WHAT IS VENTURE CAPITAL? Venture capital is the financing of young innovative companies through risk capital. These are usually young companies that are not yet listed on the stock exchange and still need money to develop and grow their business model. WHY DOES EVONIK INVEST INTO START-UPS? Innovation is essential for Evonik. We spend a lot of money on our own research and development activities. Our venture capital activities are complementary to these activities. Through venture capital we gain access to young innovative companies, that support us in developing new businesses or seeing new business models or growing even faster in interesting growth areas. WHAT DISTINGUISHES EVONIK FROM A PURELY FINANCIAL INVESTOR? The pure financial investor measures his return from a purely financial point of view. For us, yield is a combination of two things: financial return and strategic return. The strategic return on investment is the added value we generate by working with these companies, by learning, that is technological learning. That is learning about new business models, but that is of course also benefiting from the agility of young companies, from a culture of error and all the things that these young companies can also show us. Of course, access to potential acquisition candidates is also very important for us, as the example of Structure Polymers showed last year. DO YOU HAVE AN EXAMPLE OF A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP? Yes, a good example here is our participation in Meditool, our first direct investment in China. Meditool is a 3D printing company that manufactures implants for spinal and neurosurgery using our high-performance polymer VESTAKEEP®. Through this cooperation we learn about completely new applications for our material and develop this material further with Meditool. It also fits perfectly into our strategy of using high-performance polymers for new applications in 3D printing, and medical technology is one of our main areas of focus.