Customers want batteries that they can trust today – but they want tomorrow’s batteries to be smaller and lighter, more powerful and energy dense, faster to charge, straightforward to monitor and sustainable.
Our researchers are using every tool in the box to meet these challenges. We’ve scaled up our research and innovation group to be more than 140-strong across four teams. They take a collegiate approach, working closely with colleagues in production, services, engineering and sales.
One team is focusing on solid-state electrochemistry, whereas others are working hard to evolve and develop electrochemistry, mechanical design and electronic interfaces. For example, our two technology incubators in Bordeaux, France and Cockeysville, US develop prototypes, borrow technology from other industries and partner with customers and suppliers. Exceptionally well-equipped laboratories mean that our researchers have the flexibility to develop and test technology quickly in-house.
This approach provides us with the essential combination of speed, agility and focus.
To manage this rapid growth, we introduced the IRIS program (Innovation in Research and Solid State) in 2018 to provide a shared vision and structure.
David Echasserieau is enthusiastic; he runs the ‘Together to Innovate’ program, a research initiative inside IRIS: “An early success was Saft’s new approach to patents. We evaluated our project pipeline and are now being more responsive. That helped us triple our patent applications last year – an important marker that shows the world our technology leadership.”
“We have people working across a wide array of fields, so together with the Human Resources team we made recognition and reward a priority. Our ‘STEP UP’ initiative, introduced in 2017, provides a common structure that enables scientists and engineers to develop through five steps to a top level of Fellow. And some of our Fellows are amongst the very few worldwide battery experts in fields such as space and defense.”