Evonik, a maker of polymers for medical device applications, has decided to convert its Medical Devices Project House at Birmingham, Alabama in the US into a permanent competence centre dedicated to collaborative research and development (R&D).

Effective from 1 April 2018, the move will integrate the project house, which was under its Creavis division, into a competence centre that will be run by its Health Care unit.

According to Evonik, the centre is set to complement its established application laboratories in China and Germany.

“The competence centre is intended to boost Evonik’s footprint in the orthopaedic surgery area, where it has invested over the previous four years.”

Evonik deputy chairman Harald Schwager said: “We want to position Evonik as a leading material supplier and development partner when it comes to patient-friendly medical device solutions.”

The competence centre is intended to boost Evonik’s footprint in the orthopaedic surgery area, where it has invested over the previous four years.

The firm has been utilising the project house since 2014 to advance its existing materials and application technologies such as precision extrusion, injection moulding, 3D printing and electrospinning for creating and testing prototypes made using new materials.

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Evonik Health Care Business Line senior vice-president and head Jean-Luc Herbeaux said: “The know-how and competencies developed over the course of the last four years will enable us to become a leading provider of innovative biomaterial and application technology solutions and to better support our medical device customers in their innovation journey.

“We want to support the industry with their need for printable medical grade polymers so patients with e.g. cranial or facial injuries can receive customised implants.”

The business line offers biodegradable polymers under Resomer and Vestakeep brands, which are used by medical device makers while manufacturing screws, pins and small plates for bone fractures and tendon ruptures.