In 2016, TOTAL mandated Presans to support its search for new fuel additives.

Strategic context

For reasons of differentiation and competitiveness, TOTAL is working on the design of new additives. In parallel with the paths developed by itself, the team in charge of this mission also wants to encourage the emergence of new ideas “out of the box”: Presans is the ideal partner to accelerate safely and with confidence this opening on the external expertise.

The mission of Presans is guided by three objectives:

  • Accelerate the priority project of one of TOTAL’s research teams.
  • Synthesize and patent fuel additives.
  • Promote Open Innovation and open new avenues for reflection.

Using Presans to add some punch to your research

Presans secret sauce combines expert crowdsourcing with asynchronous collective intelligence. Six million experts are in the Sofia database. One or more Fellows Presans accompany the projects at each stage to guarantee the relevance of the answers as well as the questions.

As part of the mission entrusted by Total, the first task was to reformulate the problem and the issues, by establishing a close collaboration between the R & D team of TOTAL and the Fellows of Presans. This first step made it possible in a second time to understand the mechanisms of an undesirable phenomenon by mobilizing a first expert of international level, giving rise to a first ad hoc study.

Following this first study, TOTAL has deepened the issue of eliminating the unwanted phenomenon by mobilizing a second group of experts. Based on the work done by the first study, this group proposed three different synthesis programs for new molecules that meet all of TOTAL’s requirements.

Case study: TOTAL's search for new molecules

This project was supported by Marc Danzart, Presans Fellow.



Understand an undesirable phenomenon by mobilizing the best experts in the world, without revealing the strategic issues or the identity of TOTAL.


Identify scientific pathways and concrete, patentable solutions.


To develop the knowledge of TOTAL researchers by involving them deeply in the process of problem solving.

“The project has made real progress and opened up new, unknown territories, while saving a lot of time.” – Julie Prevost, R & D Project Manager at TOTAL

Case study: TOTAL's search for new molecules


About Presans: Founded in 2008 by Albert Meige, Presans is the French leader in open industrial innovation, mobilizing a global network of more than six million experts on behalf of customers operating in sectors as diverse as energy, automotive or agribusiness.


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