The question has been levelled within the industrial gases business, whether the industry still invests enough in research and development (R&D). Last week saw Tier One player Air Products demonstrate more than 20 years of R&D projects.

Hosting an exhibition at its European Technology Group’s headquarters in Basingstoke, UK, the company showcased 21 years of innovation and promoted the importance of collaborative research projects as a focus for R&D investment.

The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ exhibition, held from 1st – 3rd February, was attended by local science students as well as a host of customer, research and industry partners from across Europe.

“Some of the company’s brightest research scientists and engineers are located at the centre, working on collaborative initiatives with research and industrial partners to find solutions to global engineering and technical challenges”

John Marsland, Air Products

Exhibits at the event included some of the European Technology Group’s most significant and award-winning R&D success stories to date, since the facility opened in 1991 – and their impact in the global marketplace. Two of the exhibits – Air Products’ BIP® technology and the Integra® cylinder, with its complementary Maxx® gases range, have achieved Queen’s Awards for Innovation in 2004 and 2007 respectively.

John Marsland, Air Products’ Senior Vice-President and General Manager of Global Merchant Gases, said in a statement ahead of the event, “Some of the company’s brightest research scientists and engineers are located at the centre, working on collaborative initiatives with research and industrial partners to find solutions to global engineering and technical challenges.”

“This exhibition has been organised to showcase innovation at all levels, not just the market-leading products that have become synonymous with our brand. Celebrating achievements in this area will help to foster a ‘spirit of innovation’ which will continue to benefit our business and inspire research initiatives.”

“The exhibition also underlines our business strategy,” he continued, “which is to focus on continuing to invest in core activities in order to further strengthen our position as a leading industrial gas supplier.”