Essilor inaugurates world’s largest ophthalmic optics research campus

Imprimer(Charenton-le-Pont, France, 24 April 2014) – Essilor is today inaugurating the Centre for Innovation and Technologies (CI&T) Europe in Créteil, France, the world’s largest private campus dedicated to research and innovation in the ophthalmic optics industry. As a pioneer in all the major advances that have revolutionized the field of ophthalmic optics, such as progressive lenses, plastic lenses, anti-reflective and scratch-resistant coatings and organic photochromic lenses, Essilor aims at stepping up the pace of innovation with this new research centre, thus providing all wearers with optimal vision.

The goal of this CI&T is to push the ophthalmic lens’ physical limits to better answer and anticipate consumers’ needs. Consolidating research and engineering teams and expertise at a single site will foster fruitful collaboration, accelerate projects as well as new product and technologies launches, supporting Essilor’s mission to improve lives by improving sight.

World’s largest private research centre dedicated to innovation in ophthalmic optics

Together with two other Innovation and Technologies Centres, one in the United States (Dallas) and one in Asia (Singapore), this new campus, complementing the group’s global research organization, allows Essilor to further its goal of making innovation a key focus of its development strategy.

The group has thus brought together the best of its innovative assets in each region, with the aim of leveraging synergies, fostering multidisciplinary cooperation and more effectively meeting customer expectations and the specific needs of local markets.

Within the CI&T Europe, some 900 people from R&D, Worldwide Operations, Global Engineering, Purchasing, Quality and Supply Chain are now working in close collaboration at the same site seeking and developing innovative solutions to satisfy consumers’ visual needs.

Vision is our most important sense and plays an essential role in our lives. The new centre, which we are inaugurating today, is a powerful platform for developing tomorrow’s lenses, materials and coatings that will open new perspectives in term of vision correction and protection, and take up the challenge of prevention and visual health”, says Hubert Sagnières, Chairman and CEO of Essilor.

Innovation in the ophthalmic optics sector is especially important today because higher life expectancy has led to an increase in age-related disorders, such as cataracts and AMD. In addition to visual correction and protection (against UV rays and blue-violet light, for example), the industry’s challenge lies in developing preventative solutions for the future to maintain visual health as long as possible.

Innovation: pivotal to Essilor’s strategy in France and worldwide

By building this new research campus in Créteil, Essilor is demonstrating its deep roots in the French industrial fabric and its commitment to continue working on behalf of a quality optical sector in France.

Each year, Essilor invests more than €150 million in research and innovation. The group today generates 40% of its revenue from products launched less than four years ago. Its latest innovations include Optifog Smart Textile lenses, Varilux S Series, Crizal UV and the most recent, Crizal Prevencia lenses, which filter out harmful blue-violet light, a factor in the development of AMD.

In 2013, Essilor was ranked by Forbes magazine for the third consecutive year among the world’s most innovative companies. In its approach to innovation, the group relies on a large network of international partnerships with universities, manufacturers and specialists in state-of-the-art technologies. Essilor has been a partner of the Vision Institute since 2008.

Essilor_Centre_for_Innovation_and_Technologies_Europe_1 ESSILOR FRANCE - Site Innovation et Technologie R&D, CrŽteil ESSILOR - Centre de production - Antony

About Essilor

The world’s leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its corporate mission is to improve lives by improving sight. To support this mission, the Company allocates more than €150 million to research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Essilor’s flagship brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Transitions®, Definity®, Xperio®, Optifog™, Foster Grant®, Bolon® and Costa®. It also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals.

Essilor reported consolidated revenue of over €5 billion in 2013  and employs more than 55,000 people. It distributes its products in more than 100 countries with 28 plants, more than 450 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as several research and development centers around the world.

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The Essilor share trades on the NYSE Euronext Paris market and is included in the Euro Stoxx 50 and CAC 40 indices.  Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EI:FP.