Between major investments, a large number of people who work on research & development (R&D) and state-of-the-art facilities, Research & Technology (R&T) is one of the prime movers of Safran's growth.
A proactive, audacious strategy
In our core markets of aviation, space, defense and security, Safran must anticipate our customers' needs. Innovation is an integral part of our corporate culture and a key to our strategy.
R&D at a glance (2013)
billion euros invested in R&D in 2014, equal to about 13% of sales
of research is independently financed
of Safran employees are involved in R&D
Two new cutting-edge research centers
To bolster our innovation policy, in 2014 Safran built two new world-class research centers. One consolidates R&T teams from throughout the Group, while the other focuses on composite materials.
The new Research & Technology center, dubbed Safran Tech, is tasked with fostering the emergence of new technologies. It has three main thrusts:
- advanced aircraft systems,
- digital technology,
- materials, processes and sensors.
Safran Tech is located at the Group's Paris Saclay site, which will also welcome corporate R&T, the Innovation department and Paris area teams from Safran Engineering Services and Aircelle. The site will eventually house 1,500 staff members, including outside partners.
Safran Composites is wholly dedicated to R&D for composite parts. Located in Itteville, in the greater Paris area, it was inaugurated in May 2014. Safran invested some 50 million euros in this composites hub, which will eventually count 150 specialists.
Inauguration of the Safran Composites center of expertise, in Itteville
An exceptional organization, capitalizing on research expertise
In addition to our own Innovation and R&T units, Safran has created a highly organized in-house network of 900 experts, responsible for developing the highest-performance technologies around. All of our experts have earned their special status and career management support. Safran nurtures an atmosphere that allows these experts to share their knowledge across the Group.
We have also set up a Scientific Council, bolstering our position within the greater scientific community. Chaired by well-known physicist Mathias Fink, the Council comprises seven internationally known researchers, each specialized in one of Safran's core disciplines: physics, solid and fluid mechanics, applied mathematics, surface chemistry, materials, automation and numerical simulation.
We also set up our own think tank in May 2012, the Innovation and Long-term Planning Circle. Comprising well-known figures from industry and academia, plus members of Innovation departments in Safran companies, this think tank identifies long-term trends in air transport, towards 2040-2050.
Science, research and innovation
Employee-driven innovation: a broad culture of innovation at all levels
Over and above major research programs, innovation at Safran is an integral part of everybody's mindset.
In fact, we have organized an annual event to spotlight our people's achievements, the Innovation Awards. This competition mainly recognizes the most promising initiatives developed by Safran employees. Safran has signed the Employee-driven Innovation Charter, initiated by the association Innov'acteurs. Based on seven principles, this charter seeks to spread the innovation culture across the enterprise eco-system.
Hundreds of patents a year
for the most patents filed by a company in France in 2013
Safran files for over
patents a year worldwide
A global portfolio of