At Vallourec, innovation is a constant flow

08/01/2020 - Innovation

To “augment” its tubular solutions, expand its offer into new markets, progress more quickly and be more agile, Vallourec is moving into open innovation mode with every stakeholder in its ecosystem. And it’s working!

Innovation is an ecosystem 

Vallourec has long chosen to forge long-term partnerships with manufacturers to improve its products and processes.

Its R&D personnel (500 researchers and technicians) cooperate with major universities on every continent where the Group is involved in fundamental research. Project after project, Vallourec innovates to meet its customers’ needs.

In recent years, the digital revolution has shaken the innovation landscape, and Vallourec met it head on, creating two internal incubators known as Boosters, forging partnerships with start ups and training all its employees for the innovation adventure.

With customers: workshops and cocreation 

To make this shift with its key customers, Vallourec offers them brainstorming and cocreation workshops.

These help them to understand each other’s current and future needs and challenges, and to find suitable solutions together. 

With start ups: one platform, one reputation

To invent the “augmented” tubes of tomorrow, Vallourec is forming partnerships with tech players, start ups, laboratories and other innovators on a dedicated area of its website – – where the Group issues challenges. In 2019, for example, it asked: How can data and/or energy be transported through our tubes? How do we maximize the flow of fluids within the tubes? It received 46 proposals in just three months! Proof that Vallourec is inspiring involvement. Tech firms appreciate that Vallourec is playing the game. As a partner, it respects the fledgling start up, the ownership of ideas and its promises, forging its reputation in the innovation ecosystem.
The diversity of ideas proposed is stunning, from pure process solutions to customer-centered solutions.
Four ideas were selected, and the innovator companies came to present them to the jury and Vallourec employees.
Two ideas were tested for feasibility. 

With employees: one challenge, one culture

We are all innovators!

This is the spirit of the innovation platform dedicated to employees, who are invited to propose ideas to optimize operations or customer service, improve equipment function, or find new opportunities for growth.

All employees can submit ideas for products or services, and also comment on or enhance their colleagues’ ideas. A network of advisers approves the best ideas and supports the innovators through to creation of the final product. In 2019, 182 ideas were registered in just three months. On October 24, eight preselected teams pitched live and broadcast worldwide in front of the jury and employees, who were asked to vote for their two favorite ideas. And the four winners are...

  • Thomas and Arnaud for their service to recover operators’ unused tubes.
  • Alastair for his system that captures data while monitoring the tube.
  • Bertrand for his metal working procedure that prolongs the life of equipment and metal structures.
  • Joe for “augmented” employees, who are more efficient thanks to their connected equipment. 


More to follow...

[email protected] is a constant flow.

The innovation platforms are permanent and the ideas generated every day are continually examined, challenged and tested.

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