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Innovation drives our growth

L’innovation : moteur de notre croissance

Value creation through innovation is one of the five pillars of Alstom's 2020 strategy. It is both the key to technological differentiation and a means of creating added value and gaining a competitive edge.

€278M
R&D expenses in 2017/18

  • 7,000
    engineers
  • 5,800
    patents
  • 30%
    of orders booked will come from newly-developed products by 2020

Staying a step ahead

Alstom has built an international reputation on the performance and technological lead provided by its transport solutions. The company is determined to maintain its focus on innovation to set itself apart from other market players while establishing its competitive edge and reducing the total cost of ownership of its products.

Staying a step ahead
Coradia iLint production © Alstom/Julien Goldstein

Alstom has structured an innovation process designed to identify and nurture the most promising ideas in line with the Group’s innovation strategy. Due to ongoing R&D investment and partnerships, we unveiled three new solutions for 2016/17: the zero-emission Coradia iLint regional train, the electric bus Aptis and the multimodal management system for urban transport Mastria.

For Alstom, smart innovation is a way to create a smarter mobility with added-value for rail transport passengers and operators. It is also a way to increase Alstom's assets, through a proper management of intellectual property and to enhance its efficiency and ways of working. Our objective is to make rail systems:

  • more efficient for operators (smart maintenance, cybersecurity, optimised total cost of ownership, efficiency);
  • more attractive for passengers (on-board passenger experience, connectivity, real-time information);
  • and more integrated with other mode of transport (mutimodal operations, first and last mile mobility solution).

An ecosystem of innovation and creativity

We promote open innovation, partnering with a number of universities, research centres and start-ups. It has fostered public/private research initiatives like SystemX (digital solutions for future transport services), SuperGrid (new power conversion technologies) and Railenium (railway system technologies). We are also involved in competitiveness clusters specialising in embedded systems and transport solutions for the future. Furthermore, Alstom developed partnerships with diverse stakeholders to strengthen its scope for innovation in line with its far-sighted approach. Since 2010, Alstom has been a sponsor of Aster Capital, a venture capital fund in innovative technologies. Through this proactive approach, Alstom creates a complete ecosystem with diverse stakeholders dedicated to innovation.

Encouraging in-house creativity

Alstom supports its R&D efforts by fostering a strong culture of innovation within the company, embodied by the annual “I NOVE YOU” competition.

Open to all employees across all business lines and sites, the competition rewards creativity in every shape and form, spanning products, systems, processes, sustainable development, Open Innovation and more. In 2016, over 500 projects were submitted.

Encouraging in-house creativity

For a trusted and cyber-secure mobility

Transportation cybersecurity has become a critical issue. At Alstom, we take this very seriously and have put in place an organization and dedicated guidelines to deal with it. We also contribute to the definition of international standards on rail cybersecurity.

Combining expertise in cybersecurity and thorough knowledge of the railways, Alstom supports today its customers in the protection of their transport systems:

  • We conduct cybersecurity risk analysis and provide pragmatic security architecture and controls based on the context of the operator.
  • We develop our solutions integrating cybersecurity: secure development lifecycle, security assurance, hardened configurations, secure protocols, administration function protection, security events management and alerts. We also develop products dedicated to cybersecurity such as interfaces between zones.
  • We provide our solutions with the appropriate guidelines and procedures for secure installation, configuration, operation and maintenance.
  • Finally, we are defining and putting in place the infrastructures enabling us to offer our customers vulnerability monitoring and security update services to maintain their rail system security against ever-changing threats.