Innovations and business opportunities were the focus of a recent visit by Evonik Chairman Klaus Engel at JeNaCell. “The company is an outstanding example of industrial biotechnology’s potential. It is impressive to witness how scientific research is turned into market-ready products here. This is true entrepreneurial spirit,” said Engel during a tour of the production facilities.
At the BioInstrumentation Center in Jena, Engel was briefed on the company’s expanding production and the market launch of new products. JeNaCell is a spinoff venture of Friedrich Schiller University. As part of its venture capital activities, in summer last year Evonik acquired a minority share in the company, which was founded in 2012 by two chemists, Nadine Heßler and Dana Kralisch.
During Dr. Engel’s visit, Nadine Heßler, the executive manager of JeNaCell, emphasized: “Evonik is a strong strategic investor who supports us in many areas. We not only benefit from our partner’s know-how as our company continues to grow, but the partnership also offers the option of joint product developments.”
For Evonik, the collaboration with JeNaCell offers access to an innovative material platform. Nanocellulose can serve as a carrier system for cosmetic and medical active ingredients. Evonik and JeNaCell have already initiated the first joint projects in this area. In addition, JeNaCell is working with process technology engineers from Evonik to look into ways of further expanding the scale of its nanocellulose production process.
JeNaCell is currently preparing the market launch of a new product line in the area of dermatology. It is due to be launched at the end of the first quarter of 2016. The products are used to aid therapeutic measures in medical cosmetology, laser treatments, and skin sensitivities or to supplement aesthetic procedures such as exfoliation. As documented by current studies, they have a long-lasting moisturizing, cooling, and soothing effect on the skin and support the natural regeneration of sensitive skin.
JeNaCell is a specialist in generating nanocellulose using biotechnology methods and has a unique production process in this field. Among other applications, the material enables the improved treatment of burn injuries and chronic wounds. It feels pleasantly cool on the skin, regulates the moisture level of wounds, and can be removed painlessly.
Evonik intends to invest some €100 million in promising start-ups with innovative technologies and in leading specialized venture capital funds as part of its venture capital activities. Regional focus areas include Europe, the U.S., and Asia. Evonik currently holds shares in eight start-ups and four funds. For more information, visit http://venturing.evonik.com/.
Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders
in specialty chemicals. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms.
Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2014 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €1.9 billion.