Saint-Gobain’s outward-looking strategy, notably as concerns innovation, has led it to develop and diversify its partnerships. To keep up with eco-system complexity and ever-faster technological change, the Group needs to work more with external partners to extend its expertise.

Opening Up to Greater Innovation 

TMT, a technical-marketing team

Saint-Gobain’s TMT team is dedicated to exploring opportunities offered by new market demands and evaluating emerging markets and technologies. It also seeks out new applications for the Group’s existing processes and products. 

NOVA External Venturing, identifying innovative start-ups   

Saint-Gobain’s NOVA External Venturing team is the unit dedicated to developing strategic partnerships between the Group and start-up companies all over the world. Its mission is to combine projects from innovative start-ups with the industrial and commercial assets of Saint-Gobain, so as to increase the partners’ innovative capacities. The External Venturing team serves as a unique interface for start-ups and helps create and develop links with all the Group’s activities.

> Learn more about NOVA :

Onirys™ lighting fabrics.

Brochier, a start-up partner 

In 2014, Saint-Gobain ADFORS released the ONIRYS™ lighting fabric, an aesthetic and technical revolution. It is the result of interweaving optical fiber and fiberglass using the Lightex® technology. The product was co-developed with the French company Brochier® Technologies under a partnership agreement signed at the end of 2012. The two partners benefit from their combined expertise serving the industrialization of lighting fabrics. Brochier contributes its knowledge of the processing steps for the optical fibers and fabrics, which is complemented by Saint-Gobain Adfors’ fiber glass weaving expertise and its commercial position facilitating market access. Identified by the NOVA External Venturing teams, Brochier had already signed a first development agreement with Saint-Gobain Recherche in 2008, then a second one with Placoplatre for specific plasterboard applications.

SUN, a partner network of international universities

The international Saint-Gobain University Network (SUN) gives the Group access to the academic world’s latest scientific advances and high level expertise. In addition, this cooperation approach expands the pool of researchers with thesis placements and post-docs, making it easier to hire managers with an excellent level of training in strategic countries. 

The Group has long-term partnerships with, for instance:

  • The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France,
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Massachusetts, and Case Western Reserve University in the United States,
  • The Indian Institute of Technology Madras in India, 
  • The RWTH Aachen University and the Fraunhofer Institutes in Germany,
  • Lomonosov Moscow State University in Russia, 
  • The National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Japan. 

Partnership with CNRS in France and NIMS in Japan

Saint-Gobain, the CNRS (French National Scientific Research Center) and the NIMS (National Institute for Materials Science) have just opened the Laboratory for Innovative Key Materials and Structures (LINK) in the presence of the French Ambassador to Japan, Thierry Dana. The aim of this international research center is to develop new materials that could have applications in several of Saint-Gobain’s industrial activities, in particular ceramics, grains and powders, crystals, glazing and abrasives. Linked to both Saint-Gobain and the CNRS, the center is housed at the NIMS in Tsukuba in Japan, one of the world’s leading materials research laboratories. This is the first time Saint-Gobain and the CNRS have opened a joint research center abroad.

Saint-Gobain innovation centers 

Saint-Gobain innovation centers have been created to foster exchanges with major players in the building and construction market and provide technical solutions that meet their needs. 

Find out more about our innovation centers