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German chemicals company Evonik establishes Medical Devices Project House in Alabama

Chemicals company Evonik (Hanau, Germany) is ready to launch its Medical Devices Project House in Birmingham, AL, with a branch in Hanau (Germany). The company's eleventh such project house but its first in the medtech arena, its goal is to develop system solutions for medical technology and expand Evonik's capabilities in biomaterials and polymers, especially in implantable applications.

"We are pooling and expanding the interdisciplinary competencies of Evonik in the area of medical technology and biomaterial research," says Dr. Peter Nagler, Chief Innovation Officer. "By locating it in the United States, we are continuing to internationalize our R&D activities." The company established the Light & Electronics Project House in Taiwan in 2011.

Evonik currently supplies bicompatible Vestakeep PEEK and Resomer PLA materials for implants and Vestamid Care, a polyamide molding compound used for catheters, among other products. Additional products for medical technology applications include PMMA and methacrylate copolymers, which Evonik supplies under the brand name Degacryl for use as a raw material in bone cement and dental applications.

"Innovative solutions in medical technology, such as functional biomaterials, are well 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. "Our location in Birmingham places our research at the center of the highly attractive U.S. market [and in] proximity to our customers. At the same time, we benefit from the expertise of the Health Care Business Line of Evonik, which manages the site in Birmingham," says Lizio. 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.

Creavis, the strategic innovation unit of Evonik, works with several business units on a defined topic area within the project houses. Typically, experts from participating business units come together for a period of three years and work jointly on the development topics of that particular project house.

In addition to medical technology, Evonik hosts project houses devoted to light and electronics in Taiwan and composites for lightweighting in construction applications in Marl, Germany.

Evonik spent €394 million on research and development in 2013 and maintains a global R&D network of around 2600 employees in a variety of disciplines at about 35 sites.

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