Air Liquide has just decided on three investments in France to help accelerate the group’s innovation and explore new markets. These three initiatives represent an investment of nearly €100m.

The group will extend and modernise its Paris-Saclay research centre, near Versailles, which is its main Research & Development centre in the world. A single building will house the 350 current researchers and the 46 laboratories and will have pilot platforms with equipment for designing and testing technologies in industrial-scale conditions. It will allow Air Liquide to reinforce its “open innovation” strategy through academic and industrial research partnerships with players from the Paris-Saclay innovation ecosystem.

Air Liquide thereby reinforces its presence in this ecosystem, which now includes 10,500 researchers and 48,000 students, and which by 2020 will be one the 10 biggest innovation hubs in the world.

Moreover, Air Liquide will also create a centre for the development of gas packaging for Industry and Health on its Paris-Saclay site. This centre will gather the group’s expertise in this field. Its mission will be to develop and industrialise new gas packagings for Industry and Health, while ensuring optimum safety, simplicity of use, traceability, and including digital technologies and new materials, allowing Air Liquide to launch new offers with a faster time-to-market.

And finally, building on the investments carried out by the group in cryogenics for over a century, Air Liquide will create a technical centre of excellence for cryogenic production technologies in Vitry-sur-Seine, near Paris. Within the Engineering & Construction unit, this centre will be responsible for developing and industrialising innovative and high added-value technologies for the production of oxygen, as well as bringing together expertise in this field, while ensuring training, the protection of know-how, and the transfer of innovation within the group’s global engineering network.

François Darchis, member of Air Liquide’s Executive Committee, commented, “The group’s innovation is based on our comprehensive knowledge of our markets, on the mastery of our technologies and on our capacity to interact with the innovation ecosystem. These major projects, which bring together diversified expertise, will allow us to sustain our innovation activity in France, and will contribute to Air Liquide’s profitable growth over the long term. France is a key country in terms of innovation for Air Liquide as it has a critical mass of talent. Our strategy relies on competitiveness in our operations, targeted investments in growing markets, and innovation to create new markets and opportunities.”