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AGC Glass Europe wins "Best Innovator Award Belgium 2009"

Based in Brussels, AGC Glass Europe, a European leader in flat glass, won the Best Innovator Award Belgium 2009 in the large companies category, ahead of the three other finalists 3M, Belgacom and UCB. The competition, organised in Belgium for the third year running by the international strategy consultant A.T. Kearney and its partners, offers companies the opportunity to identify and compare themselves with the capabilities and practices of innovation leaders.

The jury singled out AGC's innovation process, which combines a "top-down approach" led by the 200 researchers and technicians in the company's Jumet R&D Centre on the one hand, and on the other a "bottom-up approach" in which all members of personnel are involved. The company has developed a special web-based platform that enables members of personnel at all levels to contribute ideas and to participate in the innovation process. The jury pointed to significant advances made as a result of this approach in 2009, including:

* new products: Planibel Tri triple glazing, Glassiled RGB outside glazing incorporating light-emitting diodes (a world first), and extra-clear glass for solar applications (the latter has also won the Technological Innovation Award in Wallonia);
* a new production process, with the most environment-friendly float plant in the world. This combines oxygen combustion with gas preheating (also a world first), reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions by around 25%.

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