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ArcelorMittal launches “Le Prix des Innovateurs” which rewards those who contribute to the future of the Industry in France

5 October 2015 - “Le Prix des Innovateurs” organised by ArcelorMittal will each year reward project leaders dedicated to the future of the industrial sector in France. ArcelorMittal will financially contribute to the development of selected projects and will bring its logistic support to the teams. This award will also shine a public spotlight on those who shape the future of industry.

Contrary to popular belief, heavy industry is a highly innovative sector. Each year, more efficient production processes and higher performing products are developed. As the leading global steelmaker, a main contributor to the French economy and a creator of materials of tomorrow, ArcelorMittal intends to support and value a number of industrial innovations which exist in our country.

France is by nature a land for innovations. ArcelorMittal has carefully chosen the country to set up the heart of its Research and Development. 800 researchers work in France, notably in Lorraine, in order to develop the steel industry of tomorrow.

A first award ceremony in spring 2016 

The opening of the call for projects will be launched online in October 2015. The application selection process will start in late 2015 and will last four months. Final ranking will be established within the first quarter of 2016 and an award ceremony will be scheduled in spring 2016.

Innovative and strong projects, committed teams for change 

“Le Prix des Innovateurs” by ArcelorMittal is addressed to all holders of innovative or even breakthrough solutions, practical, i.e. able to have a real impact on our society. 

The contest is open to all individual project holders, young entrepreneurs, as well as students.

Projects will be classified across three categories, depending on their ongoing progress:

  • Idea to be developed, next step is initiation, conception, laboratory study;
  • Advanced conception, next step is support, industrialisation, prototyping, market tests, financing. 

A number of selection criteria have been retained: project ingenuity, its maturity, its feasibility, its potential extensions and quality of presentation.

The jury will be composed of people from the business world, public authorities, higher education, media and ArcelorMittal representatives.

Two promising sectors rewarded in 2016

For the first edition of the “Prix des Innovateurs” by ArcelorMittal, two project categories have been chosen, in connection with the “Innovation 2030” initiative which aims to shape the “Future Industry” in France: projects relating to “Energy Storage” and those linked to “Big Data Valuation”. Indeed these two sectors embed major issues which affect the future of industry but also, more globally, the future of our modern society.

  • Energy storage

At a time when fossil energy resources are rarefying and where needs are increasing, energy storage, which consists in putting energy in a given place in order to constitute an available energy stock for future use, represents a major challenge. This presupposes a control over energy storage and thus, the development of solutions enabling to save energy, notably all sorts of alternative energies.

  • Big Data valuation

The quantity of data is booming. We talk here about available data in all sectors relating to humankind: business, industry, healthcare and the environment. However, in order to be relevant, these millions of data must be treated, analysed, consolidated and cross-referenced. This means the development of technologies able to exploit data in order to provide them with a real meaning and, therefore, to enable the emergence of new usages.

Aditya Mittal, CFO and CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe, said: “As the leading steel company in France, we are a major contributor to industry and innovation in the country. Now, with this award, we also want to contribute to the growth of the project and business creation ecosystem by providing our support to "innovators", whether they are students or young entrepreneurs. The power of innovation in industry is huge, and we see it every day in our plants and research centers in France. But we are particularly proud as well to support its development in another way, by encouraging through this awards scheme the industrial innovators and entrepreneurs of tomorrow."

Innovation: heart of the steel industry

ArcelorMittal is all at once in the heart of industrial tradition and innovation. The start of the modern steel industry is first the result of a technologic breakthrough in the mid-19th century: the connection between blast furnace and converter. This breakthrough is today standard practice, as the cornerstone of steel manufacturing has remained unchanged since that time.

In continuing to use a manufacturing process born in the 19th century, ArcelorMittal is therefore the holder of an industrial inheritance. It ensures transmission in preserving the essential know-how of steel manufacturing. Basically unchanged, the steel manufacturing process is nevertheless pursuing its modernisation in order to improve efficiency. ArcelorMittal is a major player in this development as it works on the enhancement of the manufacturing process in all its factories.

Besides, the steel derived from this process is itself in constant evolution. More and more technologically advanced, steel is a real innovative gem and definitely a promising material.

ArcelorMittal: innovation as a driver

ArcelorMittal made innovation one of the key factors of its leadership and competitiveness. Within the group, Research & Development is a powerful strike force in terms of innovation. France stands in the middle of this division: all around the world, more than 1,300 researchers – of whom 1,000 in Europe and 800 in France – dedicate their full time job to innovation. Each year, the group invests $270m in Research & Development. The group operates 12 innovation centres around the globe, of which 9 are in Europe and the largest in France, in Maizières-les-Metz, in Lorraine.

The ArcelorMittal Research & Development is focusing on the development of new products and new manufacturing processes. Each year, ArcelorMittal designs new steels, even lighter and more resistant to external attacks such as shock or corrosion. ArcelorMittal is also pursuing efforts in order to produce more efficient and with lower environmental impacts.

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