In 2018, we approved the new Technology and Corporate Venturing strategy, based on six objectives: reducing energy intensity and CO2 emissions, improving the profitability of our assets, differentiating our products, providing differential data-based solutions and energy services focused on customers.
To address the challenges we have, first of all, a portfolio that integrates internal R&D projects and investments in technological startups. We also evaluate future energy scenarios through developing and testing new technologies.
We are also working on different innovative solutions to reduce energy expenditure in industrial facilities, on adopting renewable energy sources to reduce emissions, and on providing advanced simulation and data-analysis tools.
The projects underway at Upstream serve the purpose of developing methodologies and applications that shorten the time required to reach production in our fields, improve efficiency in our operations, and contribute to the development of exploration areas, where Repsol can profit from a competitive advantage.
These initiatives include the Automatic Seismic Interpretation project, which develops computer-aided tools to interpret the subsurface much more quickly. Projects such as Geomechanics for Unconventional Assets or Improved Recovery contribute to a significant increase in operational efficiency, increasing production with lower costs. Another example can be found in the Digital Petrophysics Project, in which our teams develop laboratory techniques and algorithms capable of transforming rock samples in oil and gas deposits into digital models.
Likewise, we are working on different processes with a low carbon intensity, incorporating alternative raw materials with the goal of obtaining advanced biofuels. Another noteworthy project is SUN2HY, in collaboration with Enagas, which seeks to obtain hydrogen with a lower carbon footprint through artificial photosynthesis processes.
On the other hand, our company is involved in several projects to support the Chemicals business in its circular economy strategy and developing sustainable plastics. The development lines of polymer technologies where CO2 replaces fossil-based raw materials are maintained.
In 2018, we have developed new applications for our product differentiation range such as fireproof polyols. Additionally, polypropylene was sold for the first time as a 3D printing filament.
We have also created a new area called Energy Transition; this area aims to develop technology-based products and services for the new energy model. Specifically, in the short term, we are developing energy services with a high added value for customers, based on energy efficiency and aggregate demand.
E&D investment rose to 84 million euros in 2018. This activity is coordinated from the Repsol Technology Lab research center, a campus with over 230 researchers working on 200 projects, as well as 190 partnerships and associations with some of the best institutions in the world. In 2018, 20 patents were registered.