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Profiles in Innovation: Lan Deng

Profiles in Innovation: Lan Deng

Each member of the Covia Team plays a key part in our success. With 2022 coming to an end, we want to take a moment to celebrate some of the amazing employees who continue to drive our company forward. In her role as Vice President, Technology, Lan Deng believes innovation is one of the key drivers for Covia’s growth.

“We have a vision to achieve 15% vitality index within the business,” she explains. “For us, that will mean 15% of sales coming from new products and applications that launch over seven years. These new products will deliver sustained competitive advantage, growth potential and cash to the business.”

Covia is already investing in the tools needed to achieve this vision. Those investments include expanding our current capacity, as well as investing in new capabilities and competencies to create a world-class technology platform and differentiated application development platform to support industry-leading innovation.

An innovative project that Lan is especially excited about is Luminex™ ultra-white filler, a product launched in mid-2021 for quartz countertop market. It took just over two years from the project’s inception to development to build a new plant and commercialize the product.

We already sold out Luminex in our first plant and are building a second plant,” Lan shares. “We are building on this success and we’re in the process of expanding our pilot capability, building a brand-new lab, and expanding our innovation team for 2023.”

Covia’s dedication to investing in innovation goes much beyond building a strong innovation portfolio and launching new products/applications. The company is dedicated to investing in innovative leadership to diversify its talent base and building a stronger company. To this end, Lan believes there are a few characteristics shared by innovation leaders: risk tolerance, learning agility, collaboration, and teamwork.

“One should not be afraid to take risks to explore and try new things; the ability to learn quickly is important as well,” she said. “From idea inception to product commercialization, cross-functional collaboration is the key.”

In addition, Lan believes that agility and commitment are a common trait for the people working within Covia. “What impressed me most after I joined Covia are the agility and can-do attitude of our people,” she said. “They make things happen despite obstacles and constraints, and they do it fast. The Luminex success is an excellent example.”


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