Effective today, Bayer MaterialScience will operate under a new name — Covestro.

The producer of high-performance polymers for the construction and automotive industries is now legally and economically independent, but it will remain a subsidiary of Bayer AG. The parent company hopes to spin off Covestro by mid-2016 to concentrate exclusively on its life-sciences businesses.

“Independence will enable us to bring our strengths to bear in global competition more quickly, effectively and flexibly,” says Covestro CEO Patrick Thomas.

Covestro is managed by a four-member board of management. Members of the board chaired by Thomas also include Frank H. Lutz (finance, labor director), Dr. Klaus Schaefer (production and technology) and Dr. Markus Steilemann (innovation).

The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 14,200 people at the end of 2014.