WESEL/DUISBURG, Germany - ALTANA AG is continuing to back research and innovation with a new conference on innovation, held Nov. 5-6, 2008, in Duisburg, Germany. For the first time since the repositioning of the Group, with its concentration on the specialty chemicals business, about 100 of ALTANA’s top scientists and development engineers came for the first ALTANA Innovation Conference. They discussed technical and economical developments and trends, exchanged experiences and developed specialty chemicals products for the future. Among the topics discussed were new functional surfaces, polymer electronics, nanotechnology and the application of biotechnological processes in specialty chemistry. A group-wide best innovation award, the ALTANA Innovation Award, was presented at the conference. ALTANA plans to host the conference on an annual basis.
“Innovation is the ultimate key for ALTANA’s further growth,” stated Matthias L. Wolfgruber, CEO of ALTANA AG. This is why the company’s investments in research and development were almost twice as high as the average in the chemicals industry. “With these investments, we safeguard our technological lead and offer our customers unique, innovative products and services, paving the way for the future success of our company,” Wolfgruber continued.
“What is our life going to be like in 10 or 20 years? What needs will people then have? Which are the decisive technologies to fulfill these needs? And in which areas will ALTANA then be present with its products? Among others, we are going to discuss these questions on a cross-division basis during the two days of the conference,” explained Georg Wießmeier, who is responsible for innovation as the company’s Chief Technology Officer. In addition to the exchange of expert knowledge, networking is also given special emphasis. “We are to exploit the globally available knowledge and expertise in the company in an even more efficient way in the future. We wish to identify synergies and eventually transfer them into new products. To this end we need employees who communicate across divisions and countries and jointly develop innovative solutions for our customers.”