Air Liquide’s open innovation
Against a background of increasingly competitive markets and constant social change driven by the digital revolution, limited resources, the rise of the urban middle class and many other factors, the Group has introduced an open innovation approach inviting contributions from every corner of its ecosystem, from startup companies to graduate schools, universities, industrial partners and competitiveness clusters. Today, 60% of the Group’s Research and Development projects are conducted within public/private partnerships.
From energy to the environment via healthcare, bio-resources, materials and information technology, this open innovation approach allows Air Liquide to explore new areas offering strong prospects for growth. The ultimate goal is to identify possibilities for extending its portfolio of technologies and entering new markets. Such agility is a strength that can shorten time-to-market for new products and services, and enable the business to stay ahead of its competitors at all times.
Air Liquide is stepping up its cycle of innovation by investing in startup companies with expertise similar to its own. These investments are made via ALIAD, the wholly-owned subsidiary that forms part of its Advanced Business and Technologies network of entrepreneurial companies. In April this year, the Group made a capital investment in Hydrexia, a young Australian company involved in developing an innovative technology for storing hydrogen in the form of magnesium hydride. This solution will soon enable Air Liquide to supply its industrial customers with hydrogen stored in hydride form at competitive cost.