More clout for strategic research
Creavis to operate in new structure from 2014 onward
Sustainability as an innovation driver
Evonik Industries, one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals, is realigning Creavis, the Group’s strategic innovation unit, on January 1, 2014. This should enable Creavis, which is based in Marl (Germany), to work faster, more flexibly, and more dynamically. Its mission is to investigate topics new to Evonik that possess high business potential but that could also carry high risks. "Our goal is to increase our clout even more," says Dr. Peter Nagler, Evonik’s Chief Innovation Officer.
The new Portfolio Management unit of Creavis will focus on the identification and assessment of new innovation fields, looking at unconventional ideas for innovation that promise high market potential. The tasks of the newly established growth lines are to generate ideas within the innovation fields under consideration, manage the projects, and transfer these on successful completion to the business units.
The Group is pooling Creavis’ technological expertise in the new Science & Technology unit. Evonik will stay with the tried and tested concept of the project house while allowing greater flexibility in its organization. In the project houses, experts drawn from a number of different operational units research—over a limited period—topics relatively closely connected with Evonik’s existing products and technologies and bring these to application maturity. "The higher flexibility increases the probability of successfully carrying over even more projects into the operational units," says Professor Stefan Buchholz, Head of Creavis.
In addition, Creavis plans to give more importance to sustainability as a driver of innovation in the future. It is already analyzing the possible impacts of new products and processes on the climate, using a method (carbon footprint estimation methodology, or CFE for short) developed especially for this purpose. This method will now be extended to other environmental and social performance indicators.
In the year 2012 Evonik spent €393 million on research and development, of which about 15 percent went into strategic research. Creavis, the strategic innovation unit of the Group, has around 145 employees, 130 of them in Germany, and is currently working on more than 20 projects. In the last three years alone it has transferred 20 successful projects to the Group’s operational units, thus opening up new businesses for Evonik. These include, for example, SEPURAN® membrane technology for upgrading biogas. Creavis’ researchers also played an important role in setting up Evonik’s biotechnology platform.