Evonik starts new R&D project for medical technology in the US/Germany

In the year 2013, German chemicals firm Evonik Industries spent EUR394 million on R&D. In line with its focus on research, it has launched the Medical Devices Project House in Birmingham, Alabama (USA), along with a branch in Hanau (Germany). The aim is to develop new system solutions for medical technology and to expand the competencies of Evonik in the areas of biomaterials and polymers. Above all, it will address applications in implantology.

Dr Peter Nagler, Chief Innovation Officer at Evonik, says: "In the new Medical Devices Project House, we are pooling and expanding the interdisciplinary competencies of Evonik in the area of medical technology and biomaterial research. By locating it in the US, we are continuing to internationalise our R&D activities."

The speciality chemicals company already started the Light & Electronics Project House in Taiwan in the year 2011.

"We want to open up new growth opportunities for Evonik on the medical technology market with innovative products," says Nagler.

The global medical technology market with a volume of EUR300 billion is posting annual growth rates of 6%. At 40%, the US accounts for a major proportion of this world market and US companies hold leading positions, above all in the area of implantology. Additional important markets for medical devices include Europe and Japan. Evonik is already a provider of targeted speciality applications in the area of medical technology. Examples are VESTAKEEP PEEK and RESOMER PLA, biocompatible synthetics for implant materials, and VESTAMID Care, a polyamide moulding compound that is used, among other things, as catheter material. Additional products for medical technology applications include PMMA and methacrylate copolymers, which Evonik supplies under the brand name DEGACRYL. They are used for bone cement and dental applications.

The work areas addressed by the Medical Devices Project House are closely focused on current and future customer needs in the area of medical technology. "Innovative solutions in medical technology, such as functional biomaterials, are excellently suited for meeting the demand for ever-more compatible and safer medical products and for implementing new therapeutic concepts," explains Dr Rosario Lizio, who heads the Medical Devices Project House.

Among other products, the Health Care Business Line manufactures polymers for medical devices and offers a broad service spectrum, ranging from active ingredients to intelligent drug delivery systems.

Project houses are part of the strategic innovation unit at Evonik. In the project houses, Creavis, the strategic innovation unit of Evonik, works together with several business units on a defined topic area. In a project house, experts from the participating business units generally come together for a period of three years and work jointly on the development topics of that particular project house. After the end of that period, the researchers return to their business units. The products and technologies developed in the project houses are typically marketed by a business unit.

Since the year 2000, Evonik has created a total of eleven project houses. Including the Medical Devices Project House, three project houses are currently active: The Light & Electronics Project House in Taiwan is researching new technologies and products for the display, LED, and lighting industry, and the Composites Project House in Marl is dealing with new materials and system solutions for the lightweight construction sector.


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