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  • The government certified 'competitivity' poles

    French Govern­ment ini­tia­ted its scheme for “com­pe­ti­ti­vi­ty poles” 2004, these being net­works or clus­ters of inno­va­tion actors (enter­prises, research centres and trai­ning esta­blish­ments) on a given theme and with a spe­ci­fic loca­tion (area). The ove­rar­ching objec­tive is to rein­force the com­pe­ti­ti­vi­ty level of the French eco­no­my, to sti­mu­late job crea­tion on strong mar­kets. UTC is stron­gly invol­ved in ani­ma­ting 2 of the world-class poles – Indus­tries and Agro-Resources (IAR) and i‑Trans and like­wise in the set­ting up and par­ti­ci­pa­tion in various pro­jects coming out of the UTC research units and labs.

    Pole IAR

    The IAR Pole

    Industries and agro-resources (IAR)

    The com­pe­ti­ti­vi­ty pole Indus­tries and agro-resources (IAR), with two Regio­nal loca­tions (Picar­die and Cham­pagne-Ardenne) was set up in 2005 with the concept of plant refi­ning (for a demons­tra­tor bio-refi­ne­ry). Just like oil, plants contain a huge varie­ty of mole­cules that can be refi­ned. Each plant com­ponent can extrac­ted, func­tio­na­li­zed to pro­duce for example ener­gy (heat, fuels …), new mate­rials (for the buil­ding sec­tor, for packa­ging), refi­ned mole­cules (for che­mis­try, cos­me­tics, paint …) and active addi­tive and ingre­dients for the agro-food indus­trial sectors.

    With sus­tai­nable deve­lop­ment as the objec­tive, the IAR pole intends to meet socie­tal demands in terms of rene­wable mat­ter and raw mate­rials and pro­cesses that pre­serve the envi­ron­ment bet­ter and help the fight against cli­mate change (glo­bal war­ming), bea­ring in mind consu­mer health and secu­ri­ty. The rich­ness of the pole relates to the large varie­ty of the actors: enter­prises (SMEs and major indus­trial Groups), the agri­cul­tu­ral co-ope­ra­tives, 20–25 research and trai­ning establishments.

    UTC works in close col­la­bo­ra­tion with the IAR pole ever since it was set up. Trai­ning is a key concern for the pole, to the extent that the indus­tria­lists who are deve­lo­ping new pro­ducts and pro­cesses in the fra­me­work of the IAR pole's acti­vi­ties are also keen to recruit trai­ned per­son­nel, who are fami­liar with inclu­ding bio­mass in pro­cesses that help pre­serve the environment.

    Engi­neer trai­ning in bio­lo­gy and asso­ciate spe­cial­ties enables the stu­dents to tackle the full range of life sciences to exploit them in pro­mi­sing indus­trial appli­ca­tions and also to assemble the equip­ment nee­ded for the bio­tech­no­lo­gi­cal, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal, cos­me­tic agro-food sec­tor and medi­cal pro­cesses. Trai­ning in pro­cess engi­nee­ring enables stu­dents to tackle a wide range of bio­mass indus­trial pro­cesses, to sepa­rate ener­gy pro­du­cing com­po­nents or other use­ful com­pounds. Stress is laid on opti­mi­zed and inno­va­tive pro­cesses that pre­serve the envi­ron­ment in com­pliance with the prin­ciples of green chemistry.UTC labo­ra­to­ries acti­ve­ly par­ti­ci­pate in various R&D pro­jects under­way at the IAR pole. The wide range of skills of the UTC research scien­tists allows them to work with com­plete plants up to the point of using them indus­trial­ly, with extrac­tion of spe­ci­fic mole­cules using inno­va­tive pro­cesses and their incor­po­ra­tion in new products. 

    Coor­di­na­tion UTC – IAR
    Sté­phane Octave
     +33 (0)3 44 23 73 46
    Coor­di­na­tion UTC – IAR
    Nicole Ste­pien
     +33 (0)3 44 23 43 42
    Pole i‑Trans

    The i‑Trans Pole

    Innovation in transportation (i‑Trans)

    Faced with the impor­tance of coming chal­lenges in the area of increa­sed trans­por­ta­tion needs and modes, a num­ber of research scien­tists were grou­ped toge­ther at i-Trans – a world-class pole of com­pe­ti­ti­vi­ty focu­sing on the deve­lop­ment of inno­va­tive pro­jects for tomorrow's trans­por­ta­tion systems. 

    The prime mover of i-Trans, 'Trans­ports Ter­restres Pro­mo­tion Nor­thern France' – has brought toge­ther the finest pro­po­nents and actors of rail­road and other land trans­port sys­tems present in North France (the depart­ments of Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picar­die Regions). The i-Trans wished to be a fore­run­ner facing the chal­lenges of inter­na­tio­nal com­pe­ti­tion in the context of higher levels of freight and pas­sen­ger travel.

    The i-Trans pole enter­tains the ambi­tion to build up the first Euro­pean pole with a world­wide recog­ni­tion for "the desi­gn, buil­ding, com­pe­ti­tive ope­ra­tion and main­te­nance of inno­va­tive trans­port ser­vices and sys­tems in terms of mar­led share, inno­va­tion, growth and attrac­ti­ve­ness". Its area of influence and action cover North France, the two Regions Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Picar­die, which are alrea­dy repu­ted for their scien­ti­fic and indus­trial skills in these domains.

    The desi­gna­ted areas for action of the i‑Trans pole focus on 5 targets:

    • Freight
    • Trans­port pas­sen­ger mobility
    • Rail­road infrastructures
    • Rail­road rol­ling stock
    • Auto­mo­bile equipment

    The 'inno­va­tion' chal­lenges are numerous:

    • to reduce ener­gy consumption
    • to limit envi­ron­men­tal impacts
    • to deve­lop per­for­mance and relia­bi­li­ty levels
    • to rein­force safe­ty and secu­ri­ty levels
    • to deve­lop and enhance desi­gn work

    Seve­ral indus­trial sec­tors are involves here: the rail­roads, auto­mo­bile indus­tries, sea­going, canal and river trans­por­ta­tion and logis­tics. To date i-Trans has qua­li­fied some 224 pro­jects – 126 consi­de­red inno­va­tive and 16 as 'struc­tu­ring', with over 540 actors repre­sen­ting a glo­bal bud­get of more than 1 bil­lion euros.

    Coor­di­na­tion UTC-Pôle i‑Trans
    Damien Baratte
     +33 (0)3 44 23 73 04
    Ser­vices de la recherche
    Marion Kacz­kows­ki
     +33 (0)3 44 23 52 90

    À lire dans Interactions

    « Une vie pro­fes­sion­nelle, ça se construit pas à pas »

    Agir sur le monde en chan­geant le regard sur l’innovation

    Desi­gn sonore made in UTC sur Radio France

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