The new Hélios faciltity, named in reference to the sun, will be completely dedicated to research and innovation, with researchers from the Maisons of Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy Perfumes and Fresh based there.
This centre covers 18,000 m2, making it one of France’s largest cosmetic research and development facilities It will employ 250 researchers, developing new processes and securing new patents in the fields of cosmetics and the beauty sciences.
LVMH says its work will be focused on three strategic areas: research, development and expertise.
“The inauguration of our new Hélios research centre is a very positive development for our Perfumes and Cosmetics businesses,” says Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of the LVMH Group.
“It is an unparalleled facility for developing products that will meet the highest standards of quality. This state of the art facility is representative of the strategy of the Group and our ambition to consistently reinforce and expand the savoir-faire behind our businesses in France.”
More than 20 fields of research will be represented at the centre, including: molecular and cell biology, physical chemistry, ethnobotany, sensory analysis, formulation, toxicology and histology, among many others.
The Helios centre brings together the LVMH research teams, with construction having started in the late 2000s.
The facility is composed of a group of six buildings, each of which spans three levels, and is built in the form of a triangle around a large central atrium.
Architectural firm Arta Charpentier conceived the design concept, which was built according to the LVMH Group's standards of quality as well as the High Environmental Quality (HEQ) standards and uses environmentally sound materials.
The Group hopes this new centre will help it in its quest for expansion in the premium cosmetics market, in which it is performing well.
LVMH Research, a member of the Cosmetic Valley, has also signed a partnership with the University of Orléans, due to start in 2014, building on the existing long-standing ties between fundamental research units of the University of Orléans and LVMH Research.
The project, dubbed Skinovalys, is targeted at external researchers as well as start-ups, micro-businesses and SMEs, enabling them to get access to advanced scientific equipment and the expertise of Hélios; to validate concepts in the field of cosmetics, and it will provide support for participating organizations in the experimental phase of their projects.