Opening of a new R&D and Technology Center in the US

January 23, 2007

Innovation is a key growth driver for Air Liquide. In 2006, the Group spent over €170 million on innovation, and every year it files almost one patent per day. Approximately one-third of Air Liquide revenues come from technologies developed during the last ten years. The main lines of Research are food safety, healthcare, environmental protection and clean energy.

Air Liquide has opened a new R&D and Technology Center in the US. The new centre is located on a 22-hectare site in Newark, Delaware, approximately 50 kilometres south of Philadelphia. As part of the worldwide Group’s R&D network, its teams will build on the multicultural skills and top university and scientific talent present in the US.

Bringing people together in a single site will leverage the synergies among the company’s different R&D teams in the US, uniting scientists from the Chicago Research Center, MEDAL in Newport, Delaware – a subsidiary that develops membranes that separate and purify gas, Air Liquide Advanced Technologies US (ALATUS), and SEPPIC, a subsidiary involved in specialty chemicals. The Center is designed to give fresh momentum to the Group’s R&D and technology operations for the 72 countries where Air Liquide is present. Based in the US, it will benefit from this dynamic market and will soon employ 150 people from over 14 different nationalities. Air Liquide has invested $35 million in this Center.

François Darchis, member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee, stated, This new Center will enable us to accelerate innovation, discover new technologies, and expand into new markets by making use of our employees’ wide range of talent, as well as our solid partnerships with customers and research institutes. Whether we are refining technologies to enhance our products, or developing breakthrough innovations in promising areas such as hydrogen energy or medical gases, Air Liquide plans to maintain its leadership position in R&D to drive its growth.

Teams from Air Liquide R&D and Advanced Technologies divisions gather almost 1,400 people of 25 different nationalities, spread across 18 centers in Europe, North America, and Japan.

The Group’s R&D division is an international network, which develops high levels of expertise, and generates half of the patents that Air Liquide files every year. It supports and builds on over 100 industrial partnerships and over 100 affiliations with universities and research institutes. The Advanced Technologies division furthers the company’s skills and know-how in high-tech applications such as space systems, extremely low-temperature cryogenics, aerospace, gas engineering and hydrogen energy.