Company news
Home > Company news

Saint-Gobain organized an Innovation Day in Shanghai during the 350th anniversary celebrations of the group

Monday 9 February 2015

Strong commitment to open innovation was renewed and the 5th NOVA start-up Innovation competition was launched
Saint-Gobain, the world leader in sustainable habitat, is celebrating in 2015 its year-long and worldwide 350th anniversary, starting from Shanghai.
For this event, Saint-Gobain organized a series of events during nine days, starting from January 9th, date of the opening ceremony. The Innovation Day took place on January 11th afternoon and was hosted by Saint-Gobain Research Shanghai, one of the group’s seven global transversal R&D centers and the first one in Asia-Pacific. Saint-Gobain senior managers as well as external collaborators delivered speeches about open innovation event gathered more than 150 attendees, mostly external such as Universities, Start-ups, Incubators, Venture Capitals, Suppliers & Customers and MNCs. 

Javier Gimeno
CEO & General Delegate, Saint-Gobain Asia-Pacific
Didier Roux
Vice-President of R&D for Saint-Gobain group

The event included two sessions:
The first one was the opportunity to hear how innovation and open collaborations work in Saint-Gobain. Speakers included Javier Gimeno, Saint-Gobain General Delegate for Asia-Pacific, Didier Roux, Vice President, R&D and Innovation for the Saint-Gobain Group, Bernadette Charleux, Deputy Vice President of R&D for Saint-Gobain group, and Armand Ajdari, R&D Vice President for the Innovative Materials sector of Saint-Gobain. They highlighted how innovation and various external collaborations help to accelerate mutual growth. 

Armand Ajdari, who oversees the NOVA External Venture structure in charge of catalyzing contacts between the start-ups ecosystem and the group, also officially announced the launch of the 5th edition of its Start-up Innovation Competition. To find out more about the NOVA Innovation Competition, see the official rules and download the entry form, visit the website

Armand Ajdari    R&D Vice President for the Innovative Materials sector of Saint-Gobain Muthu Jeevanantham     General Manager of Saint-Gobain Research (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

The second part aimed at opening discussion by inviting leading venture capitals, incubators, start-ups, consulting companies and French consulate to share their view and experience on innovation collaboration, including companies such as Bloomberg, Northern Light Venture Capital and Nanopolis Suzhou.

At the end of the speeches, all participants were invited to have a tour of the five Saint-Gobain futuristic glass pavilions that have been temporarily installed along the North Bund.


About Saint-Gobain 
In 2015, Saint-Gobain is celebrating its 350th anniversary, 350 reasons to believe in the future. Backed by its experience and its capacity to continuously innovate, Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction market, designs, manufactures and distributes high-performance and building materials providing innovative solutions to the challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. With 2013 sales of €42 billion, Saint-Gobain operates in 64 countries and has nearly 190,000 employees. For more information about Saint-Gobain, visit and the twitter account @saintgobain.

About Saint-Gobain Research (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.
SGRS - one of the major R&D centers of Saint-Gobain worldwide is located in the Minhang Development Zone, at the heart of its Shanghai industrial complex, neighbouring 6 of our plants involved in Performance Plastics, Glass for Automotive, Abrasives and Ceramics.
Mirroring the extraordinary richness of Saint-Gobain technology, this Center hosts scientists in almost all advanced material sciences from ceramics to polymers, glass to iron cast, crystals to abrasives, inorganic grains & powders to refractories…and reaches variety of research fields including: material science, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, modeling and building energy as long as grinding, coating, Optical Detection etc.
It opened its new office building Phase II in September 2013, increasing its capacity to host more than 400 research scientists.

About NOVA External Venturing 
NOVA External Venturing is the Saint-Gobain team in charge of identifying and evaluating start-ups with a view to making mutually beneficial, long-term development partnerships with the Group’s activities. They combine Saint-Gobain’s marketing, manufacturing and R&D resources with the freshest ideas in construction and advanced materials. Since NOVA was set up in 2006, over 2,600 start-ups have been screened and more than 65 partnerships signed. These partnerships can take various forms: co-development, licensing, manufacturing or commercial agreements, investments, joint-ventures. For more information about Saint-Gobain’s NOVA External Venturing team, please visit