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Our innovation
approach

Connected to the innovation ecosystems

Innovation is one of the pillars of the Group’s strategy. Innovating enables Air Liquide to ensure its competitiveness and open up new markets. It contributes to the Group’s growth and improves the air quality. Inventiveness, open-mindedness, sharing, agility and entrepreneurial mindset are inseparable from our innovation approach.

€288 M

Innovation expenses in 2016

296

new patents filed in 2016

210,000

connected objects on our production sites

5,700

employees contributing to innovation

Science and technologies

We build on science, with a focus on the knowledge of essential small molecules (oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen…) which embed the Group’s scientific territory, and on technologies which allow science to be brought to the market, thanks to the R&D teams, Engineering & Construction, and our centers of expertise.

The Group’s innovation expenses are growing long-term and illustrate the Group’s long-term commitment in developing technologies and new offers, as in its global network of innovation entities that gather 5,700 employees.

Usages and digital transformation

To support the trends that sustain its markets - energy and environmental transition, changes in healthcare, digital transition - Air Liquide reinforced its innovation approach. The Group’s clients express new needs and usages (new ways of living, working, travelling, communicating...). In the context of our customer-centric transformation strategy, our innovation aims at improving the customer experience, on which digital transformation teams and the i-Lab are working.

The Global Market & Technologies Business Unit is in charge of the incubation of new activities. It is composed of advanced Business & Technologies (aB&T), which incubates the new offers relating to the energy transition and develops specific markets (space, aeronautics, extreme cryogenics), and Air Liquide Maritime, in charge of the development of new usages for players in the maritime sector.

Our operational teams, in the 80 countries where the Group operates, roll out our innovation solutions on a local basis, as soon as they come on to the market.

Testimonial

"Our innovation contributes to improve air quality. Air is a common good, vital and universal. We innovate for the benefit of the society: almost 60% of our innovation expenses in 2016 are related to improving air quality, health and the environment".

François Darchis , Member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee supervising innovation

An open ecosystem

Our innovation is part of an open ecosystem. The ecosystems concern both the internal Air Liquide communities, the data and the external innovation ecosystems. Internally, the Group has already networked all its employees with sharing tools. Open innovation has become a crucial part of the Group’s innovation.

Air Liquide significantly consolidated its external partnerships, in particular with scientific partners and with start-ups to accelerate the digital transformation for the benefit of the customer experience. ALIAD, the capital venture in charge of investing in technology startups, promotes the Group’s access to externally-developed innovations.