Cable giant Prysmian Group has raised €135m for its research and development plans to 2024.
The funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) will be used for research on materials also involving the use of nanotechnologies, systems for the monitoring and management of land and submarine power grids and of low voltage power systems, new cables and materials for more sustainable solutions and hybrid energy and telecom cables.
This is half the company’s worldwide R&D budget of approximately €100m a year and specifically intended to support projects to be developed at R&D centres in five European countries: France, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany and Italy. A significant share of the resources is intended for Italy, which is home to Prysmian Group’s headquarters, R&D offices and several plants that are centres of excellence in manufacturing optical fibres and submarine power transmission cable systems.
“Our Group’s growth strategy revolves around our commitment to R&D, an area where we intend to increase our investments further, also thanks to the funding from the EIB,” said Srini Siripurapu, Chief R&D Officer and Chief Innovation Officer Prysmian Group. “In particular, cable technology is proving that it can contribute decisively to the challenge of digitalisation and the development of more efficient and environmentally sustainable power grids. Innovative optical fibres, cables with a reduced environmental impact and higher capacity and voltage rating, and technologies for monitoring network conditions are just a few of the areas on which we are focusing.
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As part of the R&D programme, the company will also be looking at alternative materials for cable design and product project optimisation, use of breakthrough technologies to execute cable jointing operations and smart cable systems and sensing solutions for fault location, monitoring and management of power grids..
New product development will include submarine power transmission cable systems for installation at high depths as well as extra high voltage land and submarine power transmission cable systems and dynamic cables for the offshore renewable energies sector.
Cable technology is a key enabler for electrical power transmission and distribution and for the development of telecommunications in Europe. The development of new technologies is a critical component to promote digitalization and the energy transition, thanks also to the expansion of 5G networks and the surge in renewable power installations says the company.
The developments will include cable solutions for e-mobility as well as high-performance optical fibres and cables for FTTH and FTTA broadband applications.
The company is also looking to develop machine learning and artificial intelligence systems to boot quality in cable manufacturing process, and implementation of digital solutions for the management of operations from remote also through the use of IoT Industry 4.0 technologies.
“The agreement signed with Prysmian aims at developing technological innovations via cable based on sustainability criteria in order to reduce the consumption of raw materials, the generation of waste and CO2 emissions. Supporting the cabling sector helps to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion and to promote the energy and digital transition in Europe,” said Gelsomina Vigliotti, vice president of the EIB.
Globally, Prysmian Group has 26 R&D centres located in Europe, North and South America and Asia, with a team of over 900 professional researchers, technicians and operators, and an extensive portfolio of more than 5,500 patents.
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