Air Liquide’s venture capital branch, ALIAD, has revealed it has made four new equity investments in technology start-ups over the past six months.
The investment strategy of ALIAD has targeted sectors linked to the energy transition, healthcare and high tech, and is carving out positions in future technologies by supporting start-ups in their development through R&D or business agreements between these start-ups and the Tier One corporation.
In healthcare, the industrial gas giant acquired an equity stake in French biomedical company, Carmat, to jointly develop a portable hydrogen (H2) fuel cell earlier this year.
Also in early 2016, ALIAD established two new partnerships in the high tech sector. The first deal is with US-based business, Inpria. The company is developing a lithography technology for small surfaces for the semiconductor industry with this investment increasing its production capacity for commercial purposes.
These partnerships are fully in line with the group’s strategy of accelerating innovation by leveraging ecosystems
The second lies with European Poly-Shape – a French company specialising in prototyping and small series production of additive printing for the aerospace, automotive and healthcare sectors. This investment is enabling the group to expand its industrial gas offering for 3D printing.
Finally, in the energy transition field, Air Liquide has acquired a stake in US start-up, Solidia Technologies. The company is developing a cement that can absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) when it hardens.
François Darchis, Senior Vice-President and member of the Air Liquide group Executive Committee, supervising Innovation, said, “ALIAD supports the development of innovative start-ups with complementary technologies to those of the group. Air Liquide brings its industrial and technological experience and its global customer base. These partnerships are fully in line with the group’s strategy of accelerating innovation by leveraging ecosystems.”
Since its inception in 2013, ALIAD has made 25 investments totalling over €60m ($67.6m).