Corporate Spotlight Interview: Evonik Corporation

February 17, 2017 09:27 PM EST By: Regina Ramazzini

TechConnect speaks with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, VP and Regional Head, Corporate Innovation at Evonik Corporation, about the company's technology/solution primary areas of interest.

  Evonik Corporation Sanjay Gupta

Please tell us about yourself and your role within Evonik.

Dr.Sanjay Gupta, Evonik Corporation, Vice President and Regional Head, Corporate Innovation, North America.

In this capacity, I coordinate all activities of Corporate Innovation and lead innovation management in the NAFTA region.

In this role, I actively support the Business segments and corporate functions in the following: a) identifying and evaluating the appropriate development and cooperation partners, b) integrating technologies and know-how, c) establishing successful contacts at the expert level and d) launching initial concrete projects.

Our activities are comprised of Evonik’s technology scouting, building and maintaining long-term contact partners, as well as promoting scientific exchange with selected universities and governmental research institutes in NAFTA region (Scientific Relations Management), active exchange with research policy (R&D Policy, Lobbying & Branding), identifying options for joint innovation activities with companies (Industry Cross Innovation), and identifying emerging innovation potential through Open Innovation.

What are technology/solution areas that you have a primary interest in?

We are interested in novel innovative technologies that have gone beyond the proof-of-concept stage with demonstrated success. We are open to take a closer look at an early stage developmental type technology from an academic or governmental research facility that has a potential to grow into maturity. Following are a few select areas of interest; Novel drug delivery methods, Taste Masking, Innovative Coating technology, Novel Biomaterials, Smart materials, Sensors, Liposomes for Drug Delivery, Advanced Food Ingredient, Anti friction coatings, Graft Co-polymers, Flame Retardant Additives, Additives for Oil Lubrication and Enzymatic Biotechnology.

What level of commercial maturity do you typically look for in technology partnerships? 

Technologies that have advanced beyond the proof-of-concept stage with demonstrated growth towards a start-up with moderate to high commercial success.

Typically we are interested in technologies that are at TRL > 4.

Depending upon the relevancy and technology fit with our Business Lines, we are ready to entertain following different partnership relationships:

  1. Licensing a technology with royalty payment arrangement.
  2. Equity partnership
  3. Potential acquisition

With small to medium size enterprises (with demonstrated technology) we are open to consider a Joint Development Agreement to test and develop a nascent technology for its commercial viability.

We prefer technologies that originated in NAFTA region. However, we are open to examine opportunities from other parts of the world.

Tell us why innovation is important to your company and how this model supports your efforts to find new innovations.

Creating markets through creative ideas is one of the core competencies of Evonik. Innovation plays a key role in almost all our activities. Evonik adopts several pathways to support both internal and external innovations. Following are few representative examples:

Why work with TechConnect and the National Innovation Summit as a technology prospector?  Who are you looking to meet with?

Evonik views TechConnect as an event to connect with entrepreneurs, innovative startups, academic technology transfer officers, and SBIR Awardees to review/assess emerging technologies that are of relevance to our Business Lines. This is a unique platform which connects parties looking for technology solutions with providers that have answers. We are interested in meeting with anyone having innovative ideas from the following areas: Material Science, Drug Delivery, Animal Nutrition, Nanocomposite, Thermal Management, Thin Film Display, Printed Electronic, and Coating Additives.

What did you like most about the 2016 conferences?

Presentations on Innovation Spotlights are well organized and specific to select topics. Evening Industry Socials and Poster presentations offer a good network opportunity.


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