Facts & Figures

R&D at Evonik

R&D expenses (2020)

€433 million

R&D ratio


No. of new patent applications filed (2020)


Patents held and applications filed

approx. 24,000

Registered/pending trademarks

approx. 7,500

R&D employees

approx. 2,560

R&D locations


Evonik has an extensive patent strategy to protect new products and processes. The value and quality of our patent portfolio have increased steadily in recent years. We submitted 215 new patent applications in 2020, and R&D expenses totaled €433 million.

Our R&D projects are managed using the multi-step Idea-to-Profit process developed by Evonik to support the systematic development of projects right up to profitable commercialization.

Our innovation pipeline comprises completely new business options as well as activities to secure and enhance the prospects of existing business operations. Alongside our product and process innovations, the focus includes innovative business models and system innovations. Our project portfolio is aligned to the differing strategies of the various business lines, and we focus on growth areas with high sustainability benefits.

Evonik’s global R&D network comprises 37 locations with approximately 2,560 R&D employees.

Evonik also obtains access to innovative technologies and new business options through its corporate venture capital activities. We invest specifically in specialized technology funds and start-ups of strategic relevance to Evonik. In this way, we gain insights into innovative developments at a very early stage. More than 30 investments have been made since 2012. In 2020, Evonik Venture Capture sold its investment in the Finish start-up Synoste Oy, Espoo, to Globus Medical, Audubon (Pennsylvania, USA). The four-and-a-half-year partnership was beneficial to both companies, supporting the development of Synoste’s technology for orthopedics and giving Evonik further insights into the medical applications market for high-performance polymers. The US company Global Medical acquired all the shares. The sale gave Evonik an attractive financial return on its initial investment. The collaborations gave Evonik a deeper understanding of the requirements for medical devices and the regulatory approval process.

A culture of innovation is a key factor in a company’s innovative capability. Alongside commitment, passion, and stamina, that entails the strength to half R&D projects if their prospects of success are too low, as well as a constructive attitude to mistakes. We therefore regard Evonik as an open, learning company.

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