August 09, 2004 Lehigh Valley, Pa.
Air Products (NYSE:APD), a leading global industrial gas company, has joined NineSigma and InnoCentive®, two powerful online science and technology sourcing networks that provide access to new ideas and technologies from literally tens of thousands of sources worldwide.
The addition of these tools supports the company's "Identify and Accelerate" innovation strategy, which emphasizes the incorporation of external ideas, disruptive technologies, and process improvements to speed product development and meet market needs. In the highly competitive industrial gas industry, Air Products is pioneering the process of incorporating an open innovation strategy into its businesses models.
Miles Drake, chief technology officer for Air Products says, "No single company can employ all the best people in every market they serve. With these tools at our disposal, we can scout out new ideas and technologies complementary to our existing business models, enabling us to meet our customer needs more rapidly and efficiently."
Traditionally, research and development (R&D) has been limited to the confines of an organization's in-house resources, laboratories, and intellectual property holdings. In contrast, open innovation enables large companies like Air Products to discover new ideas from small research facilities and scientists working below the radar to spur product innovation, reduce time to market, and cut R&D costs for large companies.
NineSigma, Inc. is a Web-based network that complements clients' internal R&D efforts by helping them find disruptive technologies, search for solutions to a specific need, or identify opportunities for existing technologies. Participation in the network allows companies like Air Products to save valuable time and lower costs in developing new ideas, helping to focus resources on bringing new products to market.
InnoCentive is a Web-based forum where world-class scientists and global companies collaborate to solve difficult R&D problems. Through InnoCentive, Air Products can receive answers to scientific challenges from more than 50,000 leading scientists and scientific organizations in 150 countries worldwide.
The adoption of these technologies complements efforts on the part of Air Products to develop a corporate culture that embraces open innovation.
Ron Pierantozzi, director, New Business Development, explains, "The technology can't do it for you on its own. It takes people that understand and value open innovation to reap the rewards. That is perhaps our greatest investment in this strategy."
Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. With annual revenues of $6.3 billion and operations in over 30 countries, the company's 18,500 employees build lasting relationships with their customers and communities based on understanding, integrity and passion. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
***NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements. Actual results could vary materially, due to changes in current expectations.