Press release
Corporate Press
October 18, 2007

Evonik Invites Applications for White Biotechnology Award

  • Evonik Science-to-Business Award 2008 launched
  • Prize money offered: Euro 100,000
  • Science-to-business transfer seeks to uncover creative potentials for key technologies of the future
  • White biotechnology combines ecological sustainability with high economic potential

Brussels. The European Science-to-Business Award offered by Evonik Industries AG is an innovation prize at the European level. The Award is aimed at talented researchers of the highest caliber who have already produced outstanding results at a research institution in Europe. “In offering the award in 2008, we are pursuing our aims of promoting a joint European effort to exploit the unique opportunities offered by white biotechnology, and of drawing the attention of a wider public to its full potential,” says Dr. Alfred Oberholz, Evonik Management Board Member and responsible for the Chemicals business area. The Group is engaged in intensive dialog with scientific institutions at both the German and European levels; it plans to consolidate its leading position in specialty chemicals and capture new growth markets with the help of novel key technologies of the 21st century.

White biotechnology, which is growing at a dizzying pace, provides creative production processes based mainly on natural and renewable resources. Experts predict that as early as 2010, between 10 and 20 percent of all chemical substances will be produced by such methods. In specialty chemicals, which represents 40 percent of the chemical industry and therefore its largest single sector, growth is projected to increase over the same period significantly. As a leading supplier of specialty chemicals, Evonik makes use of intensive science-to-business transfer to carry over creative potentials into industrial applications and to further open up the highly promising growth market of white biotechnology.

The European Science-to-Business Award was launched by Degussa (today Evonik´s Chemicals business area) in 2006 and is now being continued by Evonik. “With our commitment to this award, we are meeting our responsibility to motivate young talents and to boldly bridge the gap between research and science and the market,” says Oberholz. The first Award enabled the winner to implement his ideas and led to novel and profitable applications in storage technology. The Group also follows the science-to-business transfer principle at a broader level, for example, in the context of the European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry, an initiative of the European chemical industry, or at the German level as coordinator of the research association Industrial Biotechnology Cluster 2021. In this association, 32 well-known companies, universities, and research institutes work on the development of cost-effective and energy-saving processes.

The European Science-to-Business Award is open to talented researchers of the highest caliber and young entrepreneurs aged under 38, working in a team with a maximum of three members. The winning team, selected by an international jury, will receive a cash prize of Euro 100,000 and the opportunity to attend a management course at the University of St. Gallen. Entries must be received by March 31, 2008. The patron of the award is Dr. Arend Oetker, President of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Science and Humanities in Germany).

About Evonik

Evonik Industries is the creative industrial group from Germany which operates in three business areas: Chemicals, Energy and Real Estate. Evonik is a global leader in specialty chemicals, an expert in power generation from hard coal and renewable energies, and one of the largest private residential real estate companies in Germany. Our strengths are creativity, specialization, continuous self-renewal, and reliability. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In its fiscal year 2006 more than 43,000 employees generated sales of about Euro 14.8 billion and an operating profit (EBIT) of over Euro 1.2 billion.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.