Italcementi opens its research centre in Italy
The Italian Minister for the Environment, Corrado Clini, had recently unveiled the Group’s new laboratory, a place where over a hundred people are engaged in research and technological transfer activities in the building materials sector. The innovative solutions accomplished across 23,000 sqm of i.lab are clear evidence of how cement can be an element that generates sustainable architecture and smart buildings.
i.lab, Italcementi’s new Research and Innovation Centre designed by the US architect Richard Meier, was inaugurated in the presence of the Italian Minister for the Environment Corrado Clini. The Minister cut the ribbon in front of a large audience including Giampiero Pesenti, Italcementi Chairman, Carlo Pesenti, the company’s CEO, and the Group top management. Also attending were representatives and journalists from 18 countries where Italcementi Group operates.
Located in the Kilometro Rosso Science Park, the building has an overall surface area of 23,000 m2 and hosts engineers, technicians and researchers from the Research & Development and Laboratories Departments of CTG, the Group Technical Centre, and from Italcementi’s Innovation Direction, all engaged in investigating and developing innovative technological, functional and aesthetic solutions for new construction materials.
Built in line with the Group’s concept of innovation, sustainability and architectural excellence, i.lab is the synthesis of this trail blazing technology in terms of quality of materials and green construction technologies, a place of knowledge and scientific know-how.
“Not only in Italy but also abroad, companies are changing their course of action shifting towards sustainability: this is green economy, which is in fact “economy” because those manufactures that fail to include environmental or innovation considerations are destined to exit the market. This is the reason why our Government is keen to encourage initiatives like those undertaken by Italcementi, which confirm how the entrepreneurial world is proactively committed to research and innovation,” said Corrado Clini, Italy’s Minister for the Environment.
Innovation is Italcementi’s strategic lever to create its own competitive advantage – stated Carlo Pesenti, Italcementi CEO. “The Group focuses on the continuous search for sustainable production processes and innovative architectural solutions to meet the growing market demand for applications and products that can enhance the quality of life and of the environment. About 170 people including chemists, geologists and engineers are engaged in Italcementi Group’s Research & Innovation activities in Italy, with i.lab, and in France, at the Technodes campus based in Guerville, near Paris. An annual budget of approximately 13 million euro is destined to Research & Development activities, which represents – compared to the total turnover – one of the highest values in the construction sector,” he added.
“We have filed 60 patents over the last decade. The Group’s current innovation rate –continues Pesenti – that is the ratio of revenues generated by innovation projects to total sales, is equal to 4 while it was 3.9 in 2010, so gradually increasing as planned. The target is to reach an innovation rate equal to 5 and maintain it in the medium to long term,” concluded Pesenti.