Dr. Peter K. Jenkner
What have you done before you joined ACTEGA?
University education and PhD in Technical Chemistry, four years as university assistant (TU Graz, A), two years polymer-fundamental research (IBM Research, USA), nine years research, development and application technology for organo-functional silanes (Hüls AG/Degussa AG, Rheinfelden), 18 months as Business Manager, 12 months in Technical Marketing, two years as Head of New Business Development (BL Silanes, Degussa AG, Frankfurt/Main).
What does innovation mean to you as Chief Technology Officer?
That is a considerably overused term, which reaches far beyond the technical environment that it is most commonly associated with! At the beginning of every "renewal", there is an idea to effect positive changes. Their successful implementation hinges upon clearly formulated objectives, a high degree of motivation as well as perseverance along the way to achieve the set goal. In this regard, cooperation in teams and networked structures is more crucial today than ever before.
Innovation requires a foundation, namely a corporate culture that highly values intensive personal commitment and promotes wholehearted participation. I am firmly convinced that ALTANA is fulfilling these requirements to an above-average extent.
For which tasks/projects are you responsible in your function?
The appeal of my work is in its diversity. The nine subsidiaries of ACTEGA with locations in Europe, the U.S. and Asia produce coatings, sealants and printing inks for print products and packages that are primarily used for food and beverages. I thus support the mutual communication and coordinate the exchange on topics that span across countries and companies, such as the creation of joint databases or the formulation of coatings that comply with the strictest food laws. The patent strategy of ACTEGA is comprised of additional core areas, the organization of technical meetings as well as the integration of research and development after acquisitions. In addition, I provide the interface for contacts to external organizations such as universities and other business areas. In the ALTANA Innovation Council, I discuss group-wide R&D initiatives with colleagues from BYK, ECKART, ELANTAS and ALTANA.
Please describe your typical work day
In my opinion, good personal contact and an open regular exchange of information in daily work is especially important. Because there is no operative ACTEGA site in Wesel, I regularly utilize on-site meetings for intensive communication. Another part of my day is devoted to research and participating in events in Wesel, which pertain to topics relevant for ACTEGA. Moreover, I try to consciously set aside time for myself to develop concepts and strategic suggestions - which admittedly often represents a challenge!
What characterizes the employees of ALTANA?
The continuity of leadership is comparatively very high in our company. But I think one is only able to assess that after spending a longer amount of time in an organization and by drawing from personal experiences.
From the beginning, I noticed the politeness, tolerance and openness of my colleagues. Behind this there is high expertise, a certain sense of pride and an energized feeling of satisfaction as opposed to one of complacency: without enjoyment at work no curiosity, without curiosity no motivation, without motivation no success.
Our company culture is also based on this - something that cannot be exactly described, but that one can witness daily. For me, that is a guarantee that we will also be able to safely overcome unavoidable crises and setbacks in the future.