With Hélios, LVMH Research is further strengthening its presence in Cosmetic Valley, the area a short distance from Paris where fragrance and cosmetics expertise is concentrated. Alongside public and private sector players, LVMH’s R&D division is contributing to the area’s long-standing record of innovation. A prime example of this is Skinovalys, a project which encourages sharing via a process of “open innovation”.
Inaugurated in late 2013, Hélios is already establishing itself as a major technological platform in fragrance and cosmetics. In six separate buildings covering 18,000 m², the center houses 250 researchers and more than 20 areas of specialist expertise in an open working environment, designed to encourage the exchange of information. Its state-of-the-art equipment and ultra-modern connector technology are open, not merely to LVMH Research personnel, but also to their various partners, notably via the Skinovalys initiative, which will be implemented in 2014.
Initiated by LVMH Research and promoted by Cosmetic Valley, Skinovalys is based on the establishment of two “technological mirror entities”: one at the University of Orléans for fundamental research, the other at Hélios for individual support in concept validation. The objective is to further strengthen the long-standing ties between LVMH Research and its partners in Cosmetic Valley, from university researchers to micro-businesses and SMEs, in order to nurture exchanges of information and ideas that will benefit all the sector’s key players.
With Skinovalys, both individuals and start-ups can, for a symbolic contribution, gain access to office and laboratory space within Hélios, enabling them to validate cosmetic-related concepts. Such support can prove decisive in the economically sensitive “prematuration” phase.
In addition, selected micro-businesses and SMEs can also benefit from access to state-of-the-art materials and equipment that they are not in a position to acquire, on the basis of time billing. This represents a valuable boost for fragile structures, which can thus complete their experiments in optimum conditions, with access to expert scientific back-up and advice.
The selection process is now underway, and the first successful candidates will be able to move into their new workspaces in Spring 2014!