"We want to keep increasing the value of our innovation pipeline. Innovations will have to make even larger contributions to sales and profits. Our ambition is to be first-class in innovation," says Patrik Wohlhauser, member of the Executive Board of Evonik. Innovations are a key driver of profitable growth for the specialty chemicals company. They result in new products and solutions, open up attractive new business fields, and strengthen the leading market and technology positions of Evonik.
"We’re addressing ever shorter innovation cycles, more complex problems, and more demanding conditions," says Dr. Peter Nagler, chief innovation officer of Evonik. "This is why we launched our Leading Innovation initiative last fall. With our global Leading Innovation initiative we are promoting a culture of innovation, with courage to break new ground, in which our employees are encouraged to take risks and which is based on trust, close cooperation and openness and which also rewards courage to innovate. Everyone at Evonik has to embrace innovation.”
As part of the Leading Innovation initiative, Evonik will also realign Creavis, its strategic innovation unit, which will function in a new structure as of January 1, 2014. "We will further expand the strengths of Creavis, its outstanding technological expertise and strong project management, while stepping up our efficiency in light of increasingly shorter innovation cycles," said Nagler.
Evonik is already a company with a strong focus on innovation. The Group is very efficient in translating its research expenses into patents. The specialty chemicals company has more than 26,000 patents and patent applications. The company filed patent applications for around 260 new inventions in the year 2012—that is one invention per business day.
The specialty chemicals company's R&D pipeline includes more than 500 projects. In 2012, €1.5 billion of the Group's sales came from products and applications introduced in the past five years. Evonik has increased its spending on R&D by an annual average of 6% in the past five years, spending €393 million in 2012.