(Charenton-le-Pont, France -) – Partners since 2004, Essilor and CNRS* have signed a new research agreement on December 14, 2015 for a 5 year collaboration between Essilor and the Laas-CNRS laboratory.

Within this new Toulouse-based laboratory named OPERA**, a joint, multidisciplinary team of researchers and engineers will pursue research on lenses and glasses with active and connected functions. These emerging technologies will help us to invent future generations of optical lenses with improved performance in visual correction and comfort as well as new uses of eyewear.

LAAS-CNRS’ area of expertise includes embedded electronics, photonics, and robotics. They also developed a high level technological platform dedicated to the design and construction of prototypes. Essilor will bring its expertise in optics and vision, optical materials technologies, and its knowledge of consumer needs in the field of ophthalmic products to this joint research venture.

This shared laboratory is part of the research areas that Essilor and CNRS identified in their joint research agreement signed in April 2015 by the two organizations.

In line with its mission of improving lives by improving sight, Essilor has placed innovation at the heart of its strategy for more than 165 years. The Group aims at bringing better vision correction, protection, and prevention to billions of people in the world who need eyeglasses.

About the partners

The French National Center for Scientific Research is Europe’s largest public research institution. With nearly 33,000 employees, a budget exceeding €3.3 billion in 2014, and offices throughout France, CNRS is active in all scientific disciplines through its more than 1100 laboratories.

With a 650-strong workforce, the Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems (LAAS) is one of the largest CNRS intramural research units. Based in Toulouse, southwestern France, it carries out research in four disciplines: information technology, automatics, robotics and micro-and nano-systems. An earlier joint laboratory with Essilor (called Pix-cell, which operated between 2005-2010) highlighted the key role of discontinuous active optical functions in ophthalmic optics and developed the basis for this technology.

Essilor in turn designs and manufactures a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. The company allocates more than €180 million to research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Its flagship brands are Varilux, Crizal, Transitions, Definity, Xperio, Optifog, Foster Grant, Bolon and Costa. The company also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals.

Essilor reported consolidated revenue of nearly €5.7 billion in 2014 and employs 58,000 people. It markets its products in more than 100 countries and has 33 plants, 490 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as several research and development centers around the world.