Three start-ups pick up Saint-Gobain innovation awards

Date: 3 February 2011
Source: Saint-Gobain
World leader in habitat, Saint-Gobain has just organized its third global innovation competition, aimed at rewarding start-up companies offering the most innovative solutions in the fields of habitat, energy and the environment.

On January 18th, 2011, the Saint-Gobain booth at the BAU international trade fair in Munich, Germany, saw nine start-up finalists fight it out in a "speed-dating" session to win over the jury chaired by Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Saint-Gobain.

The panel of judges included senior Saint-Gobain executives and in-house experts in the habitat, energy and environment fields. The jury singled out the three winners based on the quality and originality of their project:

• Trovotech GmbH won the competition and received a prize of €25,000.

• crystalsol GmbH and SOLEÏS Technologie each picked up a prize of €10,000.

The winners will work with the NOVA External Venturing team, the Saint-Gobain department dedicated to establishing strategic partnerships between the Group and start-ups, in order to explore partnership opportunities with Saint-Gobain. Partnerships may be technological (co-development, licensing agreement) or commercial (e.g. integration into a system, production or distribution agreement) with the likelihood of accelerating the start-ups’ development and growth.

More Information about the winners

Trovotech GmbH, a German start-up created in 2000, produces glass particles in an innovative high temperature extrusion process. With their physically modified and chemically highly active surface the obtained glass particles, called TROVO®powder, can be used for new functional and cost competitive additives in different applications and business fields, for example to achieve catalytic effects in polymers. By modifying TROVO®powder with silver and/ or zinc Trovotech produces TROVO®guard, which incorporated in products protects them against germ contamination.

crystalsol GmbH, an Austrian start-up created in 2008, develops an innovative type of flexible photovoltaic module mainly for the building integration market. The technology offers several advantages: versatile applications as modules can be flexible, transparent, colored and tailor made in size and shape, cost savings of 50-60% compared to current industry average and high availability of raw materials. Currently crystalsol is ramping up from 5x5 cm² monolithically and semi-automated produced modules to a continuous roll-to-roll production line of up to 5 MWp.

SOLEÏS Technologie, a French start-up created in 2009, offers innovative solar potential analysis solutions. SOLEÏS is able to calculate the solar potential of a given site as well as the efficiency and the return on investment of a photovoltaic installation, in order to provide a technical and a financial report in less than 15 minutes. The company develops its activities in two areas: technological tools for the photovoltaic industry through a complete range of Solar Potential Analyzers and consulting for individuals and professionals who need an independent solar potential analysis.

Saint-Gobain and Innovation

World leader in the habitat and construction markets, Saint-Gobain is present in 64 countries with more than 190,000 employees. The Group designs, manufactures and distributes building materials, providing innovative solutions to meet the key challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. Innovation is at the heart of the Saint-Gobain strategy. This notably involves working closely with young companies. €400million were invested in R&D last year. 3,500 researchers (37 nationalities) are working on more than 700 projects. Around 400 patents were registered in 2010 and more than one product out of five sold by the manufacturing sectors did not exist five years ago. 

Saint-Gobain and start-ups

NOVA examines how projects coming from innovative start-ups can be implemented faster by leaning on the industrial and commercial assets of Saint-Gobain, for the greatest benefit of each partner. NOVA serves as a unique interface for start-ups and helps create and develop links with all Group activities worldwide. 52 candidates from 16 nationalities participated in the 2010/11 Saint-Gobain innovation competition.

Since 2006, NOVA has launched more than 25 partnerships with start-ups. Press contacts: France - Sophie Chevallon – Tel. : +33 1 47 62 30 48 ; Ingrid Fey – Tel. : +33 1 47 62 43 25 UK - Lisa Benbow +44 24 7656 0722 Nordic & Baltic countries, Benelux, Germany & Austria - Regina Decker +49 241 51 62 50 4

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