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 12/13/2011

Saint-Gobain Launches NOVA Innovation Competition

Valley Forge, Pa. - Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction markets, officially launched today its fourth global Innovation Competition. Organized by Saint-Gobain’s NOVA External Venturing team, the competition rewards start-up businesses from around the world offering innovations in sustainable construction products, cash prizes and access to partnership opportunities with Saint-Gobain.

NOVA External Venturing, an international team of Saint-Gobain representatives that identify and evaluate start-up companies for strategic partnerships with all Saint-Gobain businesses, will award a first place winner with $50,000 (about €37,000) and 2nd and 3rd place winners with $25,000 (about €18,500) and $10,000 (about €7,400) respectively. Winners will also work with NOVA to explore a variety of working partnerships with Saint-Gobain such as licensing, manufacturing or commercial agreements, equity investment or joint ventures.

Rakesh Kapoor, Director, Saint-Gobain Northboro (United States) R&D Center and NOVA External Venturing, says companies that are poised for growth but lack the capacity to commercialize will gain invaluable advantages from participating in the NOVA Innovation Competition.

“Since 2006, we’ve invested in dozens of promising start-ups in Europe and the United States, with a select few rising to the top through the Innovation Competition,” said Kapoor. “Winning companies thrive with access to the global market through Saint-Gobain’s established market knowledge and, most importantly, through the support, resources and expertise that comes from our nearly 350-year history of building materials innovation.”

The 2012 NOVA Innovation Competition entrants will join the extensive list of progressive companies that NOVA External Venturing has evaluated since 2006, and winners will become part of an elite group that has formed successful partnerships with Saint-Gobain. One example among the more than 40 existing partnerships formed between start-up companies and Saint-Gobain in the past six years is Creative Composites Corporation, creator of the Grenite® line of sustainable solid surface products. This partnership’s success is exemplified by the recent opening of a new manufacturing facility for Grenite® Sustainable Engineered Stone in Ravenna, Ohio.

“Saint-Gobain invests in innovation across its family of companies to improve the way we construct, sustain and live within the built environment,” said Didier Roux, Vice President Research & Innovation and member of the NOVA board. “After having held the Nova Innovation Competition twice in France and once in Germany we will host the upcoming event for the first time in North America.”

Entry Details
From today thru end of June 2012, start-up companies across the globe are invited to submit entries that demonstrate the quality of their value propositions and potential synergies with Saint-Gobain. The NOVA External Venturing team will then select 8-12 finalists to present their innovations to a panel of judges in a 5- to 10-minute "speed-dating" session held live at the 2012 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in San Francisco, November 15. The panel of judges will consist of senior Saint-Gobain executives and experts in the building, energy and environmental sustainability industries.

To learn more about the NOVA Innovation Competition and to obtain the Innovation Competition’s official rules and registration form, visit www.saint-gobain.com/innovationcompetition2012

About Saint-Gobain Worldwide
Located in 64 countries and headquartered in Paris with nearly 190,000 employees, Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and constructions markets, designs, manufactures and distributes building materials, providing innovative solutions to meet growing demand for energy efficiency and environmental protection. For more information about Saint-Gobain, please visit www.saint-gobain.com.

About Saint-Gobain in North America

Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, 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 265 locations in North America and approximately 19,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $7.3 billion in 2010.

Saint-Gobain’s family of companies in North America includes CertainTeed Corporation, which offers the most comprehensive portfolio of interior and exterior building products in North America, as well as Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Saint-Gobain ADFORS (previously known as Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics), Vetrotech Saint-Gobain North America, Saint-Gobain Glass, Saint-Gobain Solar, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and more.

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