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To create growth, innovation must be linked to market drivers and customer needs

Prysmian Group Innovation for Growth

To create growth, innovation must be linked to market drivers and customer needs

FlexRibbon was developed by understanding customer use in the field, and is being supported by investments to expand production.

Prysmian Group sees innovation and technological advancement as an opportunity to develop new products and services that grow the business. Innovation is therefore a driver of growth and a strategic asset. In order to create revenue growth, innovation must be linked to market trends and be customer-centric.

 “We do not like to innovate in the dark or push ideas because we think they are cool,” says Srinivas Siripurapu, EVP and Chief Research & Development Officer at Prysmian Group. “We have developed our innovation roadmap based on key market drivers and deep customer conversations.

Prysmian Group employs over 900 Research & Development professionals in 25 centres worldwide, and invested about €105 million overall in 2018. With the merger of General Cable, Prysmian Group has further strengthened its ability to lead in the field of innovation and technological advancement by giving birth to a R&D powerhouse.

Innovation can boost growth only if the company understands the customer’s value chain, and deploys resources in that direction. The FlexRibbon optical fibre cable reaching up to 6912 fibres was an innovation developed to meet increased customer demand for high density cable. R&D work was also driven by an understanding of how the product was used by customers in the field, and the importance of making it easy for them to splice these cables, says Srini.

The product has had strong take-up from the market as operators expand their fibre networks to accommodate the deployment of 5G services, Fiber to the Premises, and Data Centers. To meet demand, Prysmian has been investing to increase FlexRibbon production capacity, mainly at the Group’s US facilities but also in other locations. 

To supplement its world-class R&D structure, Prysmian Group started Corporate Hangar in 2017 as an innovation hub to foster start-ups and encourage innovation.  Prysmian and Corporate Hangar have just launched the first start-up: Alesea, an IoT solution that offers near real-time access to information regarding cable drum location, potential cases of theft and tampering, drum use and the amount of cable available.

Innovation for growth also means being able to look ahead at what customers will need in ten years’ time.

Prysmian Group already has a strong position in core technology platforms such as fire resistance, surface science, nanotechnology and sustainable products & processes. The Group has increased its investments in advanced materials and design concepts required for long term industry leadership of high-performance products such as Submarine Cables and Fiber Optic Cables. The current focus is on building a strong competency in Electronics and Fiber Sensing that enable smart cable solutions to enhance service offerings to customers going beyond the cable.

I think the future is a combination of functionality, design and data to offer the most impactful products and services to our customers,” says Srini. “As a company we are pursuing this innovation envelope very heavily from an R&D perspective.