NORMA Group’s research and development activities are aimed at identifying technological trends at an early stage and addressing them in a targeted manner. This is intended to optimally support the achievement of the Company’s strategic goals. The focus is on opening up new markets, gaining new customers and developing new products and system solutions. NORMA Group assesses new technologies according to the extent to which they help to optimize current processes, minimize the use of materials or further improve the functionalities and sustainability of the end products. The focus is on innovative and high-quality solutions to the global challenges of the respective end markets. Besides water management and electromobility, these include topics such as digitalization, stationary battery storage systems and hydrogen as an alternative energy carrier, for example. By specifically considering the relevant global megatrends in close coordination with customers, NORMA Group is able to recognize technological developments at an early stage and launch corresponding product and technology innovations. The protection of resources and the environment plays an important role here.

The new organizational structure for the R&D departments already implemented in previous years according to the three Strategic Business Units Water Management, Industry Applications and Mobility & New Energy enables optimized cross-regional cooperation between the teams and better dovetailing of development activities with the business development teams (Sales and Application Engineering). The global focus of the business units enables more targeted and efficient working on the tasks that lie ahead. At the same time, tasks and projects continue to be prioritized in line with strategic requirements, by the Innovation Council and Global Product Management, for example.


Focus on innovations

The focus of NORMA Group’s research and development activities is on strengthening the Company’s innovative strength. The emphasis therefore continues to be on the systematic planning and implementation of innovation projects. The so-called Foresight Manager and Global Product Management are jointly responsible for monitoring the strategic end markets and bundling the knowledge gained in the internal innovation management process.

NORMA Group further continued the above-described concept of innovation, research and (product) development in fiscal year 2023. A software-based innovation platform is used to support the systematic identification, documentation and assessment of new ideas by involving all NORMA Group employees. Networking with start-ups and universities, complemented by visits to trade fairs, and close communication with our customers’ technical teams, was used in 2023 to generate additional impetus for new products and fields of application.


Numerical simulation and validation of new technologies

NORMA GROUP is committed to including future-driven technologies identified on the basis of the global megatrends into the development and design of new products. Mathematical models and numerical simulations play a key role in the early development phases for the efficient development and optimization of new product concepts. In addition to theoretical-technical investigations (known as verification), the respective concepts are also subjected to subsequent extensive physical tests (known as validation). Numerical simulation allows for the required development times to be optimized. The number of experimental optimization loops required, including the time needed for prototyping and testing in the laboratory, can thus be reduced. The final experimental validation of new products ideally confirms the product properties previously determined via simulation. This simulation serves to safeguard that the investigated products, technologies, materials and manufacturing processes meet the needs of the market.


Strategic cooperation with customers and research institutions

In the Strategic Business Unit Water Management, NORMA Group maintains close contact with its distributors, end customers, installers, trading and construction companies, as well as regulatory authorities, due to the wide range of standards, varying regulatory requirements and best practices. By doing so, differentiated product solutions can be developed to serve local market needs.

Within the Industry Applications strategic business unit, which traditionally represents a trading segment, the requirements of NORMA Group’s customers focus more on high quality and a strong brand image, product availability at all times and a largely complete product range. Therefore, the focus in the area of Industry Applications is on the meaningful optimization of the product range and targeted marketing activities. MARKETING

The strategic business unit Mobility & New Energy is characterized by the fact that NORMA Group works closely with its end customers, leading research and development institutions, suppliers and other external partners. Customer requirements can thus be incorporated directly into the development of new products and technologies. This also ensures rapid marketing. For competitive reasons, the Company refrains from publishing the specific contents of these development partnerships.


Development focuses in 2023

Research and development activities in fiscal year 2023 were dominated by the trend topics of water management, mobility, digitalization, globalization and sustainability.

In the Water Management strategic business unit, activities focused on global, market-oriented and innovative solutions for the efficient use of water. Work was also carried out on the use of sustainable materials and the range of “smart” control technology. Highly efficient components for irrigation systems (such as micro-sprayers, precision drippers and drip lines) in combination with pressure regulators, particle filters and intelligent control components (e.g. valves and control units) form system solutions that meet current and future requirements for local water management. In drainage water management, development efforts range from technologies for water recovery in catch basins, flexible drainage channels and drainage ditches, to technologies for filtering all suspended solids (TTS) using underground chambers, to measures to optimize the water permeability of soil pavements on green and gravel surfaces. In line with NORMA Group’s objectives regarding its social and environmental responsibility, further initiatives were also launched in the strategic business unit Water Management to expand the use of sustainable and recycled raw materials and plastics in product and process design. NORMA Group’s extensive in-house expertise and proximity to customers, sales partners and authorities enables the Company to adapt its current product portfolio and develop innovative new products to meet market requirements.

In the area of Electromobility, thermal management of batteries and systems remains a key topic. For this purpose, NORMA Group develops special line systems in the FLUID product area that ensure uniform temperature distribution inside the battery and maintain the optimal operating state of the cells. The consistent use of numerical simulation has been instrumental here in developing fluid components and systems with the lowest flow resistances and thus maximized efficiency and resource conservation. Innovations in the FASTEN product area in 2023 were again aimed at the goal of being the market and technology leader. In addition to new product solutions, significant work was also carried out here on the continuous improvement of products based on the aspects of efficiency, standardization, robustness, resource conservation and weight savings.

NORMA Group continues to be active in the field of fuel cells and supplies line systems and fastening elements here. In this environment, further projects are underway to help prepare the Company’s current and new product solutions for use in fuel cell technology. Examples of this include the development of components made from special plastic grades that meet new customer requirements for hydrogen line systems.


Know-how protected by patents

Its unique know-how in the field of joining technology represents a key success factor for NORMA Group. Therefore, the Group protects its innovations through patents. A total of 729 patents and utility models were held as of December 31, 2023 (2022: 960) held. In fiscal year 2023, the number of internal invention disclosures amounted to 20 (2022: 21), while the number of new patent applications filed was 28 (2022: 30).


R&D Expenses

Research and development expenses amounted to EUR 44.3 million in 2023 (2022: EUR 40.6 million). This corresponds to around 3.6% (2022: 3.3%) of NORMA Group's total sales in fiscal year 2023. The capitalization ratio, i.e., the share of own work capitalized in R&D expenses in the current reporting year was 6.8% (2022: 6,0%)


Employees in R&D

As at December 31, 2023, the Group employed 316 people in research and development (2022: 311 employees) worldwide. This represents around 5.3% of the core workforce (2022: 5.0%).


R&D Figures














% of permanent staff






EUR million






% of revenue













These contents are part of the Non-financial Group Report and were subject to a separate limited assurance examination.