GTT remains the flagship of the most innovative French ETIs.

For the first time in a long time, there has been a slight decrease in the concentration of the top 50 patent applicants in the INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property) ranking, which account for 53.2% of the 14,339 applications published in 2021 compared to the previous year. 54.8% in 2020. “This start of deconcentration is the result of a downturn registered by large groups, while ETI and SMEs have shown a form of resilience to the health crisis, as evidenced by the increase in their patent deposits last year,” explains Pascal Fauré, CEO of INPI.

No SMEs have yet made it into the Top 50, and only two ETIs have made it there. For the third year in a row, Gaztransport and Technogaz (GTT) remains the standard bearer for mid-cap and 30e largest patent registrar in France with 55 applications published in 2021. With eight places, Soitec, a specialist in semiconductor materials, moved up with 34 patents to 40th place.e classify.

Evaporation rate reduced by 50%

Established in 1994 as a result of a merger between Technigaz and Gaztransport established in the 1960s, GTT is an important link in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) production chain. Everything is developed inside its R&D centers in France, in Les Yvelines and Ulisses (Essone), as well as in Germany, in Cologne, since the takeover in 2020 of Elogen, a specialist in proton exchange. membrane electrolysis (PEM), the group’s technologies optimize the performance and safety of membrane tanks that transport or store LNG. At the end of 2021, its industrial property portfolio consisted of 2,466 patents, including 430 French patents protecting its innovations in 60 countries in Europe, China, Korea, Russia, India, Japan and Qatar.

A former subsidiary of Engie, the listed company dedicates an average of 10% of its turnover to research and development, consolidated at 315 million euros last year, and mobilizes 26% of its workforce of 556 employees to develop its new technologies. For example, GTT has reduced the evaporation rate of LNG during transport by 50% in ten years, thanks in part to its NO96 technology, the most efficient version of which, Super Plus, was patented in 2021.

Impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict

“We are also developing advanced digital smart shipping solutions to help merchant ship owners optimize shipping routes, reduce ship consumption and hence ship emissions,” said Philippe Berterottier, CEO of GTT. Its technology is installed aboard the CMA CGM container ships, the first polar research vessel Commandant Charcot, Shell’s Prélude floating natural gas liquefaction platform and TotalEnergies’ Gas Agility vessel.

At present, the war in Ukraine does not affect GTT operations, although ETI has licensed its technology to the giant LNG project in the Russian Arctic, Arctic LNG 2, contracts for which account for about 20% of its order book at the end of 2021. “Compliance with international sanctions is a priority for our group, which is following their development and their direct and indirect impact with particular attention.

However, the continuation of our projects is still associated with execution risks that are difficult to assess,” emphasizes Philippe Berterottier. “The Russian-Ukrainian conflict also highlights the importance of global gas demand and, in particular, the strategic weight of maritime LNG transport. The standard-bearer of innovative ETI intends to actively promote the decarbonization of global maritime transport and France’s energy sovereignty.