Andreas Fischer has been named Evonik’s new chief innovation officer, effective from 1 July 2020. He succeeds Ulrich Küsthardt, who has held this position since 2015 and is now taking early retirement.
Fischer holds a degree in industrial engineering and began his career with a producer of industrial cleaning agents and hygiene products. From 1997 he held a number of positions at Evonik’s predecessor companies, initially in sales and subsequently as head of various business entities. From 2012 he was head of the Silica business line. Since 2019 he has been a member of the board of management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH.
Fischer wants to manage the innovation activities in a focused manner, without centralising them. Innovation growth fields with focused leadership remain the core of this approach. Here, he is building on the successful strategy of his predecessor, Ulrich Küsthardt. As well as reinforcing Evonik’s open innovation culture, Küsthardt concentrated in particular on six innovation growth fields. By 2025, Evonik plans to generate additional sales of over EUR 1 billion with products and solutions in the fields of Sustainable Nutrition, Healthcare Solutions, Advanced Food Ingredients, Membranes, Cosmetic Solutions, and Additive Manufacturing.
“I want to make the benefits of research and development visible in Evonik’s business performance,” said Fischer. To achieve that, he also wants to drive forward and strengthen Creavis as Evonik’s strategic innovation unit: “Creavis should become Evonik’s business incubator. Working in close cooperation with our operating units, through Creavis, we want to gain access to new markets.”