Air Liquide Venture Capital ALIAD accelerates its investments in technology start-ups

June 14, 2016

ALIAD, the venture capital arm of the Air Liquide Group, strengthens its position in future industries with four new equity investments in technology start-ups over the last six months: Carmat, Inpria, Poly-Shape, and Solidia Technologies. ALIAD has made 25 investments since its creation in 2013 for a total commitment of over 60 million euros.

The investment strategy of ALIAD targets sectors linked to the energy transition, healthcare, and high tech. ALIAD is carving out positions in future technologies by supporting start-ups in their development through the implementation of R&D and/or business agreements between these start-ups and Air Liquide.

In healthcare, Air Liquide acquired in early 2016 an equity stake in Carmat, a French company in the biomedical sector, to jointly develop a portable hydrogen fuel cell. This innovation will greatly increase the autonomy of patients who have an artificial heart. Carmat has designed and developed the world’s most advanced total artificial heart project, with the aim of offering a therapeutic alternative for patients suffering from terminal biventricular heart failure.

In early 2016, ALIAD also established two new partnerships in high tech.
One with Inpria, to enable this young American company to increase its production for commercial purposes. This company based in the US state of Oregon, is developing a unique lithography technology for small surfaces (printed circuits on chips) for the semiconductor industry.
The other one with Poly-Shape, the European leader in its field that could enable the Group to expand its industrial gas offering for 3D printing. Poly-Shape is a French SME specializing in design, parts prototyping, and small series production thanks to its mastery of additive manufacturing (3D printing) for the aerospace, automotive and healthcare sectors.

In the energy transition field, Air Liquide has just acquired a stake in the US start-up Solidia Technologies. The technology developed by this company - a cement that absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) when it hardens - helps improve the environmental footprint of the cement industry.

François Darchis, Senior Vice-President and member of the Air Liquide group Executive Committee, supervising Innovation, said: "ALIAD supports the development of innovative start-ups with complementary technologies to those of the Group. Air Liquide brings its industrial and technological experience and its global customer base. These partnerships are fully in line with the Group's strategy of accelerating innovation by leveraging ecosystems."

Created in 2013, ALIAD’s role is to acquire minority equity stakes in innovative technology start-ups in order to foster Air Liquide’s access to technological innovations developed outside the Group. These equity investments are accompanied by the implementation of preferred R&D and/or business agreements between these start-ups and Air Liquide group entities.

Find out more about ALIAD and its achievements