"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," notes Nagler.
Valuable patent portfolioEvonik is already a company with a strong focus on innovation. The Group is very efficient in translating its research expenses into patents. That was confirmed by the Patent Asset Index (PAI), which rated Evonik as a leader in this area. In recent years, Evonik has advanced the value of its patent portfolio significantly. 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 over 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 research and development by an annual average of 6 percent in the past five years, spending €393 million in 2012. The operational units fund over 85 percent, while the Group bears the remaining 15 percent. This is spent on strategic R&D projects with a mid- to long-term time horizon.