SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT is committed to an open innovation approach at several levels:
SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT has entered into 120 partnerships with public and private research organisations, as well as with manufacturers (Airbus, Terena, Renault) and international universities. The Group is strongly involved in major competiveness clusters (Axelera, Vitagora, Advancity, Dream, etc.). The synergies created will further enhance the research potential and international dimension of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT.
In 2010, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT created a corporate investment fund, Blue Orange to take part in the development of new water and waste technologies. The fund participates not only as an investor, but also as an industrial partner. By acquiring a holding in the capital of young promising companies working on innovative technologies, the Group supports their commercial and industrial development.
Finally, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT and GE signed an international co-operation agreement to develop innovative solutions for managing networks and water treatment plants. This collaborative approach aims to use new technologies to meet the increasing needs of cities around the world for water.
Innovation can only develop within a motivating, participatory framework. This is a global corporate mindset that partly depends on R&D, but also on all the other areas of the company, from the marketing department to human resources, including strategy and organisation. It also stimulates creativity at all levels. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT’s Innovation Trophies honor the best innovators of the year within the Group and its subsidiaries and identify employee initiatives. The collaborative intranet also allows employees to work together in a network and share more easily.
There are significant areas of synergy between SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT and GDF SUEZ, and their research and innovation teams actively co-operate with one another. In 2009, GDF SUEZ launched research and development programmes in several strategic areas, bringing together inter-departmental teams from its different research centres and operating units.
SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT is a stakeholder in several of the following programmes, which are crucial for the future of GDF SUEZ businesses: CO2 capture and storage, renewable energies, energy storage, desalination and energy, offshore liquid natural gas, smart metering, smart grids and cities of the future.