Innovation at VINCI Energies

VINCI Energies’ robust business model is particularly in evidence in innovation and co-working. Open to the world, the Group is engaged in collaborative approaches generating innovation.

innovationVINCI Energies teams are in permanent touch with their customers and their ecosystems, share their best practices and spearhead the specification and rollout of new technologies. Our business units are engaged in collaborative programmes with a wide variety of partners that are designed to accelerate the operational implementation of solutions and services that put innovations into practice and translate them into tangible benefits.

Innovating with our private partners

Snecma: Improving industrial processes through cobotics

Actemium Poissy has designed a smart arm or “cobot” for the Snecma factory in Gennevilliers near Paris, which manufactures jet engines. Until now, a worker had to move the extremely heavy parts manually from the furnace to the press that shapes the parts for the reactor. He is now assisted by a cobot that enhances the movement, leaving him in control of the operation from start to finish. Cobotics helps reduce musculoskeletal disorders for operators, while improving production quality.

Smart Helmet: Industry 4.0 project becomes a realityinnover_partenaires privés_smarthelmet

In partnership with high-tech companies Daqri and Augmensys, Actemium provides solutions to bring augmented reality projects to fruition in the industrial sector. The technology includes a built-in 360° camera, sensors, and real-time information about process flow and safety. Smart Helmet is now available and will make it possible for plant operators to optimise operations by working hands-free. With this technology, Actemium offers specific solutions to Industry 4.0and supports its clients on the path towards their digital future.


Thales and VINCI Facilities have joined forces to create BIM FM Lab, a co-innovation process for the facility management of the Thales Helios campus in Vélizy-Villacoublay. VINCI Construction built the 49,000 square metre site for Foncière des Régions in accordance with BIM (Building Information Model) principles: a highly detailed digital model is shared by all operators working on the same project. In close cooperation with VINCI Facilities, a think tank was set up (BIM FM Lab) to work on this digital model. The aim is to assess the contribution BIM can make to the facility management of the future. The digital model is tailored to the needs of facility management and will soon be interfaced with the more traditional CMMS (Computerised Maintenance Management System). The upshot is that the facility manager works better: our service is more responsive and digital archiving of completed tasks is improved.

Innovating with our public partners

Chartres: Smart City project

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“Over the last 12 months, Chartres and its suburbs have been working on their Smart City project to make everyday life easier for its residents: smart lamp posts, a connected mini weather station, fullness sensors for waste containers, real-time parking information, securing pedestrian crossings, etc. All these things help to optimise urban facilities and make the city more liveable. The focus is on cost savings, which are used to fund the investment. The trial phase, which was designed with our partners Citeos, the SysPlug start-up and the software publisher GiSmartware, is now coming to a close. It has enabled everyone involved to fine-tune their solutions and their ambitions, and the Smart City is expected to be rolled out in 2016. We advocate partnerships as an endogenous development strategy, in order to manage several large investments at the same time. This is particularly the case with our forthcoming ’City of Innovation’ project: by making it easier for innovative companies to set up in our region, we can keep a close eye on digital R&D progress. 2016 will be the year our ’smart territory’ emerges definitively.

Jean-Pierre Gorges, MP and Mayor of Chartres


VIVE: Developing smart grids

SDEL Contrôle Commande, a VINCI Energies business unit based in Nantes, is considering using flywheel technology for its future electric vehicle charging stations (VIVE). This collaborative R&D project aims to provide an innovative solution that will facilitate fast charging for electric vehicles, while limiting the impact on the grid. The VIVE project was awarded the MOV’EO label – MOV’EO being one of the 71 competitiveness clusters that are genuine drivers of growth and employment for the France of tomorrow – and then received funding from the Single Inter-Ministry Fund (FUI). The fund was set up to support applied research projects to develop products or services that are likely to be on the market in the short to medium term, generally five years.

DataCity: What will the city of tomorrow look like?

VINCI Energies is a partner of the City of Paris through the DataCity programme, helping to create innovative solutions that use the city’s data. Nearly 200 start-ups responded to this call for projects, which is intended to help build, trial and develop solutions to the major challenges facing the city: mobility, energy, urban management, and the environment. Some of the data made available to the participants come from the connected sensors installed by VINCI Energies in the Place de la Nation. This enables VINCI Energies to expand its Big Data solutions and services in a two-pronged approach focusing on open innovation and partnerships with the public authorities.

Innovating with our academic partners

Actemium: Partners with a number of universities, schools and research institutes

innover_partenaires académiques_ense3Through its Actemium brand, VINCI Energies partners with a number of universities, schools and research institutes. For almost three years now, we have been doing innovative work at the PS2E (Paris-Saclay Energy Efficiency) research institute. Working alongside big names such as Total and Air Liquide, one of the projects we have delivered is a ’systemic’ diagnostic energy tool that is greatly appreciated by manufacturers! In the Netherlands a few years ago we set up Edulab, an educational laboratory that welcomes numerous students to Actemium, where they are able to train and think about the processes of the future with us. We are also present at Euratechnologies, an incubator in the Lille metropolitan area, where we have just launched an Actemium start-up that will enable us to work with a number of researchers. Furthermore, we will be a partner of the FactoryLab co-innovation platform to envisage the Industry of the Future, an initiative introduced by France’s Minister for the Economy, Emmanuel Macron. We will be thinking in particular about human-machine interfaces and cobotics. Finally, as a major employer, we follow the students closely via our VINCI Energies campus managers. We also sponsor engineering school cohorts, as we did recently with Ense3 in Grenoble.


Paristech: Imagining the buildings of the future

Until 2018, VINCI will be providing €4 million in funding for the Chair in Eco-design of Buildings and Infrastructure, supported by three engineering schools (Mines ParisTech, Ponts ParisTech and
AgroParisTech). VINCI Energies is guiding doctoral research on large-scale networks, smart grids and the energy performance of buildings. Students also have the opportunity to trial their work at various industrial plants and with VINCI Energies customers in a win-win partnership!

Eindhoven: Collective intelligence to improve air quality

Axians is involved in the AiREAS project, which provides real-time air quality measurement in the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. On their smartphone, residents can see the key data for pollution (ozone, fine particles, etc.) and make an informed decision as to whether or not to go for a walk with their children or go jogging. The information is collected by sensors installed throughout the city. AiREAS is the fruit of a partnership between the city authorities, the university and local businesses. This open innovation, driven by the inventiveness of the research world and the expertise of Axians, takes the smart city from the drawing board to reality.

ESSEC business school's Chair for Real Estate and Sustainable Development: Bringing together business expertise and research capability

For the third consecutive year, VINCI Energies has been selected to partner ESSEC in developing its Real Estate and Sustainable Development Chair. “Since 2016, the partnership has provided a unique opportunity to combine the expertise of our teams, ESSEC’s research capabilities and the creativity of its students in order to stimulate the emergence of concrete answers to the challenges facing urban environments and those who design, build and operate buildings”, explained Hervé Adam, Deputy Managing Director of VINCI Energies and General Manager of VINCI Energies France. “As a result of the partnership, students are able to appreciate the complexity and interest of this sector. Professional input such as that of VINCI Energies helps them to address their concerns, especially with regards to green value, energy efficiency and consideration of the end-user”, said Ingrid Nappi-Choulet, head of the Real Estate and Sustainable Development Chair at ESSEC.


VINCI Energies created Inerbiz, a managerial and financial fund whose goal is to invest in start-ups during their initial development phase, with customised procedures for acquiring equity stakes. These start-ups, accompanied by a mentor, have access to the VINCI Energies network of business units and experts.

Read the Press Release