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.





NOVA is Saint-Gobain's External Ventures arm dedicated to connect the global startup community with the power, resources and experience of Saint-Gobain.

Through NOVA, a unique structure created in 2006, Saint-Gobain plays an active role within the global startup ecosystem. NOVA’s mission is to engage with startup ecosystems and Saint-Gobain’s businesses to structure partnerships and investments for transformational growth.  Since its creation, NOVA has examined over 6,000 startups and signed nearly 150 partnerships.

Today, NOVA focuses its start-up assessments around strategic and cross-cutting themes:

NOVA target areas


> Learn more:
> Connect on Twitter: @SGNOVA

The Group has therefore set up a partnership approach with the world of startups. All over the world, particularly in Europe, the United States, Brazil and China, official partnerships have been signed with startup incubators, which allow the Group's activities to have direct access to startups offering innovative services, either to direct customers, or more to relevant important ones (construction, automobile, public works, health, etc.).


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 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