Innovation & products

Innovation and products

Innovation

More than

500

patents

in the chemical and environmental sectors, Clean Energy and hydrogen technologies

50 %

of research projects

with an environmental benefit

90

joint research projects

in 21 countries

132 million

euro

invested in research and development

3,224

patents

for Linde technologies

Innovation

In 2015, we invested a total of EUR 132 m in research and development (2014: EUR 106 m). At 31 December 2015, 348 employees were working in this field (31 December 2014: 390). To protect our innovations from the competition, we filed 287 new patents across the Group during the reporting year. At 31 December 2015, Linde technologies were protected by a total of 3,224 patents, many of which address sustainability issues. More than 500 patents relate just to the chemical and environmental sectors, Clean Energy and hydrogen technologies.

Ongoing innovation and continuous, focused research and development activities are vital for the long-term success of a global technology company such as Linde. As a result, manifold activities were bundled and expanded in the new Technology & Innovation Corporate & Support Function in the 2015 financial year.

By drawing on the findings of its research, the Group is continuously moving into new areas of application for its gases and is constantly striving to make further improvements to its processes and plant technologies. This application development is almost always set in the context of commissions and therefore involves close liaison with customers, taking into account their requirements. The Linde Group pays particular attention to the environmental compatibility of its production processes. More than half of research and development projects in the year under review were also aimed at achieving environmental advantages.

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Research and development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015

 

2014

 

2013

 

2012

Expenditure for research and development (in € million)

 

132

 

106

 

92

 

101

Employees in the research and development field

 

348

 

390

 

367

 

385

New patents filed

 

287

 

260

 

263

 

269

To achieve these goals, Linde combines the skills in its Gases Division with those in its Engineering Division, whilst also involving leading institutions and companies in various cooperation projects. Key topics are the use and production of environmentally friendly hydrogen as a source of fuel. When it comes to hydrogen, Linde is also focusing on large-scale technical energy storage and the further processing of basic materials for the chemicals industry.

In July 2015, the world’s largest plant for the generation of green hydrogen went into operation in EnergiePark Mainz. The joint venture is seen as a lighthouse project in the field of regenerative energy. The main aim of EnergiePark Mainz is to use excess electricity from regenerative electricity sources such as wind power plants to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen. The green hydrogen generated in this manner can be stored and then used later to generate electricity again, among other possible uses.

In October 2015, the joint venture H2 Mobility, which has its registered office in Berlin, went into operation. This joint venture between various industrial corporations, including Linde, aims to gradually expand the network of hydrogen filling stations in Germany. The aim is to have around 400 hydrogen filling stations in operation by 2023.

In our Engineering Division, research and development funds were allocated in 2015, as in previous years, primarily to the development of new and existing technologies in the following product lines: natural gas plants, air separation plants, olefin plants, and hydrogen and synthesis gas plants. We are always looking for ways to make further improvements in the energy efficiency and environmental credentials of our plants.

Products

750 million

cubic metres of water

was brought up to drinking water quality by Linde customers using our Solvocarb® process.

30 million

tonnes of CO2

was avoided by our customers in one year, just by applying two of Linde’s key technologies.

17,000

tonnes
of NOX emissions

is saved annually by customers using our LoTOx™ technology, e.g. in combustion processes.

Products

We are constantly looking at ways in which we can support our customers so that they can develop more sustainable processes; for example, through greater energy efficiency or reduced emissions. This range comprises processes and technologies required along the entire length of the value chain of renewable and fossil fuels: from production via conversion, transport and storage to their most efficient use. Healthcare is an important growth market. Our therapies for the treatment of respiratory disease and the services we are able to provide in the care continuum from hospital to home contribute towards improving patients’ lives. In 2015, our Healthcare business generated revenue of EUR 3.665 billion.

Materiality: Products (Energy and the environment, Healthcare)

Key indicators

  • Energy and the environment: Revenue, Group operating profit, ROCE ,  research and development costs, research projects with an environmental benefit , emissions avoided in customer applications
  • Healthcare: Revenue from Linde Healthcare, number of patients, number of hospitals supplied

Targets

Group targets:

  • Group operating profit of between EUR 4.2 billion and EUR 4.5 billion 
  • ROCE of between 9 percent and 10 percent in the 2017 financial year

Business case

Financial

  • EUR 3.665 billion revenue at Linde Healthcare in 2015
  • Contribution towards the target for Group operating profit in 2017 as a result of products in the energy and environmental sectors, gaining access to new markets and customers 
  • Customers: Increased efficiency due to a reduction in energy consumption 

Environmental

  • Emissions savings by customers have a positive environmental impact

Social

  • 20,000 hospitals supplied with Linde Healthcare products
  • 1.7 million patients in their own homes who rely on Linde’s respiratory care offerings (oxygen therapy, sleep therapy or ventilation therapy)
  • Linde Healthcare’s innovative and efficient healthcare solutions help ease the burden on healthcare systems