Leading through Technology

Innovation is at the heart of our culture and at Alstom we are constantly designing and producing new processes, products and services that create value for our customers and our organisation.

We continue to invest heavily in research and development (R&D) on a global and local scale to deliver sustainable solutions that meet the world’s energy and transport needs. Investment in R&D in 2012 was £618* million increased by over 25% since 2009, and several investment have been made recently in the UK's facilities such as the MaxSine® production facility and office building in Stafford, to foster a creative environment for our engineers.

Committing to our customers

Through our commitment to continuous innovation and the development of new technologies, we ensure that our customers have access to the latest state of the art equipment, processes and services. We understand our customers’ priorities, which is why our energy and transport activities focus on performance and efficiency as well as on the reduction of environmental impact.

With a highly motivated workforce and continuing dedication to research and development, we provide our customers with cutting-edge technology.

Cutting-edge partnerships

At Alstom we recognise the importance of strong partnerships so that we can firmly and confidently meet the challenges of tomorrow. Examples include our Innovation Partnerships with AWS for wave farm technology and Psymetrix for Smart Grid technology.

To maintain awareness of the latest developments in science and technology, Alstom works closely with a number of leading universities in the UK and globally. These mutually beneficial partnerships enhance the quality and rate of our innovation and provide us with the means to invest in long-term relationships with future graduates.

Furthermore, in collaboration with a variety of international research partners, we are developing several technologies for the commercial-scale abatement of CO2.

Alstom has R&D relationships with many Universities across the UK, including the University of Nottingham, Strathclyde and Imperial College London.

Rewarding excellence

At Alstom we believe it is important to acknowledge the talent of our employees.

For the Alstom group, the annual Innovation Awards ceremony takes place rewarding the most innovative ideas from around the world. UK participation in this event has continued to grow since its launch in 2008 with an increase of over 70% in entries in 2012 compared to 2011.

Previous finalists include Brian Kirby (based at our Stafford site) who along with his team secured the silver prize in 2011 in the Innovative Processes category for his Protection Algorithm Development using a Model Based Design Process. In 2008, Alistair Montgomery (Rugby, Alstom UK) was recognised for leading the development of 'the buggy' an ultrasound device, now widely used throughout Alstom, to find cracks in steam turbine rotors.

Here in the UK we host the President Award's for Innovation where the UK President, STerence Watson chooses to honour the inventor(s) of one UK innovation every year. In 2010, Mark Carter, Mechanical Engineering Manager, and his team at Train Life Services in Preston won for their ‘Phase Angle Regenerative Train Braking’ project.

*Orginal figure in euros. Exchange rate:  €1 = £0.79 as of 31 August 2012