Saint-Gobain Research India (SGR India) is one of the 8 cross-functional R&D center for the Saint-Gobain Group that started its operations in 2012. Located within the IIT Madras Research Park at Chennai, the R&D Center is spread over 120,000 sq. ft. and set up with an investment of about Rs.150 crores. With its proximity to IIT Madras, one of the premier academic institutes in India, the center is part of a unique & vibrant ecosystem that fosters innovation through collaboration with academia while partnering with start-up companies. The center supports Saint-Gobain’s existing businesses while enabling creation of new businesses enabling the Group to accelerate its growth and create customized products & services for its customers in India and the region. Since its inception, SGR India’s efforts have contributed to the launch of 60 new products and generation of 65 patents & 35 design registrations.
To promote customer intimacy and co-creation, SGR India houses pilot lines that are used for research in areas pertaining to new product and process development. The center also has world-class experience centers, which in addition to showcasing advanced products and solutions of the different businesses, also provides the customer with a multisensory experience for the living spaces and mobility segments. In addition, a grinding center has also been setup to support with the accurate and efficient testing of grinding wheels required for the development of high-performance abrasive products. State-of-art central competency labs that work across all functions support with the structural, physical and chemical testing and characterization of materials required for the development of products, processes and systems.
India is a fast-growing economy that presents unique challenges such as scarcity of resources, need for multi-comfort solutions for hot-humid-and-highly luminous climates, large commercial spaces with high people densities, lack of standardization & local practices in construction, including the use of hand tools compared to automated grinding systems. To this end, SGR India is currently working towards addressing these unmet needs by transforming its core technologies into innovative solutions by working closely with end customers.
Researchers at SGR India are currently involved in the development of new glazings with multilayer coatings facades that provide thermal & visual comfort with enhanced aesthetics. In addition, there are efforts towards the development of value-added products & solutions for the interiors, including ceilings and partition systems, that combine safety & aesthetics while providing acoustic comfort. Teams are also working with Automotive OEMs on thermal control windshields and bearings for improved handling that improve mobility comfort. In addition to products, a key focus is development of accessories and systems that enable simple robust installations. To cater to the local needs of the hand-tool market, SGRI is involved in developing tailor-made solutions that can improve the productivity of Abrasive products. Further, digital tools that enable rapid development of solutions for the customer, such as physically realistic rendering & auralization for perceiving the impact of Saint-Gobain’s solutions on aesthetics and acoustic comfort, help in establishing a deep connect with the customer
The center is committed to working with the SG India businesses to identify new value creation opportunities and working with the Group’s global R&D network to develop new technologies that can act as future growth engines for India and rest of the world. For the future, while continuing R&D in the areas of core-materials and related technologies, there will also be an increasing focus on sustainability initiatives, digitalization and combinatorial innovation to keep up with India’s fast-growing economy and the constantly transforming environment.
The Center continues to grow and strengthen its already diverse talent pool from various backgrounds in science and engineering, leverage the academic and start-up ecosystem that it is a part of, and work closely with the businesses and their customer to contribute to the development of the Saint-Gobain Group in India and worldwide in terms of new products and processes, of advancement in science and technology and of intellectual property.