Research and Development
Innovative ideas lead to trend-setting technologies.
Facts & Figures
R&D expenses (2019)
€ 428 million
R&D expenses 2019
Declined by 2% comparing to the previous year
Sales with new products and applications
No. of new patent applications filed
Patents held and applications filed
Evonik has an extensive patent strategy to protect new products and processes. The value and quality of our patent portfolio have increased steadily in recent years. In 2019, we submitted around 225 new patent applications. Patent-driven sales accounted for around 47 percent of the company’s total sales. In 2019, products and applications introduced in the past five years accounted for 13 percent of Evonik’s consolidated sales. R&D expenses declined by 2 percent to € 428 million in 2019 as a result of our continuous target-oriented management.
Our R&D projects are managed using the multi-step Idea-to-Profit process developed by Evonik to support the systematic development of projects right up to profitable commercialization.
Our innovation pipeline comprises completely new business options as well as activities to secure and enhance the prospects of existing business operations. Alongside our product and process innovations, the focus includes innovative business models and system innovations. Our project portfolio is aligned to the differing strategies of the various business lines, and we focus on growth areas with high sustainability benefits.
Evonik’s global R&D network comprises 38 locations with approximately 2,560 R&D employees.
Evonik also obtains access to innovative technologies and new business options through its corporate venture capital activities. In 2019, Evonik set up a second venture capital fund. It has allocated €150 million to this fund, more than doubling the total volume to €250 million. We invest specifically in specialized technology funds and start-ups of strategic relevance to Evonik. In this way, we gain insights into innovative developments at a very early stage. More than 30 investments have been made since 2012. In addition to investments to strengthen the Additive Manufacturing innovation growth field, Evonik invested, among other things, in Modern Meadow (New Jersey, USA). Modern Meadow’s pioneering technology produces animal-free collagen, a protein normally found in animal hides, via a fermentation process using yeast cells. The biofabricated material produced by this animal-free method more closely resembles natural leather than synthetic equivalents because it contains collagen, the main structural component in cow hides.
A culture of innovation is a key factor in a company’s innovative capability. Alongside commitment, passion, and stamina, that entails the strength to halt R&D projects if their prospects of success are too low, as well as a constructive attitude to mistakes. We therefore regard Evonik as an open, learning company.
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