The largest hub for advanced chemical solutions

Solvay unveiled its project to transform its biggest innovation site in Lyon’s renowned Chemical Valley, with a state-of-the-art Innovation & Technology Center set to become the new largest hub for innovators in the heart of Europe.
 
The Center’s agile and faster approach to innovation will enhance Solvay’s customer support and growth as a transformed advanced materials and specialty chemicals company.
It will timely respond to customers’ need in aerospace, automotive and smart devices, requiring technologically advanced solutions delivered as quickly as possible with top-tier talent and personalized services.
 
All in one place, innovative chemistry for energy, advanced materials and formulations based on advanced technologies will be developed with simpler, fewer processes and shorter lines of communication to enable customers to co-create solutions.
 
The new Solvay’s Center in Lyon designed by Patriarche, a globally renowned innovation-driven architectural and engineering firm, will be closely connected with Solvay’s future Material Science Application Center in Brussels, part of the Group’s plans to transform its Headquarters in Brussels.

“Solvay’s new Innovation & Technology Center, embedded in France’s birthplace of chemistry, is ideally placed to optimize our research capabilities in Europe. From this site, our teams will be able to partner with our customers and accompany them from generating ideas to their development and subsequent industrialization, thereby driving our innovation capacity,” said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay.  

 

Hyping Open Innovation

The innovative approach housed in the new Research & Innovation  Center in Lyon represents the factual commitment of Solvay to serve as an accelerator for advanced chemical solutions, removing obstacles to easing ideas-flourishing to deliver customer-centric solutions. Solvay's aim to open innovation is represented in the new building 3 pillar solutions.

Agile innovation cluster

The center integrates five key Research, Innovation  and Industrial functional areas: synthesis, analysis, application, pilots and engineering & technology. These unique value-creating areas of expertise are close in proximity to foster collaborative innovation. Working spaces, meeting areas and research facilities can be reconfigured according to needs.

       
Interactive smart space

The laboratory units are comfortable, light and transparent. Their modular and functional design allows them to be reshaped to meet the requirements of different research projects. They are integrated into adjacent spaces, and each unit overlooks a green patio. The laboratories can also be seen from the shared areas, with glazed windows that will allow for interaction.

Connected innovation

The center will develop innovative chemistry for energy, high-tech materials and performance formulations based on advanced technologies: non-carbonaceous materials, rare earths and silica, bio-based additives and lightweighting or metal-replacement materials to promote resource efficiency. More than 1,000 Solvay’s talents will work closely together in the open and agile I&T Center and as part of the region’s rich ecosystem of academic and industrial expertise
 

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A Thriving Innovative Ecosystem at the Heart of the Chemical Valley

The creation of its largest Research & Innovation center in the region confirms Solvay’s commitment to the Lyon metropolitan area working together for local and global advancement. This major project is core to the economic vitality of the Chemical Valley known as the birthplace of chemistry in France to enable Solvay to tap into a vast network of skills and knowledge and attract the best scientists from across Europe.
 
In this ecosystem, Axel'One's Innovative Materials Platform will also be housed here to promote collaborative projects aimed at developing composite and biosourced materials, and materials for sustainable construction and recycling. The Valley is also the base of Axelera – the competitive cluster for the chemical, energy and environment sectors in Lyon and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes – of which Solvay is a founding member.
 

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‘Smart’ as a state of building
Solvay’s sustainable solutions starts from the ground

To make Solvay's innovation envision possible, architects were invited to submit their proposal. Three projects – from multidisciplinary teams of architects, engineers, landscape technicians, designers, landscapers, and sustainability experts – were shortlisted in April from five pre-selected earlier in the year.
Solvay employees were involved in selecting the entries before a jury chose Patriarche as the winner.[G4] 
 

Carbon neutral thanks to Solvay’s Advanced solutions

Solvay’s ambitious for sustainable innovation encompass action plans to optimize energy efficiency, consumption of raw materials and water use is possible.
 
The smart building will be carbon neutral, using geothermal energy, solar cells (the building has enough photovoltaic cells to cover 1.5 football fields) and natural ventilation to warm or cool the building. Rainwater will be harvested and re-used as much as possible.
Extensive digital applications will contribute to the building’s smart use of energy
 
Solvay's own innovative solutions part of its renowned products portfolio, including solar-controlled glass, architectural coating, and insulation materials, will be widely used in the project. The site aims to achieve the BREEAM - Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, certified level of ‘Excellent'.
 
As part of its Solvay Way approach to sustainability, the Group encourages the protection of biodiversity around its buildings and facilities. The Saint-Fons site’s rolling lawns and adjacent woods already offer a wide variety of tree species. The location is also home to several rare orchid species, with an action plan in place to protect them, and to 12 beehives producing around 100 kilos of honey a year.
 

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SAINT-FONS I&T: Solvay's largest showcase of Innovation & Technology

Contact

Anne-Elisabeth MOUREY

Europe Communications Director
190 avenue Thiers 69006 Lyon, France
25 rue de Clichy 75009 Paris, France
Anne-Elisabeth Mourey, France