In 2014, TOTAL dedicated $1,353 million to Research and Development (R&D), compared with $1,260 million in 2013 and $1,034 million in 2012. The process initiated in 2004 to increase R&D budgets continued.
In 2014, 4,840 people were dedicated to R&D activities, compared with 4,684 in 2013 and 4,110 in 2012.
R&D at TOTAL focuses on six major axes:
- developing knowledge, tools and technological mastery to discover and profitably operate complex oil and gas resources to help meet the global demand for energy;
- developing and industrializing solar, biomass and carbon capture and storage technologies to help prepare for future energy needs;
- developing practical, innovative and competitive materials and products that meet customers’ specific needs, contribute to the emergence of new features and systems, enable current materials to be replaced by materials showing higher performance for users, and address the challenges of improved energy efficiency, lower environmental impact and toxicity, better management of their life cycle and waste recovery;
- developing, industrializing and improving first-level competitive processes for the conversion of oil, gas, coal and biomass resources to adapt to changes in resources and markets, improve reliability and safety, achieve better energy efficiency, reduce the environmental footprint and maintain the Group’s economic margins in the long term;
- understanding and measuring the impacts of the Group’s operations and products on ecosystems (water, soil, air, biodiversity) and recovering waste to improve environmental safety, as part of the regulation in place, and reduce their environmental footprint to achieve sustainability in the Group’s operations; and
- mastering and using innovative technologies such as biotechnologies, materials sciences, nanotechnologies, highperformance computing, information and communications technologies or new analytic techniques.
These issues are addressed within a portfolio of projects in order to capture synergies. Various aspects may be looked at independently by different divisions.
The portfolio managed by the entity tasked with developing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) specialized in innovative energy technologies and cleantechs has grown regularly since 2009. In addition, a loan facility was introduced for innovative SMEs that develop technologies of interest for the Group.