Solvay celebrates this year the 150th anniversary of its foundation.
The organization, Leader in chemical products, has 29,100 employees all over the world and net sales of 12.7 billion Euro.
In the Specialty Polymers Research centre in Bollate there 270 researchers, some of whom are world experts. In total, there are 500 researchers in Italy, who correspond to 20% of the total workforce, showing the importance Solvay gives to innovation and research.
In 2009 the company reorganized research activities following some new megatrends, focusing on sustainability and renewable energy.
Mr. Apostolo defines innovation as “the ability to connect different competencies.” A sort of Open Innovation approach, in which differences are cherished and in which the organization acknowledges the fact that not all competencies come from inside the teams. Solvay, for many project, indeed, collaborates with external partners.
Solvay also worked on a Vision and a dream: the Solar Impulse, the solar-energy plane that in 2015 will fly around the world without fuel.
This is a dream in which Solvay invested a lot of energy and resources, to show that the boundaries of innovation are limitless.
Solvay stimulates innovation combining two very different competencies: imagination and rationality, creating a culture and a mental attitude focused on the relentless search of more and more performing solutions.
To stimulate innovation, Solvay created the InnovaTeams – they are “ambassadors of innovation” who stimulate people to think outside the box, to dare at all levels of the organization.
Solvay’s approach is similar to the Coaching mind-set, Facilitation on creative thinking and lateral thinking and on training of Teams and organizations.