Klaus Engel, chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries, has laid the foundation stones for two R&D centers at the Essen site: one for new, environmentally friendly additives and special binders for the paints and coatings industry, and one for innovative and sustainable products for the cosmetics industry.
In total, the Group is set to invest some €31 million in the two building complexes. The innovation center for the paints and coatings industry is to be completed at the end of 2012, the innovation center for the cosmetics industry at the start of 2013. More than 180 employees will then move into a new and modern work environment.
By taking this step, Evonik Industries, a group with global operations, is investing in Germany as a location for industry and at the same time enhancing its international innovative potential.
“Both the paints and coatings and the cosmetics industry are strong market segments. The Coatings & Additives and Consumer Specialties Business Units of Evonik here in Essen support both these industries with a wealth of experience and innovative prowess,” Engel said. “We want to be in a position to offer our customers future-ready solutions. We do this by relying on high creativity and innovative expertise. The two innovation centers will not only offer us scope for research and development, they shall also strengthen our competitiveness and our position in the market. We therefore want to send out clear signals for sustainable growth and customer-oriented action.”
The paints and coatings industry is an important market for the Coatings & Additives Business Unit, one in which Evonik is a major manufacturer of binders, pigments, crosslinking agents, color pastes, matting agents and additives. In quest of new solutions and products, some 90 employees will conduct research activities at the first large (5,000 square-meter) innovation center, and will focus in particular on the environment and resource efficiency. The total costs of the building come to approximately €14.4 million.
The second innovation center, covering about 5,000 square meters, will develop new future-oriented products for the cosmetics industry. The total cost of this building amounts to roughly €16.6 million.
“Evonik attaches great importance to considering the sustainability and ecological compatibility of both the new buildings. We consider ourselves as working hand in hand with customers from the consumer goods industry, who are increasingly using the concept of sustainability as a way to differentiate themselves,” Mr. Engel explained.