Air Liquide launches i-Lab, its laboratory for new ideas

December 16, 2013

Air Liquide launches i-Lab, its laboratory for new ideas, to help accelerate the pace of innovation and explore new markets.

This laboratory is both a Think Tank and a venue for experimentation (the “Corporate Garage”) in new ideas that will benefit the Group. The lab will support the various Innovation entities and Group world business lines in the development of new offerings, products and technologies. Based in Paris, France, i-Lab gets support from all of the Group’s R&D sites, notably in Europe, in the United States, and in Asia. Its work is focused on both short-term and long-term issues.

i-Lab’s Think Tank is tasked with identifying and mapping new growth opportunities for the Group. Thanks to a multidisciplinary team, the Think Tank helps to analyze trends, such as industry globalization and resource constraints, evolving consumption and demographics, urbanization and new technologies, to better understand their impact on consumer habits.

The objective of the i-Lab Corporate Garage is to rapidly test ideas on end users. Its work is based on innovation methodologies centered around end consumer practices while also ensuring the technical feasibility of the ideas and a preliminary approach to their economic viability. Within its i-fab, the team can quickly produce proofs of concept, for example in the form of prototypes, using state-of-the-art equipment (3D printers and scanners, laser cutting, and digital modeling) that can materialize the ideas and enable testing.

Connected to the global innovation ecosystem, i-Lab’s primary vocation is to forge partnerships with start-ups. It shares space with ALIAD, Air Liquide’s strategic venture capital investor. ALIAD invests in technology start-ups to gain rapid and preferred access to the technologies developed. ALIAD and the i-Lab will therefore be able to create synergies around these collaborations.

Innovation is at the heart of the strategy of Air Liquide and enables the Group to create new markets and growth opportunities.