Innovation according to SUEZ

  • «Help our clients to become leaders in environmental performance by providing them with differentiating and innovative solutions»…
    Paul-Joël Derian

    «Help our clients to become leaders in environmental performance by providing them with differentiating and innovative solutions»


Innovation seen through the eyes of Paul-Joël Derian, Senior Vice President, innovation and business performance.

Which role does innovation play within SUEZ? 

Innovation is one of the Group’s key strategic elements.
It is fully in line with our businesses meeting current and future challenges faced by the planet. We live in a world where raw materials are becoming increasingly scare and more expensive. By 2050 80% of the population will live in towns. We must develop innovative and efficient solutions for our clients on a daily basis. They expect sound, expert advice from us in the different areas of water and waste activities.


Which Research and Development tools are in place?

Our first tool consists in our worldwide network of Research Centers comprised of more than 400 experts, researchers and technicians. This tool in itself is not sufficient to meet the modern challenges of innovation and to meet the regulatory requirements to which our clients must comply. Open Innovation is at the core of our strategic vision. It stimulates, promotes and intensifies our Research and Innovation capacities through close work with an ecosystem of partners: Group entities, start-ups, universities, Research Centres, industrials, local authorities, etc.

To do this, SUEZ relies on:

          • SUEZ Ventures, an investment fund devoted to new technologies in water and waste. It enables investments to be made in start-ups with promising innovative technologies for our clients.
  • Innovative Technological tests, they enable innovative solutions to be tested under industrial conditions in order to speed up their time to market.
  • Collaborative networks, creating value, which multiply the Group’s work in Research and Development whilst benefiting from the work of research teams who are amongst the best in the world.



First appearing in 2003, Open Innovation is economically reflected by the pooling of innovation platforms. This new type of management method is establishing itself more and more as an accelerator of the innovation process in the water and waste businesses allowing risks related to the development of new products to be shared. The main advantage of this is the ability to offer specialised know-how in line with environmental issues and client needs.


What are the future challenges that need to be met by Innovation?

To meet tomorrow’s challenges as technical progress is not enough.  Dialogue with our partners is essential. Research, innovation, technology and the sharing of know-how are structuring aspects and important focal areas for the Group. The different SUEZ Business Units adapt innovation to local challenges and characteristics.  Know-how and the most promising results are shared with all the Group’s entities in order to provide our clients with differentiating and innovative offers.



    • 74 M€ dedicated to R&D en 2013
    • An International network of research centers and more than 200 analysis laboratories
    • More than 400 experts and researchers
    • More than 65 research programs
    • More than 120 research partners
    • 33 patents filed in 2013
    • 2 000 national patents filed in more than 70 countries