Cristal Materials Corporation, a joint venture established at the end of 2009, aims to position itself at the forefront of this market with the SAVOSIL™ brand of high-quality silica glass lenses for the next generation of LEDs.
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Take light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as an example. Since they can convert a small amount of energy into a lot of light, LEDs are steadily gaining access to new applications. Evonik Cristal Materials Corporation, a joint venture established at the end of 2009, aims to position itself at the forefront of this market with the SAVOSIL™ brand of high-quality silica glass lenses for the next generation of LEDs. Evonik Industries AG of Germany and Cristal Materials Corporation of Taiwan teamed up to establish this joint venture with a view to utilizing their complementary strengths and benefits. For example, manufacturing in Taiwan benefits from significant state support. According to data published by LEDs Magazine, the Asian market for LEDs is growing at double-digit rates. Seven of the world’s ten largest LED producers are based in Asia. Evonik’s contribution to the joint venture is size and innovative strength, backed up by an established sales and marketing network. Through its 52 percent stake, Evonik gains an attractive opportunity for forward integration, taking it a big step along the value chain from a supplier of particles to a systems supplier and thus positioning it far closer to end-customers.That is an important step because the market for LEDs is already massive. Growth is driven by the trend to "green lighting," i.e. environmentally friendly light sources. LEDs score highly in that respect. Their energy efficiency is far superior to conventional light bulbs and they last longer. In addition, SAVOSIL™ lenses are increasingly being used to activate chemical processes (UV polymerization) and disinfect water (UV LEDs)."Alongside economic benefits, the key ingredient of a successful joint venture is trust," comments Dr. Iordanis Savvopoulos, Vice President Technology Solutions in the Inorganic Materials Business Unit at Evonik Industries and one of the initiators of this joint venture. "At Evonik Cristal Materials Corporation, trust has been built up through longstanding collaboration that has proven beneficial to both joint venture partners." In 2006 Cristal Materials acquired a license from Evonik for the patented SiVARA™ sol-gel technology, which uses AEROSIL® and Dynasylan® from Evonik to produce silica glass lenses of consistent quality in any desired shape, customized to requirements.The joint venture is therefore soundly based. And its success lends weight to the age-old adage: nothing venture, nothing gain. This venture at any rate is heading for a very bright future.