Home » Careers » Company Culture
Saft products set new standards in innovation and applied technology. From research and development to manufacturing, we set the pace of change and help our customers achieve great feats. We employ a huge range of scientists – 1.5 percent of our workforce has a PhD – and have structured our product development so that we can try as many things as possible and either proceed with them or see them fail fast. It's about discovery, application and affordability.
We have many firsts to be proud of – from our Seanergy marine lithium-ion modules for clean marine applications, launched in 2014, to having 1 MWh of our batteries in space in 2012; from being recognized by Guinness World Records in 2011 as producing the "world's most powerful battery", to helping land and power Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity in 2004. But our history of innovation isn't all recent, because in 1946 our subsidiary Henry Bissle made the first Ni-Cd batteries, and in 1965 we filed the first patents for primary lithium. And we're always looking to the future. Today, we're working on cheaper sodium-ion batteries that could store excess energy, as well as lighter and more dense lithium-sulfur batteries for aircraft and solid-state batteries that will be more stable, denser and lighter.
The result: our batteries play life-changing and life-saving roles around the world – and in space. In 2009, it was our batteries that started the auxiliary power unit used by Captain Sullenberger to land Flight 1549 safely on the Hudson River, saving all 155 people aboard. The aircraft had struck a flock of geese and lost all engine power. Prototypes of Concorde, the world's only supersonic passenger airliner ever to enter production, had Saft batteries aboard their first flights, and Lockheed's F-22 was the first to use our Ni-Cd batteries in 1965. We were also the first with a lithium-ion application for aircraft – used by Northrop Grumman's Global Hawk – and more recently supplied Li-ion batteries for Airbus A350 XWB's maiden flight.
Saft has a presence in 19 countries, with 31 sales offices and 14 manufacturing sites. We have more than 3,000 customers and 4,100 staff from 49 countries and our customers come from a broad range of markets from all around the world. This global presence is a huge asset and we encourage international co-operation between teams and projects to make the most of it. It's about being part of a global team.
Saft's policy is to recognize and value collective and individual performance. We encourage teamwork and for individuals to take the initiative and assume responsibility.
At Saft, we believe in and invest in our staff. Training and mentoring programs operate across the company, helping to bring out the best in everyone. For example, our new Technical Expert program – called STEP UP – recognizes four different levels. It starts with specialist, then expert, senior expert and fellow at the top. Recognition is given in one or more domains including technical, applications and functional (R&D, engineering, field services), combined with know-how (operational and leadership). Since starting in January 2017, we have already created four fellows. We also encourage the development of skills beyond the STEP UP technical program in areas including leadership, project management, sales and marketing, and audit progress by means of regular performance reviews and career assessments. Saft's continued success is based on our motivated and engaged staff.