Safran Corporate Ventures Strategic investor in innovative startups
The aim of Safran's open innovation approach is to develop and accelerate cooperation with start-ups that have developed disruptive technology or business models applicable to the aviation, space and defense sectors.
Synthetic kerosene, biofuels, hydrogen, fuel cells, cryogenic fuels, recycling and recovery of aircraft parts.
Services, equipment and materials for defense applications, cyber security.
Electric propulsion, on-board optics, communication & radionavigation, atomic clocks & precision references, space & spectrum surveillance, launch vehicles instrumentation & navigation, ground & critical communication solutions, telescope optics.
New services, new business models
Data analytics, on-demand aviation, new maintenance methods, co-creation, collaborative engineering, AI, blockchain.
Connected cabin & passenger experience
Connectivity, augmented cabin, comfort, In-Flight Entertainment, human-machine interface.
New materials, advanced materials
Nanotechnologies, surface treatment processes, composites, ceramics, advanced manufacturing processes, low-carbon materials.
Non-Destructive Testing, Augmented Reality, Industrial IoT, robotics/cobotics, additive manufacturing, industrial cyber security.
Open innovation: a strategy of cooperation with start-ups
Open innovation involves bringing together a number of different players (companies, institutional bodies, research organizations, etc.) to work on collaborative innovation projects. Through its entity specializing in open innovation, Safran Explore, the Group focuses its attention on partnerships with start-ups: companies founded less than 10 years ago (or up to 15 years ago for "industrial" firms), with strong growth potential.
For certain strategic start-ups, this cooperation may even take the form of a capital shareholding. This is the role of Safran Corporate Ventures. In every case, Safran commits to being a lasting and responsible partner, building respectful, trusting, win-win relationships in the interests of all parties.
Supporting the development of innovative startups
Safran Corporate Ventures (SCV) was created to connect Safran to the ecosystem of young innovative companies in the aviation, space and defense sectors. SCV supports these companies by providing Group expertise and financial resources for their development: access to an international network of experts, commercial and industrial exposure, implementation of commercial or development agreements between the portfolio’s startups and the Group’s various entities.
An investment budget of €80m
With an investment budget of €80m, Safran Corporate Ventures bases its investment strategy on the following underlying principles:
- Identifying the top disruptive technologies and innovations worldwide.
- Actively investing alongside top co-investors, financial investors, and/or other Corporate Ventures funds.
- Providing long-term support for companies, both financially and through help and advice from Safran Group experts.
Safran Corporate Ventures focuses on companies that are developing transformative technologies, innovative manufacturing methods and new business models.
We work across the spectrum from seed and early stages to mid, growth, and late stage, partnering with founders who are committed to and capable of driving growth and commercialization. Whether successful experiments or minimum viable products, we are eager to explore what's possible together.
If your company aligns with our focus areas, let’s connect!Contact us!
Startups in the Safran Corporate Ventures portfolio
Established in 2013, Cailabs is a startup in the field of photonics and the developer of light-shaping technology protected by several patents. The company is a spin-off of Kastler Brossel laboratory (Ecole Normale Supérieure joint research unit - Université Pierre et Marie Curie - CNRS) that specializes in physics and quantum optics. Cailabs designs and markets photonic products in the form of components, modules or pieces of equipment for the telecoms and industrial laser markets. The company has developed two main applications: space-division multiplexing applications for terrestrial telecoms (very-high-speed long-distance networks and short-distance multimode fiber networks) and applications for high-power industrial lasers (welding, cutting, additive manufacturing, etc.).More information
Cranfield Aerospace (CAeS) is an aerospace market leader in the design and manufacture of new aircraft design concepts, complex modifications to existing aircraft and integration of cutting-edge technologies to meet the most challenging issues facing the aerospace industry today. CAeS has refocused the company on Project Fresson, the unlocking of commercial hydrogen-electric propulsion flight. In the early stages, CAeS will focus on CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) certification of the Britten-Norman Islander passenger aircraft using hydrogen fuel cell power. In parallel with its investment, Safran will work in partnership with CAeS spanning the area of hydrogen fuel cell powered electric propulsion for aviation.
Electrical Power Systems
Electric Power Systems (EPS), an aerospace company based in Logan (Utah) in the United States, is a leader in advanced energy storage solutions. EPS makes its expertise available to a broad range of electric and hybrid airplanes such as the Nasa X57, the Bye eFlyer and the Bell Nexus. The joint investment of Safran Corporate Ventures and Boeing HorizonX Ventures will enable EPS to develop a highly-automated industrial base capable of producing aviation-grade energy storage systems on an unprecedented scale, and support technological developments that further reduce the cost of battery systems for electric airplanes.More information
Ineratec provides modular plants to convert “green” hydrogen, made using renewable electricity and biomass CO2 or captured CO2, into carbon-neutral fuels like e-methane, e-diesel and e-kerosene. Headquartered in Karlsruhe, Germany, the firm has already deployed 13 e-fuel demonstration plants for a range of applications and opened a first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plant in Lower Saxony. Ineratec now intends to fund a pilot plant in Frankfurt capable of producing 3,500 metric tons of fuel a year, including SAF supplied directly to the city’s airport. This project is planning to deliver up to 10 MW by 2023.More information
Established in 2008, Kalray is the European leader in new-generation microprocessors for critical onboard systems. This startup, a spin-off of CEA-List, is located in Orsay (Essonne) and Grenoble, and operates internationally. It has around 60 employees and more than 20 patents pending. Kalray has developed a new generation of microprocessors called MPPA (Massively Parallel Processor Array), whose computing power/energy consumption ratio is unequaled for components of this size - an essential asset for “more electric” aircraft. In addition to aviation applications, Kalray is also active in the car industry, particularly in the area of self-driving vehicles, and data centers.More information
Krono-Safe is a software publisher established in 2011. It develops software for real-time operating systems (RTOS) in an integrated development environment (IDE) for critical equipment in terms of dependability.
Krono-Safe markets a software technology originally developed by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in the nuclear sector to guarantee the predictability of critical real-time control applications. The company signed a transfer agreement with CEA-LIST (technology and systems integration lab) concerning this technology. Krono-Safe targets safety-critical onboard systems in strong growth markets: transport (connected and autonomous vehicles), industry and aviation.
Prodways Group is a company that specializes in 3D industrial printing and has customers in many different sectors, including aviation and the dental sector. It is a subsidiary of Groupe Gorgé and is listed in Compartment B of Euronext Paris.
Through its Systems division, Prodways Group offers a range of 3D printing systems and their corresponding materials (resins and powders). Through its Products division, the company manufactures 3D-printed parts in plastic and in metal, and markets them either directly or indirectly. Prodways Group is positioned on every part of the value chain (design of machines, materials, parts) and has thereby developed an integrated model that offers its customers a “turnkey” solution that is unique in Europe and has great prospects around the world.
Sintermat is a French startup that has developed expertise in spark plasma sintering (SPS), a process used to make parts out of different types of powder. This powder metallurgy process works with all types of materials, including conducting and magnetic materials, metals, ceramic polymers, composites, biomaterials and more. It compacts these materials in a mold under high pressure, heated by the joule effect1, to produce high-density, high-strength parts. SPS allows the production of parts with complex shapes and a homogeneous microstructure, which makes them highly suited to Safran’s requirements. Sintermat operates in four strategic sectors: aerospace and defense, luxury products, cosmetics packaging and industrial tooling.
Turbotech specializes in new-generation turbine engines and hybrid propulsion. Based in Brittany and Ile de France, the company was founded by four partners, all former employees of Safran, and is directed by Damien Fauve. Turbotech is developing a range of turbine engines for light aircraft, based on innovative regenerative cycle turbines. Integrating its patented heat exchanger technology, Turbotech’s products combine reliability, exceptional performance, low fuel consumption, a low acoustic signature and minimal operating costs. Funding from Safran Corporate Ventures will enable Turbotech to finalize the development of its products. Turbotech will be the first company to sell a high-performance hybrid propulsion system in the general aviation, heavy drone and on-demand air mobility markets. The electric version will give hybrid propulsion aircraft several hours of autonomy.More information
Outsight is developing a new generation of sensor: a revolutionary 3D semantic camera offering smart machines a comprehensive understanding of their environment. The sensor combines software and hardware to bring major innovations, such as remote material identification and comprehensive real-time 3D data processing. This technology allows systems to perceive, understand, and ultimately interact with their environment at an unprecedented level of cost and efficiency. Outsight's international teams of scientists and engineers operate out of Paris, Helsinki, and San Francisco.
SkyFive is a provider specializing in Air-to-Ground solutions and services for the aviation market. The team has taken its Air-to-Ground solution from initial research to large-scale commercial implementation in more than 41 different countries in Europe. SkyFive partners with mobile operators to bring airline passengers true high-speed services, enable real-time mass transfer of aircraft data, and provide robust, secure air coverage for public safety authorities and new forms of urban air mobility. The company is headquartered at the Ludwig Bölkow Aerospace and Security Campus in Munich, Germany.
Diota - exited the portfolio in 2022
Diota is France’s leading publisher of augmented-reality software solutions for industry, enabling manufacturers to boost their performance by providing an interactive link between digital data and operators in the field.
Having built on its technological innovations and business-oriented solutions, developed through a close partnership with the CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), the company, established in 2009, is a key player in the digital-factory sector and a key contributor to the industrial competitiveness of France and Europe, working with major players in the following sectors in particular: aviation (Dassault Aviation, Safran, etc.), rail, naval, automotive, energy and chemicals.
OXIS Energy – exited the portfolio in 2021
OXIS Energy, a leading developer of Lithium-Sulfur components for high-energy-density batteries, currently holds 173 patents for this technology with a further 96 pending. Safran Corporate Ventures' stake in OXIS Energy will help to market and automate the mass-production process for rechargeable Lithium-Sulfur batteries, with the use of digital manufacturing machines for international customers in the automobile industry especially. OXIS will then be focusing its efforts on the aviation, defense, and heavy electric vehicle markets. At the same time, OXIS signed two joint development agreements with its partners. The first was for working on high-density fuel cells (aviation industry), and the second involved Arkema and laying out a joint roadmap to improve battery life and energy density.
SafetyLine – exited the portfolio in 2021
Founded in Paris in 2010 by Pierre Jouniaux, former pilot and lead investigator for the BEA, Safety Line rolls out artificial intelligence technologies for improved safety and efficiency in air and airport operations. Solid aviation expertise paired with patented digital research projects gives Safety Line an edge when it comes to offering a range of innovative products for airlines and airports, focusing on risk management and reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. In 2017, the startup succeeded in raising a total of €3m thanks to industrial investment structures from Safran, Groupe ADP, and BPI France. Safety Line employs 35 people and currently serves 70 clients in France and abroad. Its OptiFlight solution has been certified by the Solar Impulse Foundation since 2020.
Tronics – exited the portfolio in 2016
Tronics is a company that designs and manufactures innovative nano and microsystems, particularly MEMS components (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems), used in a wide variety of applications and fields, including aviation and defense, drones, industry, oil rigs, and medical. They are considered a competitive advantage for future aviation applications, especially in the field of platform stabilization and inertial navigation.
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