After jointly conducting a number of projects in recent years on energy transition, Air Liquide and French government-funded technological research organisation CEA have strengthened their partnership with a new five-year strategic agreement.

The agreement extends the work already being jointly carried out to three new areas: advanced materials and manufacturing for the plants of the future; digital technologies for the processing of mega data; and connected objects for continuous improvements in operations and services for customers and patients.

Air Liquide and the CEA are already working together on the emergence of new energy sectors, with a pilot production unit for second generation biofuels in Bure-Saudron (France), as well as on hydrogen energy, as part of the ‘Battery autonomy and power’ plan, which is one of the French government’s 34 industrial plans.

The aim of this new strategic partnership is to accelerate the process of industrialising new technologies, and to deploy new uses in the production or application of gases for industry and health. Leveraging the synergies of the two partners’ acquired skills and expertise, the projects conducted will also seek to combine and strengthen the innovation ecosystems of each one – comprised in particular of French SMEs and innovative start-ups.

A strategic committee composed of representatives from both Air Liquide and the CEA will ensure the governance of these R&D projects. In addition, the committee will develop a shared vision of the technological opportunities of the future and the conditions for the emergence of new markets.

“We are delighted to be part of this partnership with the CEA…It is built on the links forged between the teams over several years and allows [us] to share high-level scientific knowledge, which is indispensable for opening up new markets”

François Darchis, member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee supervising innovation, commented, “We are delighted to be part of this partnership with the CEA, a key player in France in the area of energy and technologies. This public-private partnership is aligned with our open innovation approach. It is built on the links forged between the teams over several years and allows [us] to share high-level scientific knowledge, which is indispensable for opening up new markets.”

“This long-term collaboration strengthens Air Liquide’s commitment within France’s innovation ecosystem.”

Bernard Bigot, CEA Chairman, added, “The support of industrial partners, in particular French industrial groups like Air Liquide, is one of the missions of the CEA. This agreement gives earlier initiatives the form of a genuine partnership based on our complementary strengths. It covers the entire range of research in which the CEA is involved and exemplifies our shared desire to participate in France’s industrial comeback by reinforcing the innovation chain in the direction of the industrial valorisation of research.”