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SAGE employee nominated for European Inventor Award

Dr. Jean-Christophe Giron’s 20-year career of innovation with Saint-Gobain has focused on dynamic glass

Apr. 21, 2015

Dr. Jean-Christophe Giron of SAGE Electrochromics, a Saint-Gobain company, has been nominated for the prestigious European Inventor Award 2015 for his pioneering research in the field of electrochromic glass.

Launched by the European Patent Office in 2006, the European Inventor Award pays tribute to the creativity of inventors across the world who use their technical, scientific and intellectual skills to make a significant contribution to technological progress, economic growth and the improvement of people’s lives.

Dr. Giron, who has been vice president of technology at SAGE since 2011, was nominated in the European Inventor Award’s Industry category for his numerous scientific and engineering breakthroughs in the development of electrochromic technology such as SageGlass®. His research for Saint-Gobain has helped pioneer and advance the commercialization of this technology which enables more sustainable building design, improved building energy performance, and enhanced human experience in buildings, among other contributions.

Dr. Giron is an expert in thin film coatings, glass transformation and laser processes, and is the inventor or co-inventor of nearly 500 patents worldwide. SageGlass itself has over 350 global patents, of which Dr. Giron has been integrally involved in many of the important filings.

“Jean-Christophe’s research has greatly contributed to creating and optimizing electronically tintable dynamic glass, which improves the way people experience daylight in buildings,” says Alan McLenaghan, CEO of SAGE. “Electrochromic glass enables light to stream in without the unwanted heat gain of conventional glass, saving on lighting and air-conditioning costs. Further, it preserves a connection to the outdoors without having to use blinds, shades or other sun control devices that block the view of the outdoors. Dynamic glass provides architects with more flexibility in designing buildings for optimal daylighting and energy performance.”

“I am greatly honored to be considered for this prestigious award,” says Giron. “I have spent my career at Saint-Gobain trying to innovate high-performance building solutions that improve habitat and everyday life. It has been very rewarding for me to contribute both to the creation of this breakthrough technology as well as to its commercialization. It is enormously satisfying to be recognized for my life’s passions.”

The European Inventor Award is one of the most recognized distinctions for inventors worldwide. Dr. Giron is one of 15 outstanding inventors nominated and juried by internationally renowned figures from politics, business and academia. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on June 11, 2015, at the Palais Brogniart in Paris. Winners will be presented with a trophy in the shape of a sail, symbolizing exploration and human ingenuity.

The nomination comes at the same time that Saint-Gobain is celebrating its 350th year anniversary, where Giron has spent most of his career. Dr. Giron has been with Saint-Gobain for 20 years, beginning as a research engineer in the field of electrochromics. He soon moved up to several leadership positions, where he led development of electrochromic and other thin-film technologies for automotive, photovoltaic, lighting and building industries before joining the dedicated SageGlass team four years ago.

“Dr. Giron reflects the spirit of innovation that is such a strong part of our culture at Saint-Gobain,” says Didier Roux, vice president of Research and Innovation at Saint-Gobain. “His nomination underscores our commitment to research and development for improving the habitat in which we all live and work. As we celebrate Saint-Gobain’s 350th anniversary, it is fitting that one of our key scientists who has contributed to so many innovations has been nominated for this award.”

For more information about the European Inventor Award and to participate in the popular vote please visit: www.epo.org/vote.

About SageGlass 
SageGlass®, a product of Saint-Gobain, is advanced dynamic glass that can be electronically tinted or cleared to optimize daylight and improve the human experience in buildings. SageGlass manages the sunlight and heat that enter a building, significantly reducing energy consumption while improving people’s comfort and well-being. It can reduce a building’s cooling load by 20% and HVAC requirements up to 30%. It is a smarter, more elegant solution than conventional sun controls such as mechanical window shades, blinds and louvers. With SageGlass you can control sunlight and glare without shades or blinds while maintaining the view and connection to the outdoors. SageGlass is manufactured in Faribault, Minn., in the heart of “the Silicon Valley of the window industry,” and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain of Paris, the world’s largest building materials company.

About Saint-Gobain in North America
Saint-Gobain has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. As the world leader in sustainable habitat, Saint-Gobain is committed to inventing solutions to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, economical and energy-efficient buildings. The company has more than 250 locations in North America and approximately 15,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $6.2 billion in 2014.

Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. For more information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.       

About Saint-Gobain
In 2015, Saint-Gobain is celebrating its 350th anniversary, 350 reasons to believe in the future. Backed by its experience and its capacity to continuously innovate, Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction market, designs, manufactures and distributes high-performance and building materials providing innovative solutions to the challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. With 2014 sales of $54.6 billion, Saint-Gobain operates in 64 countries and has over 180,000 employees. For more information about Saint-Gobain, visit https://www.saint-gobain.com/en and the twitter account @saintgobain