The ACS Group is an organisation which is continually evolving, adapting to the needs of its clients and demands from society. The diversification process through which the ACS Group is passing during these years has led it to undertake a wide range of activities which approach innovation and development differently, but resolutely. Through this commitment to technological development, the ACS Group responds to the growing demand for improvements in processes, technological progress and quality of service from its clients and from society.
Its involvement in research, development and innovation are clear in its increased investment and the R&D+i efforts the ACS Group makes year after year. This effort leads to tangible improvements in productivity, quality, client satisfaction, occupational safety, the obtaining of new and better materials and products and the design of more efficient production processes and systems, among others.
The ACS Group’s largest companies have governing bodies for technology, which are usually the Technological Development Committee, which leads the development of research activities in each company. The existence of this governing body or committee was reported by companies representing 52.0% of ACS Group sales in 2013.
R&D management takes place through a system which, in the largest companies and in general, follows the guidelines in the UNE 166002:2006 standard and is audited by independent specialists. There is a formal management system in companies representing 25.3% of Group sales. Furthermore, independent audits are carried out in companies representing 21.1% of sales.
This management system serves the general research strategy of each of the companies which, whatever their specific features, share the following lines of action:
- Development of strategic lines of research individualised by company
- Strategic collaboration with external organisations
- Growing and responsible investment in order to promote research and generate patents and operational techniques constantly and efficiently
Each Group company’s strategic decisions on the execution of R&D projects seek to maximise the positive impact of ACS’s technical and technological progress. The companies have analysis and discrimination procedures to decide which projects to undertake.
At 31 December 2013, the ACS Group had 247 projects in progress and had registered 7 patents during the year.
Furthermore, collaboration with external organisations is crucial for the success of the projects tackled. Hence ACS Group companies collaborate with research and technological centres and with universities, as well as will other diverse centres, institutes or institutions related to R&D+i. These prestigious international research institutions complement the ACS Group’s own research capabilities.
The ACS Group invested a total of €44.5 million in research, development and innovation in 2013, which represents a decrease of around 9.3% compared to 2012.