Breakthrough innovation for a winning vision

Solvay’s Research and Innovation is moving fastly but steadily to ensure the best array of technological solutions able to anticipate growing demands for clean mobility and resource efficiency. 

Nicolas Cudré-Mauroux, Research & Innovation Group General Manager leading this new vision, has been designated 2018 Chief Technology of the Year in the category of large companies as announced today at the EU Industry Days

With a focus on key industry challenges such as sustainability, digitalisation, investment and globalisation, the prize is awarded annually to the most prominent technology leaders by EIRMA - European Industrial Research Management Association, together with innovation consulting company Spinverse.

Such recognition prizes Solvay’s R&I commitment to strategically accelerate the shift towards a more agile technological architecture among its 21 sites and international teams. Such transformation encompasses all aspects of Solvay’s innovation, from ideas to impactful business, from science to the ultimate solutions offered to customers. 

This award is a recognition for the efforts of our 2,100 scientists. Thanks to their competencies and expertise, those scientists manage to demonstrate on a daily basis a high level of agility and flexibility, ensuring profitable growth for the company. We must continue in that direction to unleash Solvay Group's tremendous innovation!

Nicolas Cudré-Mauroux, Research & Innovation Group General Manager (CTO) at Solvay

Who is Nicolas Cudré-Mauroux? 
Leading successful teams

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Nicolas Cudré-Mauroux is Solvay General Manager for Research & Innovation since 2015, leading the transformation of the R&I vision of the group towards a more collaborative implementation of a strategical technological playground. 

In roughly three years, Dr Cudré-Mauroux has turned Solvay’s R&I into an agile and dynamic customer-oriented organization that has significantly contributed to sales growth in Solvay’s main markets. 

Thanks to stronger interfaces between Solvay’s research, marketing and strategy, teams are better positioned to assess the value of potential projects. Close partnerships with start-ups and leading universities furthermore allow teams to develop synergies between short and long-term projects. In addition, Dr Cudré-Mauroux and his team implemented innovative managing processes to fast-forward on radical innovation. 

This strong model of breakthrough and open innovation addresses Solvay’s global customer demand for clean mobility and resource efficiency in its key markets including automotive, electronics, agriculture, energy storage and oil & gas.

Nicolas has a very broad range of expertise, like but not limited to materials science, polymers, composites, food technology and biotechnology. With a PhD in Materials Science from Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL), in Lausanne and solid career in the industry, make him keen on Technology management, open innovation, technology-market interface, business and strategy development, growth in emerging markets. 

As a member of the CNRS Board since 2017, Nicolas Cudré-Mauroux emphasizes Solvay-CNRS collaboration on common scientific challenges to tackle unmet business needs where breakthrough science is needed. Nicolas is also a member of the Académie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts of Belgium.

 

Boosting sustainability and open innovation


2018 figures: €350 million investments and more than 280 filed patents. 

Latest Solvay's Research and Innovation's achievements strongly reflect the Group's scope in sustainability, reducing its environmental footprint while increasing the proportion of investments to meet the challenges for clean development. 

Concretely speaking, this vision focuses on:

  1. An extended network of open innovation through partnerships with academics and key market players to maximize efficiency and tap into the creativity and competencies of the outside world.
  2. Solvay Ventures: Solvay’s beacon in startups ecosystem to scout best start-ups and bet on next-generation unicorns for stimulating developments in strategic areas.

Thus, thanks to the selection of a limited number of Technological Growth Initiatives made under the leadership of Nicolas Cudré-Mauroux, Solvay deploys its long term R&I efforts, particularly on advanced material, new chemistries and innovative processes, and takes risks in exploring new areas that can generate strong growth for the Group.

To challenge Solvay long-range research directions and encourage us new breakthrough opportunities, Cudré-Mauroux's team put in place the Science Advisory Board (SAB). This internal body is composed by top-notched scientific experts such as Professor Ben Feringa, winner of the 2015 Chemistry for the future Solvay Prize and Nobel Laureate for Chemistry in 2016.

This is Solvay R&I’s formula of success to provide the customers with high added value innovative and competitive solutions tailored to the present and future needs of end-users.