“International knowledge-based partnerships are a must in specialty chemicals if we are to achieve top results, top products, and top positions on the markets,” said Dr. Peter Nagler, head of international innovation at Evonik.
In an exploratory meeting in Haifa, Dr. Peter Nagler and Dr. Bernhard Mohr, head of venture capital at Evonik, discussed with Benjamin Soffer and Prof. Noam Adir of Technion specific opportunities for closer collaboration between Evonik and scientists from Israel. Soffer is business unit manager of the Technion Research and Development Foundation and Adir is deputy EVP for research at Technion.
“Evonik is already collaborating with a number of universities throughout the world. Technion is setting standards as an institute of technology in Israel, and for this reason as well we look on it as a very good potential partner,” said Nagler.
Technion – Israel Institute of Technology ranks among the world’s top universities in scientific and technological research. Israel is also well known for its excellent, internationally recognized start-up scene. More than 8,000 technology companies have been established there since 1997. Technion is playing a leading role in this regard. For Mohr, an expert in startups and venture capital, this is another plus point.
“Our visit made it possible to meet directly with Israeli startups and venture capital firms, and our discussions were very interesting,” Mohr said.
Just a few days earlier, Evonik had announced a venture capital investment in Nanocomp Oy, a Finnish nanophotonics company. Through its venture capital activities Evonik plans to invest a total of €100 million in promising startups with innovative technologies as well as in leading specialist venture capital funds, focusing on Europe, the U.S., and Asia. Evonik currently has investments in four startups and three funds.
Evonik has already entered into a number of collaborations with scientific and higher education institutions worldwide. One important goal of this activity is to rapidly transfer into the company the results of top-quality chemistry, biology, and physics research on fundamentally important topics.
Evonik’s international collaborators include the University of Tokyo (Japan), the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore, the Industrial Technology Research Institute in Hsinchu (Taiwan), the University of Minnesota (USA), Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.