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Powering ahead

ABB's has been developing new technologies for more than 100 years and the firm has chalked up some notable successes.

Recent innovations include high-power circuit breakers, new technology for making car windshields and cleaner fuel technology.

One headline-grabbing technology is a micro-sensor which locates oil reservoirs by detecting micro-earthquakes.

Ships from icebreakers to cruise liners are starting to install ABB's Azipod propulsion system which has proved more efficient than conventional diesel propulsion.

The company has also developed a high-speed transfer switch, which reacts almost instantly in the event of power failure and immediately switches to a second power source.

Nanotechnology

Meanwhile, some 30 researchers in Europe and the US are working on ABB's nanotechnology research programme.

In nanotechnology - the science of building materials and machines on the scale of billionths of a metre - ABB is concentrating particularly on insulation and coating materials.

"We are a technology-based company and we want to stay in the game and we want to be competitive as we always have been," said Bayegan.

"In some areas we are by far the leading company - technologically and market-wise. We have to invest in it. It's our future."

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