“Solvay’s joining of the Alliance, naturally flows from our 13-year partnership with Solar Impulse when we provided a variety of break-through technologies essential to the plane’s success. This Alliance will show again how collaboration and open innovation will turn visions into daily applications for a more sustainable planet and growth,” said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay.
Energy and mobility, a critical axis for Solvay“The fact that - as part of this Alliance - we will be part of an ecosystem of startups and inventors is exciting because we, as Solvay, have the possibility to transform their ideas and projects into reality based on our experience, capacity and success in industrialization. When it comes to energy, sustainability and mobility, we have market access; we know the customers,” adds Nicolas Cudre Mauroux, Head of Corporate Research & Innovation.
By combining the forces of governments, corporations, and international institutions, the Alliance will facilitate their ability to share experiences and create synergies in order to develop and implement concrete solutions to reach environmental and health targets.
“When Bertrand proposed to our Group in 2003 to take part in the Solar Impulse adventure, we knew it would be a real challenge for our research and a good opportunity to innovate, using Solar Impulse as a flying lab. Being part of this Alliance is a natural extension, enabling us to bring all of our existing solutions for clean technologies with an aim to expand their usage in other fields, while proposing and testing new promising innovations still in development,” says Jean-Pierre.
On Tuesday 5 September in Brussels, to celebrate Solvay’s alliance with the Alliance, Solar Impulse and Solvay screened a documentary film about the Round the World flight and led a discussion with Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Bertrand Piccard and Jean-Pierre.
“Science at the time of Ernest Solvay was about one-man shows. For example, Einstein wrote five papers between 1911 and 1915,” explained Commissioner Moedas. “But the change came when Ernest Solvay, with his Conference, put everyone together, talking to each other. That was the point when creating change became about collaboration and working together.”
Bertrand added: “Flying across the Atlantic, I thought to myself, ‘this is unreal. I’m in a science fiction story. I’m in the future’. And then I thought, ‘No. I’m in the present, in what the technologies of the world today allow, and the rest of the world is in the past.’ And this is what we have to change. We need to bring the rest of the world into the present.”
Solvay is a multi-specialty chemical company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers in diverse global end markets. Its products and solutions are used in planes, cars, smart and medical devices, batteries, in mineral and oil extraction, among many other applications promoting sustainability. Its lightweighting materials enhance cleaner mobility, its formulations optimize the use of resources and its performance chemicals improve air and water quality. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with around 27,000 employees in 58 countries. Net sales were € 10.9 billion in 2016, with 90% from activities where Solvay ranks among the world's top 3 leaders.
Photo: World Alliance for Eficcient Solutions