Thales among the world’s most innovative companies

Thomson Reuters list of the Top 100 Global Innovators* was published, ranking, yet again, Thales among the world’s most innovative companies.
Marko Erman, Thales’s Chief Technology Officer, said: « Being included in these rankings once again is a real sign of recognition and a further endorsement of our potential for innovation. Innovation is one of the mainstays of our strategy and a key to our business growth and competitive performance. Being recognised as a top innovator makes us even more attractive as a company, both in France, where we are regularly ranked as one of the best employers, and around the world. »
Thales applies a policy of customer-driven innovation to all of its capabilities, products, systems and services to ensure that customers and end-users can conduct their missions as effectively as possible. The Thales innovation policy has three main strands:
•    Technological innovation, driven by the Group’s research organisation and its numerous partnerships with academic research institutes
•    Use case innovation, in which Thales works extremely closely with end-users and customer ecosystems to co-create new solutions
•    Business model innovation, supported by an active involvement with innovative SMEs and start-ups

Thales employs more than 20,000 researchers and engineers and invests 20% of its annual revenues in R&D. Some 3,000 staff are involved in pre-product Research & Technology (R&T) in a dozen countries. The Group also operates five research establishments in close proximity to world-class innovation ecosystems on the campuses of globally recognised academic research institutes (in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Singapore and Canada). Collaborative, open research is one of the hallmarks of Thales’s approach to innovation. The company is involved in more than 200 long-term collaborative research projects, and has formed about 30 strategic research partnerships leading to the creation of joint laboratories with common research objectives and shared access to advanced facilities and talent.

Intellectual property protection and management is another key component of innovation. Thales currently holds the rights to 15,000 patents, and Group engineers and researchers filed more than 400 new patent applications in 2014. The rights to about 100 patents are jointly held by Thales and various public bodies, illustrating the Group’s commitment to cooperation with public research institutes.

* The Top 100 Global Innovators rankings honour the innovative capabilities of companies and research centres around the world, based on four key metrics relating to intellectual property activity: number of patents filed, success rate (patents granted versus patents filed), geographical penetration, and influence of the patents filed.