Electricité de France (EDF) was founded in 1946 out of the desire to have a national electrical utility that could help rebuild the country after the Second World War. Since its creation, the company has had the responsibility for generating, transmitting and distributing electricity in France. The EDF group (2006) is present in 22 countries, where it supplies 40,2 million customers (36,7 million in Europe). 161 560 employees contribute to the activity, generating consolidated sales of 58 900 million Euros.
The aim of the EDF's R&D Division is to keep electricity costs competitive, prepare the generating facilities of the future, enhance the quality of supply while preserving the environment, as well as to develop innovative solutions with the customer in mind. The variety of these objectives has led EDF to set up a strong R&D function, including multidisciplinary knowledge, and with a balance between basic research and industrial applications. EDF's R&D activities (2006) had 2000 employees (1/3 women), including 1560 researchers and executives; 150 teaching researchers, 200 PhD candidates. EDF participated in 84 European projects during FP5 (among which 10 projects coordinated by EDF).