On Air Magazine - November 2021

Special Feature : Collective intelligence for deep tech solutions


Air Liquide is a key player in deep tech, offering innovative, high-tech solutions through its Global Markets and Technologies (GM&T) Business Unit, in the sectors of aerospace, space and extreme cryogenics for scientific research. The Group has recently inaugurated its Campus Technologies Grenoble (France), dedicated to the design and production of technologies for the deep tech and energy transition (hydrogen and biomethane) markets, and supports many deep tech start-ups through its Accelair accelerator, housed at the Paris Innovation Campus.

Developing a low-cost energy storage solution 

Another mutually-beneficial relationship with an ecosystem partner can be found at the Air Liquide Paris Innovation Campus. As a participant in Air Liquide’s Accelair deep tech accelerator, energy storage start-up Airthium benefits from office and lab space with on-hand expertise. “We are currently prototyping our seasonal battery to try and scale it up to the kilowatt stage,” says founder, CEO and CTO Andreï Klochko, “and having people we can ask for advice on building machinery to run at high temperatures and under pressure is invaluable.”

Deployed at scale, Airthium’s ammonia-based energy storage solution promises to provide a low-cost way of storing excess solar and wind energy over months or even years. It will make renewable energy production and storage a sustainable replacement of coal and gas power plants. “As well as the potential for participating in the energy transition market further down the line, in the nearer term, we will be able to offer Air Liquide a solution for guaranteeing renewable energy supplies for its own operations,” Klochko adds.

Air Liquide’s intention to be behind many of the pioneering technologies of the future requires the Group to collaborate with the right partners. By leveraging collective intelligence across industries and partners, the company has already succeeded in creating a global ecosystem of truly open innovation. The key to future success? Expanding this network to support the development of as many deep tech technologies as possible, leading to the opening of new markets and the dawning of new technological frontiers.