The Fine Chemicals Business Unit of chemical giant Degussa AG aims to increase sales revenues from its current 1 billion euros by at least 25 percent during the coming years, the company stated this week. According to the company at the forefront of these measures are the expansion of the exclusive synthesis business in the area of new active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), an IT-based knowledge and project management system, as well as the optimisation of its global integrated production system. Since the recent integration of the fine chemicals activities of Laporte, Degussa is the second largest global producer of fine chemicals. "The challenge now is to intelligently combine the strengths of the different sites," said Dr. Peter Nagler, head of the Degussa Fine Chemicals business unit. "Only then can we utilise them at an optimal level." Fine Chemicals has initiated the implementation of an IT-based project and knowledge management system. The system, called I2D (from inquiry to delivery), records all projects following a fixed scheme, from the first customer inquiry to laboratory reports from researchers, to product delivery. Authorised employees may access I2D though the Intranet in order to enter data and learn the status of individual projects. The objectives of I2D, the company claims, are transparency within a project, consistently high quality levels at all sites, as well as the highest possible efficiency and speed in carrying out projects. As soon as the pilot phase of I2D is complete Degussa intends to use Internet technology to give customers in the area of exclusive synthesis the opportunity to receive information about the status of their projects at any time. This system is projected to be in place by the year 2003.