10/17/2005, Düsseldorf




Name Wolfgang Zengerling
  Research & Development, Sustainability
Phone 0049-211-797-9336
Fax 0049-211-798-5598
Email Send email

Tapping into future technologies for research and development
Henkel supports young firms with venture capital

Henkel has a policy of ensuring early access to the technologies of the future in order to meet its own research and development requirements. Hence the brand manufacturer's willingness to collaborate - often with an appropriate venture capital investment - with high-tech companies operating in strategically important areas of research. Henkel thus provides financial support to young start-ups and selected entrepreneurs intending to establish themselves on the basis of a viable concept or idea. The more recent examples include a new partnership with the biotech company PLANTON, initiated in August 2005, and an investment made in June 2005 in the venture capital fund NGEN II.
"For Henkel, innovations are of major strategic importance as they form the basis of our future business portfolio. Hence our desire to tap into all the sources of R&D information available around the world as a means of sustaining the success of our company. Our aim is to strengthen and expand our product portfolio through targeted investments in venture capital funds and collaboration agreements with young entrepreneurs and their so-called start-ups. And, of course, we are always looking to open up new markets," explained Dr. Wolfgang Gawrisch, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Research/Technology at Henkel KGaA.

Among the preferred collaboration partners of Henkel are start-ups such as PLANTON GmbH of Kiel, Germany. Henkel has committed to cooperating intensively with PLANTON over the next three years. PLANTON, a biotech start-up, was founded in 2000. It is working on the development and production of a new class of endogenous antibodies in the form of human proteins that protect against bacterial infection. The company has the capability of manufacturing these plant-based active ingredients on a large scale.

The relevance of start-ups to Henkel's strategy for the future is also reflected by the company's participation in the second fund issued by NGEN. Through this investment, Henkel is party to research undertakings in the fields of materials science, clean technologies and biomaterials - with particular emphasis on the USA.

"Henkel - A Brand like a Friend." Henkel is a leader with brands and technologies that make people's lives easier, better and more beautiful. The Henkel Group operates in three strategic business areas - Home Care, Personal Care, and Adhesives, Sealants and Surface Treatment. In fiscal 2004, the Henkel Group generated sales of 10,592 billion euros. More than 50,000 employees work for the Henkel Group worldwide. People in more than 125 countries around the world trust in brands and technologies from Henkel.