Speciality chemical firm pours €100m into digitalisation

One of the world’s leading speciality chemicals companies, Evonik, has announced a €100m investment in digitalisation and has entered a strategic partnership with IBM and Germany’s Duisburg-Essen University.

The substantial investment in digitalisation will support the exploration of new business models, solutions and services for customer, alongside upskilling and training staff – image courtesy of Evonik.
The substantial investment in digitalisation will support the exploration of new business models, solutions and services for customer, alongside upskilling and training staff – image courtesy of Evonik.

Over the next five years, Evonik expects to invest €100m (£88,000) into the development and testing of digital technologies and the organisation’s internal digitalisation skills.

However, it’s not just about data and technology, according to its managing director, Henrik Hahn, the investment will support the exploration of new business models, solutions and services for customer, alongside upskilling and training staff.

Its chairman of the board, Christian Kullman explained: “Digitalisation bring with it a world of possibilities. Now it’s about identifying them, testing them out, and being able to put them to good use.”

The partnership with IBM aims to see Evonik benefit from the latest cognitive and cloud-based technologies and projects the technology giant is spearheading, such as blockchain, IoT and quantum computing.

This month (July 2017), the  first pilot project will start with Evonik and IBM set to co-develop a Cognitive Evonik-specific Chemical and Life Science Knowledge Corpus based on data analysed by IBM Watson Explorer and Watson Knowledge Studio.

Watson Explorer is IBM’s cognitive search and content analysis platform; Watson Knowledge Studio is the company’s cloud-based app that enables developers to identify relationships in unstructured data and can be used in Watson Explorer.

The resulting insights from this solution will be made available as a Digital Advisory Services, as well as being used to drive efficiency improvements.

The new strategic cooperation between Evonik and the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) will focus on the people and skills at the centre of digital transformation. Topics include, for example, interactive knowledge transfer and individually tailored training concepts in industrial practice. The cooperation will also look into the benefits of data exchange and digitalisation business partnerships.

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