In mid-June, Evonik Industries invited selected scientists from various universities faculties and research institutes to submit solutions to three pre-defined problems. Scientists have until the end of November to take part in this Evonik Call for Research Proposals (ECRP). With this new approach, Evonik hopes to gather creative ideas and proposals that, ideally, can result in a joint research project.
“In light of ever shorter innovation cycles and increasingly complex innovation topics, we are looking to strengthen the involvement of external partners in our own research and development work,” said Dr. Peter Nagler, chief innovation officer of Evonik.
The specialty chemicals company gained its first experience with this format in 2013. “For the most part, the feedback from the professors following the first ECRP was extremely positive. Almost all welcomed this new approach and expressed interest in taking part again,” said Dr. Georg Oenbrink, head of the Innovation Networks & Communications department at Evonik. Three proposals on the topic of methionine synthesis without hydrogen cyanide as building block were so good that the Health & Nutrition Business Unit intends to form a partnership with the professors involved. The contracts are currently under negotiation.
The three current ECRPs focus on a new technology for masking the taste of pharmaceutical ingredients and dietary supplements (Health & Nutrition Business Unit); a donor-acceptor concept for the quantitative determination of fragments of oil additives that protect against wear, even under high pressure (Coatings & Additives Business Unit); and a technology that can be used to create thin, transparent layers with extremely good barrier properties from the liquid phase (Creavis, Evonik’s strategic innovation unit). Interested scientists from universities and research institutes can request the call for proposals and rules of participation at ECRP@evonik.com.