19 July 2012
Annual awards ceremony held for the last 10 years
Innovation is a key driver of competitive performance
and one of the mainstays of Thales's strategy. Each year for the last decade,
Thales has celebrated employee ingenuity at the in-house Thales Innovation
A key fixture in the Thales calendar, the event is an opportunity for project
teams to highlight their creative thinking and collaborative achievements and
marks the end of a company-wide competition to identify and recognise the most
outstanding innovations of the year.
The 2012 Thales
Innovation Awards were held at Thales University in Jouy-en-Josas, near Paris
at the end of June and were attended by 400 employees from across the company.
Twenty-one project teams were shortlisted this year, and nine were singled out
for the gold, silver and bronze awards in three categories: Technical
Innovation, Outstanding Project Management and Best Practice. In addition,
Thales employees vote via the company intranet for a tenth award called the
Thales People's Vote.
the three winners of the 2012 Gold Awards are . . .
cockpit of the future, ODICIS, which actually won two awards!
attracted the most votes from Thales staff to take this year's Thales People's
Vote. It also won Gold in the Technical Innovation category. ODICIS is a
crew-centric cockpit demonstrator that can be adapted to all types of civil and
military fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. Its single touchscreen display
marks a breakthrough in the way information is delivered, bringing clearer
presentations and more flexibility for the flight crew. It addresses three key
requirements in aviation: flexible cockpit architectures, efficient use of
available display space and continuity of information. The ODICIS
project will raise levels of dependability and improve human-system
interactions as well as reducing aircraft development costs. This innovative
cockpit concept could be implemented on aircraft by 2030.
project also received the Janus de la Prospective award from the French design
institute (Institut Français du Design) in June 2012.
Makkah Metro project in the Outstanding Project Management category
In response to
concerns over crowd control and safety in Saudi Arabia – where up to four
million pilgrims converge for the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) –
Thales and China Railway Construction Corp. worked together to install
automatic signalling operation, communications, control and security systems.
a system to optimise train operations and meet the need to transport as many
pilgrims as possible in the shortest time throughout the seven days of the
for the Thales project teams was to run trains every 10 hours on parallel loops
to transport pilgrims between holy sites. No margin of error is possible: if
trains fall behind schedule by just 30 minutes a huge number of pilgrims will
be unable to reach their destinations and fulfil their religious obligations.
success of this operation has further strengthened Thales's position in the
region, particularly for the planned extension of rail links in Saudi Arabia.
Close to 300 Thales employees in Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Canada and France
contributed over a three-year period to this first project.
Software Defined Radio for Communications Based Train Control project in the
Best Practice category
multidisciplinary team behind this project created a new radio system for rail
transport based on software-defined radio technology originally developed for
military communications. The system is a breakthrough that brings down costs by
at least 25% and provides a unique all-in-one solution for rail system
operators by integrating components that are traditionally developed and
maintained separately. The concept is suitable for a range of operational
environments around the world.
provided a collaborative framework that enabled several Thales business units
to work together efficiently, even though they had not previously cooperated on
an undertaking of this scale, and to develop a new commercial product in just
18 months. This example of best practice resulted in a game-changing innovation
that will have a significant impact on the rail industry.