R&D : Organised to innovate
The Arkema group’s research division has a twofold mission: to optimize existing products, and to develop breakthrough projects. Accordingly, it relies on 10 research centers, an incubator for high potential products, and a large number of partnerships.
Innovation is at the heart of the Arkema group’s strategy. Its ability to put forward new solutions as well as products that fulfil its customers’ expectations is the basis of its success.
A dual responsibility
The Arkema group’s R&D (Research & Development) division reports directly to the CEO and coordinates all of the Group’s research programs worldwide.
The division ensures the scientific coherence of research projects, most of which deliver benefits in terms of sustainability.
It has a €150 million budget, i.e. 2.2% of the group’s sales. Almost 15% of this budget is directly allocated to breakthrough projects. These projects stand apart from applied research designed to develop existing activities.
Hence it has a dual responsibility: to prepare the products of the future, and to optimize existing products to fulfil immediate customers’ needs.
Two pillars for research
To ensure the best environment for its innovation projects, the group relies on:
- ten research centers (in France, the United States, Japan and China) close to industrial sites and customers, which employ some 1,200 researchers.
- an original structure, the Incubator, to carry forward breakthrough projects and the developments of highly promising products: nanostructured materials, ultra high performance polymers (PEKK), etc.
One of the Incubator’s mission is also to acquire SMEs and startups to enable Arkema to expand in high-tech markets.
Synergies thank's to collaborative research
This structure is bolstered by an intense partnership policy. The R&D division has established cooperation ventures with the main players in public and private research, and each research center develops networking with companies, universities and schools in their region.
In France, the group is also heavily involved in a number of Investissements d’Avenir projects.