Innovations to support the Group’s competitiveness
Each year, Imerys introduces new products onto the market. In addition to "continuity" innovations, resulting from improvements to the existing range, "disruptive" innovations are based on the development of new concepts. Together, they make it possible to increase the range of products and also the Group’s competitiveness.
For example, the following innovations, launched over the past 10 years, were mostly disruptive breakthroughs:
- 2003: new anti-blocking agents for plastic films and C-NERGY™, a carbon black (a conductor additive in lithium-ion batteries)
- 2004: graphite for fuel cells and fillers for silicon seals
- 2005: mineral fillers for latex gloves with Carbital range
- 2006: carbonate for wood and resin fiber composites and Alodur RodTM abrasive sticks
- 2007: Astrafil KTM, a new filler for paper, and calcium carbonates for non-woven fibers
- 2008: natural diatomite for laminates and BarrisurfTM (a very flat kaolin with a "barrier effect")
- 2009: a new carbon black for the C-THERM conductive plastics, and a new nanometric product for ultraviolet-hardened coatings
- 2010: Celite CynergyTM (an additive combining filtration and stabilization of beer)
- 2011: Extension of the “Quick Dry™” monolithic refractories range for safer linings (no hydrogen given off during drying) and significantly shorter installation times (faster drying);
- 2012: Argical Pro, a natural product to protect olives against insect attack;
- 2013: ImerPlast™, a mineral solution with calcium carbonates enabling the recycling of polyolefins in extruded products.
- 2014: The ImerCare™ Scrub range, based on an engineered perlite. Created as a natural alternative for polyethylene beads in applications such as shower gels, it is ECOCERT certified.
Imerys intends to increase the share of new products in its revenue. In 2013, the Group thus estimates that approximately €333 million in revenue was generated with products created in the previous five years. This is an increase of +33% compared to 2012.
Innovation to accelerate the Group’s internal growth
In recent years Imerys’ scientists have also designed innovations that help to drive the Group’s development, particularly in high-potential markets.
- Carbons for Lithium-Ion batteries
- Zirconia for oxygen sensors
- A mineral solution for recycling plastics
- A composite of micro fibrillated cellulose and mineral
Innovation is a precious asset to Imerys. That is why its legal protection is built into the product development process from the outset.
These essential Group assets are protected by a bespoke intellectual property policy. Around 3500 trademarks are registered or in the process of registration and Imerys owns more than 1000 patents and patents pending and more than 200 industrial and utility models. This portfolio undergoes regular rationalization, which is vital in optimizing its cost. In order to effectively protect its company name, the Group has registered the "Imerys" trademark in 105 countries.