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The Group places particular importance on Innovation and Technology, and its total research and development expenses amounted to over 100 million euros in 2017, including significant increases in the budgets allocated to High-Voltage and electric vehicle projects.
More than 900 researchers, engineers and technicians work in the R&D centers and local product development units. The Group currently has a portfolio of approximately 615 patent families, and 53 new patent applications were filed in 2017. This high number attests to the creative abilities of our technical teams and strengthens the Group’s market positioning by protecting its intellectual property and innovation-led differentiation.
R&D investments in 2017
people working in R&D
patent families in 2017
Centrally funded research centres
The Group’s technical activities are divided into four main areas
- Product innovation, focused on incorporating technological advances, enhancing product performance, creating offerings that stand out from others in the market, and renewing the products and services making up the Group’s portfolio
- Advanced development of innovative materials and processes enabling new technical solutions to be identified in the medium term.
- Competitiveness projects focused on redesigning products to achieve cost and manufacturing efficiencies and streamline manufacturing processes in order to boost the Group’s financial performance.
- Tests and technical support in all of our plants to ensure that product performance is managed sustainably and that we continuously improve our manufacturing processes.
The objective of the Group’s Innovation and Technology teams is to work closely with the Marketing teams to identify technological developments in our customers’ applications and then devise new products and services accordingly. In so doing, we can build strong positions in these new developments by creating value for customers and standing out from the competition.
At the same time, the Group contributes to these technological developments through its ongoing work on standardization, notably by participating in the drafting of new international standards. The Nexans Research Centers (NRCs) work with external partners (such as universities, laboratories and research organizations) to help design state-of-the-art materials, fine tune new technologies and develop new products.