Press Release smart textiles success stories techtera english_120109
They are entrepreneurs, startup designers, researchers, engineers,
generating or initiating R&D projects, inventors of new products...
All are members of Techtera, the innovation cluster
for technical textiles and flexible materials.
Portraits of these talents of intuitive, dynamic and confident innovation who, each in their own way, have revolutionised the industry...
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Press Release smart textiles success stories techtera english_120109
Press pack The innovation "success stories" They are entrepreneurs, startup designers, researchers, engineers, generating or initiating R&D projects, inventors of new products... All are members of Techtera, the innovation cluster for technical textiles and flexible materials.Portraits of these talents of intuitive, dynamic and confident innovation who, each in their own way, have revolutionised the industry 2011 Press contact: Techtera Anne Masson 04 20 30 28 80 international@Techtera.org
INTRODUCTIONBut what do they have in common? A small phrase that recurs as underlying theme: "a company thatdoes not innovate cannot survive!" And a belief: "nothing is impossible!". For some, a method:"everyday, apply the principles of creativity: release the ideas that emerge, do not say no, find ways ofachieving". A way of life, also: "innovation, of course, and partnership". In fact, a network: they are allmembers of Techtera, the innovation cluster for textiles and flexible materials, established in 2005 tosupport and develop innovation in its sector.Is there a typical portrait of an innovative entrepreneur? "No", replies Paul Millier, who teachesinnovation management at EM Lyon (business school). "I have observed those who innovate for years.I have seen quite a number, and no, I cannot draw a typical portrait. They are all different. The onlything they have in common is their conviction and enthusiasm".This conviction is the theme of this second series of portraits of companies and research laboratoriesconducted by Techtera. The selection is not exhaustive, not in order of importance, taken from amongthe 120 members of the cluster: - Raidlight, the race for innovation - Centre Technique du Papier: the paper research centre for metapapers of tomorrow - Schappe Techniques, the stretch-break experts - Bel Maille, a universe of knitting - Diatex, "Made in" Technical Textiles - Denis & Fils, high fashion and high-tech - Enveho, the thermal comfort specialists - Ecole des Mines dAlès: grey matter for industry - ELyT Lab, the Franco-Japanese creators of smart materials - Sofileta boosts innovation - LGCIE, pioneer in the environmental monitoring of silicones
Raidlight, the race for innovation Turnover 2010-2011: €3.3 million Growth: 25% per year on average for 10 years Workforce: 30 Patents: 5 Products: backpacks, clothing, jackets for running, hiking, climbing and mountaineering Markets: Sport & outdoor recreation Brand: Raidlight, Vertical, MadeinFrance SMS: nothing stops the race forward of this small company founded in 1999 by Benoit Laval. In 12 years, this small specialist of clothing and accessories for trail running has carved out its place, among the major French brands in the world of sport & leisure, with a range of eco-friendly products, among others. Making a decisive step, Raidlight notched up a fine performance in2011 with the acquisition of Vertical - manufacturer of bags, suits and accessories for climbing andmountaineering - a move to the heart of the Chartreuse nature park, the design and launch of the firstEuropean trail station. Targets for 2012, new innovative "products", interactively developed with, andfor, users.A marathon year! Eleven months were Eleven months after the start of negotiations enough for Benoit Laval, CEO of the with the village of Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse Raidlight company, to take a decisive in Isère, and here you can see the result, in the turn for the company he founded in centre of this small mountain village in the1999, with the June 2010 takeover of Vertical, Chartreuse nature park. A timber-frameda brand well known by climbing and building, with photovoltaic roof and coveringmountaineering pros. 1000 m², accommodates a workshop forA site for expansion designing and prototyping products, factoryWith more employees and confirmed growth, outlet, mail-order office, a sport and relaxationRaidlight felt cramped in its Saint-Genest- room. Since June 2011, the building is also theMalifaux buildings in the heart of the Pilat meeting place for trail runners - more thannature park, in the Loire region. Benoit Laval 500,000 adepts in France - who come towas looking for a site that could allow him to discover the ten-or-so routes of 8 to 30 kmexpand and complete the project near to his leading out from the trail station, designed,heart. "We needed a plot where we could put tested and launched by Raidlight and itsup an eco-friendly building, to remain true to partners, the village, the Park and theour company values. We also wanted to find a Chartreuse association of mountain guides.natural area to set up our trail station and Half of the companys employees embarked onpartners to manage it with us. Finally, the the adventure. The dozen who could not moveliving environment was an essential factor, for were replaced. "The hardest part is behind us.the employees and myself. In 2009, we started It was not easy. Now, we have found ourlooking in the Loire region but without success, signposts again".until finding something here".
Among them, the companys motor long before hiking poles, etc, already winners of numerousthe explosion of this way of communication, is Innovation Awards.interaction, an inherent characteristic that A new look for the Cardis jacketmarks out the path of Raidlight since its infancy "By joining Techtera, we seek to developin the early 2000s. "When I launched the innovation and sourcing. It should, forbrand, with a range of ten products sold at the example, help us to find new materials".finishing line, I did it at weekends for the love In the coming months, Raidlight will marketof it. I had one goal: improve the equipment of sustainable trail shoes, offering the possibilityrunners and respond to their needs. Users of replacing worn and "custom-built" parts ofreacted to what I proposed and gave me ideas the sole; together with a range of adaptableand suggestions for improvement. I then accessories. New types of backpacks will comedecided to organise the customer-relations on the market. The little Isère brand will alsoaspect by creating an interactive space on our relaunch the legendary jacket of Chamonixwebsite and a space for testing products here guides, trackers and sailors in the 70s: theat the store". famous Cardis, with a design and materialsThe "Raidlight team" updated to modern tastes.Textile engineer and enthusiastic runner since Last but not least, the trail station shouldthe age of 9, with some fine victories to his gradually reach its cruising speed and its goalcredit, including the title of vice-champion of of receiving from 10,000 to 15,000 runners onFrance, Benoit Laval holds all the cards needed its trails each year. Enough to satisfy thefor initiating a community spirit: "rather than leader of its adepts, Benoit Laval, whogo into sponsoring like most sport brands, we nevertheless continues to run five times a weekcreated a team open to all. This is the in the mountains. "A nice reward"..."Raidlight team", which now has 3000members. All our customers can join, Raidlightregardless of their level, create a running blog Le Bourg - Chemin de Perquelinon our website, and interact with other 38 380 Saint Pierre de Chartreuse Tel: 04 76 533 555runners. This is ideal for the company because E-mail: email@example.com allows us to understand and follow the More information: www.raidlight.comexpectations of our users every day".Bamboo and recycled polyesterWorking capital: around fifty products,designed by the four R&D engineers, are testedthroughout the year. One sole condition:complete the companys questionnaire. Newmaterials and features voted for by consumersjoin the range of products sold. The others arereworked or simply abandoned. Our key wordsare "lightweight and eco-friendly". The clotheswe make are 80 to 90% bamboo and recycledpolyester. We have also launched aMadeinFrance range with a dozen productsmade in the region, at little extra cost to thebuyer".The career of the company does not stop there.In mind for 2012, is the development of mailorder in Germany and Spain, via dedicatedwebsites, and launch innovative new productsto complement the range of backpacks, shirts,
Centre Technique du Papier (CTP):the paper research centre for metapapers of tomorrowFounded: 1957Turnover in 2010: €11.5 millionStatus: nonprofitmakingWorkforce: 135 (researchers and technicians)SMS: in the heart of Cellulose Valley, in the Grenoblearea, the Centre Technique du Papier (CTP) hasrevolutionised the paper industry and nonwovens throughprocess and product innovations. Among the mostpromising successes of recent years is Metapaper, awallpaper that insulates buildings from Wi-Fi signals, or a hydrophobic paper obtained through"chromatogeny", with many possibilities for the packaging industry. The development of biosourcedmaterials and product diversification are central to research and the study of new applications forhealth and hygiene, future packaging, recycling, waste recovery, etc. This paper undoubtedly has agreat future! P aper is not dead, far from it! With paper in France. It devotes three quarters of its" textiles, it is one of the fundamental energy to R&D, in the service of companies and materials as old as time, or almost! groups of all sizes looking for technological Today, it is highly innovative. solutions or breakthrough products for the Moreover, in our business for a future. The centre has accompanied the good ten years, we talk less of evolution in production processes. "The paperpaper and increasingly of cellulose substrate. industry has made tremendous progress. ItThis term includes new products and uses for works virtually in a closed circuit. It treats andpaper. It is our personal role to open up these recycles its waste and limits its energynew ways". consumption. Today, we continue to play aAbundant on Earth leading role in process and product innovation.Guy Eymin Petot Tourtollet is a director of the Moreover, the product part has expandedCTP scientific and technical unit in Grenoble. greatly since the year 2000".For him, as for all of these enthusiastic Wallpaper that blocks Wi-Fi signalsdefenders of paper gathered on the campus of Among the most spectacular inventionsSaint-Martin-dHeres, no question, cellulose recently developed by its teams, and tested onhas a future. "It is the most abundant polymer pilot industries, metapaper is wallpaper withon earth. It is infinitely renewable and patented patterns, printed with a conductivecompletely recyclable. We are far from having ink, which filters out the Wi-Fi signals. It canexplored all its possibilities". be used as an underliner to be covered. It canFounded in 1957 in the middle of the insulate a room or building for increased datatraditional papermaking area to support the protection, provide easier access to theindustry in its effort to rebuild after the war, network, and protect the health of users. "It isthe CTP is the only organisation of this kind for a major "first", which we have developed with
our industrial partner Alstrhom. Tests were major social questions that its industry is facedcarried out successfully in January 2011. The with: lignocellulose chemistry, biosourcedproduct is very innovative". materials, applications for hygiene and health,A Gore-Tex paper or cardboard packaging of the future, printed electronics andOther success of the year? A hydrophobic smart paper, waste recovery and optimisationpaper created through "chromatogeny" (green of industrial processes, etc. There is nochemistry), clean technology for molecular shortage of areas to investigate. "Just likemodification of the surface of ligno-cellulosic textiles, paper can integrate many functions;materials, developed by the CNRS. "The create new uses and non-traditionalproblem of cellulose is that it is hydrophilic. If opportunities for its industry. Everythingyou make a boat out of paper, it sinks. With remains to be invented, or almost!"this breakthrough technology, we get a kind ofgore-tex paper or cardboard, which holds greatpromise in very many fields: the press and Centre Technique du Papierpackaging, for example". Tests are under way Domaine Universitairefor the food industry. They are carried out on Rue de la Papeterie 38 044 Grenoble cdx 09the pilot line of the TekLiCell technology Tel: 04 76 15 40 15platform, which brings together 26 firstname.lastname@example.org and Grenoble INP-Pagora, the More information: www.webctp.comengineering school for paper science. All thatremains, is to move on to an industrial scale.Sixty research projects under way * PEPS: printed electronics project for future secure"The biggest challenge in innovation is to packagingconvince. We need demonstrators and must THID: tag development project for RFID, chip-free,prove the feasibility of a product. Among our low-cost, tamper-proofprojects, 90% lead to improvements inprocesses or products, which are thenmarketed in France and abroad. Our job is notonly innovation; it is primarily to enhance aproduct".With 60 projects in 2012, including THID andPEPS*, with the Techtera "approved" label, theCTP continues exploring the issues, trends and
Schappe Techniques The stretch-break experts Founded: 1853 Turnover in 2011: €11 million (80% for export) Workforce: 130 Patents: 12 Products: high performance technical and sewing thread Markets: personal protective equipment, automotive, aviation and aerospace, defence, industry (composites)SMS: a very specialised firm, with technology developed in the 50s: stretch-breaking consists ofstretching the filaments of continuous thread until they break, in order to remove their weak pointsand provide new properties, including strength. The target is niche markets in advance-technologysectors such as equipment with high-level protection, aviation, aerospace and defence. Specialfeature: performance. The high-tech threads created by Schappe regularly receive prizes awarded totheir users. One of the latest is a prestigious award presented as part of the European Days ofComposites (JEC) to the Latecoere aerospace equipment supplier. But, for Schappe, this was a modestvictory.N ot easy getting yourself talked about encircle the planet, and small-to-medium when producing long-fibre yarns for enterprises specialising in technical products. technical applications, even when you The latest, in March 2011, to cite just one are a highly innovative leader. And yet... example, is the composite aircraft door"If we had to summarise our company values, developed by Latecoere, the equipmentwe would focus on innovation and discretion. manufacturer, which received one of theOur goal is not to put ourselves forward. We prestigious JEC Awards 2011 in Paris. Theare technicians. We develop highly specific structure, with stitched pre-forms in whichthread on specifications often developed with high-pressure resin (RTM) is injected, isour customers to meet the needs they express revolutionising the architecture and assemblywhen they come to us. This is the essence of of aircraft structures by reducing the time andour business". tools required for assembly. It uses a carbonCustomers: major international firms thread developed by Schappe, one of theManager of Schappe Techniques since the French partners of the project.takeover of the company in 2007, nearly 160 Traditional, but not onlyyears after its founding, Serge Piolat divides his "We definitely have a true culture oftime between its two sites - the Croix-aux- innovation; in the past, of course, but not only.Mines factory in the Vosges and the Blyes site Today, we reinvest more than 5% of ourin the Ain - and his customers. These include turnover in R&D". Result: an image of qualitymajor international groups, whose and increasingly efficient products dotted alongtechnological performance and innovation one and a half centuries of activity.
In fact, the Schappe story begins in the 19th Convinced of these advantages when hecentury, already with"originality": the company arrived at the helm in 2007, Serge Piolatrecycled and recovered scrapped silk. In the decided to push forward and reinforce the1950s, with the rise of artificial and synthetic upmarket position of the company in its corefibres, it developed the stretch-break markets such as personal protection andtechnology, intended for the traditional clothing composites. Thus, the business portfolioand furnishing sectors. Mastering these skills profoundly changed with a 2- to 3-figuremakes it possible to have intimate blends of increase in some key sectors in 2011.raw materials providing, for example, more Partner of Textilubsuppleness and comfort for clothing. To achieve these results, Schappe TechniquesDownstream of stretch-breaking, the spinning increased its efforts in R&D. The century-oldinvolves various operations: assembly, spinning business initiated projects with thereaming, cabling, impregnation, scraping, etc, help of OSEO and became involved in manygiving it a stature and position and opening up collaborative projects, with "approved" labelsa variety of markets. "Schappe business grew from the innovation clusters. For example,significantly in the 60s and 70s. The company within Techtera, it is a partner in the Textilubwas bought and then sold after the first oil project, led by SKF Aerospace and launched inshock in 1973. In the 80s, it took a major 2008 for a period of 3 years. Objective:turn", relates Serge Piolat. develop a new generation of self-lubricatingFocus on technical thread textile composite for aircraft articulations, theInnovation, indeed, again before the 21st results of which could be known in 2012.century, with the development of stretch-breaking and spinning technical fibre yarn.Over the years, the company completed its Schappe Techniques Parc Industriel de la Plaine de l’Aintransformation to focus on technical thread, Allée des Erablesand take the leading position in line yarn with a 01 150 Blyeswide range of products. 04 74 46 31 00"Stretch-breaking has many advantages: you email@example.com make very fine thread and blend it, in More information: www.schappe.comprecise proportions with raw materialsendowed with complementary characteristics.It produces very long, strong and regularfibres, even though they are discontinuous. Itcan produce thread more swelling and readyfor impregnation".
Bel Maille: a universe of knitting Founded: 1956 Turnover in 2010: €17 million (45% for export) Annual production: 4 million metres Workforce: 100 Products: creation, development and manufacture of knitted fabrics for clothing, lingerie and technical mesh in the fields of personal protection, medical, sport (functions of thermal insulation, moisture transfer, non-flammable, cut-resistant, automotive, 3D mesh, breathable waterproof membranes).Markets: clothing, lingerie, personal protective equipment (PPE), administrative andinstitutional markets, automotive, medical, industrial, sport & leisureSMS: the Riorges company, on the outskirts of Roanne, is an endangered species. It is currently oneof the few French companies, and the only one in the Rhône-Alpes, to be 100% specialised in mesh. Infact, Bel Maille has been knitting for over 50 years: originally for ready-to-wear, today increasingly formarkets consuming high-tech products, which represents 25% of its turnover. Taken over in 2009 byStéphane Ziegler, the Roanne SME successfully continues to diversify its activities.A t Bel Maille, we have several lives and developed on request or specifications of several trades. This company, based in customers from industry, personal protection, Riorges near Roanne, is a fine example. medical, motor racing, defence, etc. A showcase of its industry, its 11,000 m² Similarities between the two branches of theis a condensed history of textiles over the last business are creativity, response and50 years - a story in motion. adaptability, but also, and above all, the meshStarting from mesh for womens ready-to-wear and seventy circular knitting machines, which- including lingerie and swimwear, spearhead run non-stop. Every day, three new meshesof the 90s - it changed profoundly and are created...developed a range of technical mesh, first for A very special tradesport & leisure and image clothing, then for the "The knitting trade is very special. There areautomotive, health and increasingly diversified very few in France 100% specialised, like us.markets. Everything is made here on site in the factory.Seats in the A380 and gyms for the This is one of our special features". FormerLondon Olympics in 2012 executive of leading brands of clothing,In the company today, fashion coexists with Stéphane Ziegler took over the business fromfire-resistant materials, designers with the Bel family in 2009. Since then, he hasengineers, creation with R&D, quality-control increased diversification and modernisation.lab with the Parisian showroom. Every year, "This business has changed dramatically during600 different fabrics leave the factory for the its existence. When Jacques Bel founded it inmanufacturers of the major brands of ready-to- 1956, it was knitting exclusively for Frenchwear. While 50 to 100 new meshes are womens clothes. With the arrival of his
children, he embarked on creation and In the factory, the production process mustdeveloped technically into sportswear and include environmental requirements, notablyprotection products, particularly for export. A associated with recycling and waste recovery.fire destroyed the old factory in 1989. It was A lean management programme aimed atrebuilt on the present site". developing best practice was implemented.After this drama, and in the following years, Training for the 41 operators employed inthe change of orientation was definite: Bel production was streamlined.Maille set up its design department, knitting its Sustainable derma-textilesfirst seats for the Megane and Clio, and Upstairs, above the workshop, among thedesigning fabrics for personal protection. The designers, marketing and R&D, no letup either.finishing part was integrated: washing, The logo and graphics of the company werebleaching, mechanical and chemical finishes, given a new look. The marketing policy was todrying. An industrial waste treatment plant was become more aggressive. In the officesinstalled. Sales of technical textiles doubled in dedicated to the technical mesh and on the2006. The small Roanne company launched machines, we focus on very specific demandsinto specialty performance products for shoes, of customers, proposing increasinglyhelmets, gloves and suit linings. It invested in sophisticated tenders. With the leitmotiv: "Bela fleet of high-tech machines, with gauges to Maille is technology at the service of itsmake all sizes of mesh, and 3D knitting customers creativity".machines. New, ecological, fair-trade materialsare used in production, with, most importantly, Bel Maillethe launch of an "eco-friendly" line in 2008. 32 rue Paul ForgeTo survive, we must innovate ZI La Villette 42 153 Riorges"On arrival, I was impressed by the industrial Tel: 04 77 44 09 70tool, no doubt about that, but also by the mix Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org creativity and technology". Bel Maille had a More information: www.belmaille.frlot of potential; however, it needed to maintainits place in a highly competitive world. Whenhe took over control of the small business,Stéphane Ziegler was well aware of this fact.To survive, we must constantly innovate andcreate at all levels. In short, take up manychallenges.
Diatex "Made in" technical textiles Founded: 1986 Turnover 2010-2011: €12 million (including 40% export) Workforce: 25 Products: agro-textiles, filtration ducts and filters for automotive, pharmaceuticals, water purification, lightweight aerospace parts, parachute fabric and air brakes, fabrics for balloons and airships, linings of bulletproof vests, technical baggage, consumable films and textiles supplies for vacuum-moulding ofcomposites, etc.Markets: agriculture, aviation and aerospace, construction, industry, events, personalprotection, recreational boating and car racing, wind power, etc.Turnover per sector: composites (50%), technical textiles (30%), agriculture (17%), lightaircraft (3%)SMS: no silk industry past or weaving ancestor. From start-up in the 80s, the medium-sized firm fromSaint-Genis-Laval, in a suburb south of Lyon, focused 100% on technical textiles. Since then, it isdiversifying, not all categories, but in four key sectors: agriculture, aerospace, technical textiles andcomposites, with outstanding achievements. Some examples: filtration for buildings at the BeijingOlympic Games, the rear fuselage of the A380 and the fuel tank of the Ariane 5, etc. The weavingfactory, taken over in the Vercors around ten years ago, is turning at full speed seven days a week.T he story of Diatex begins with... fabrics for clothing or decoration. The company mosquito netting! Yet, nothing very aimed at diversification, but only into highly- exotic in the career of this small developed technical markets. technical textile firm. "The company Light aircraft: the only French companystarted with agro-textiles, fabrics for crop Diatex very quickly distinguished itself andprotection, such as anti-insect or windbreak invested in extremely specialist sectors. Itsnetting, different mesh fabrics with an impact mission? Respond to the specifications of itson plant pollination". When Philippe Gouthez customers or prospects, and develop new,founded Diatex in 1986, he had one idea in often-complex products with them. At the endmind: develop a new type of net, more of the 80s, it left the Lyon asphalt to settle ineffective, for agricultural protection. The larger premises in the heart of the industrialchallenge? Adapt the mesh to the requirements area south of the city. New address, newof air porosity, durability and ease of market: light aircraft. Using a very toughinstallation of protection systems. A 100% polyester fabric, the firm designed fins and thetechnical challenge, to which the small rear of small aircraft - a niche market in whichdebutant team, located in offices in central it is the only French player. "Our products areLyon, provided an innovative answer. lighter and stronger, which is of courseRight from the start, Diatex focused totally on essential. Our customers are airfields, smalltechnical textiles. No question of producing manufacturers and many individuals. It does
not represent high volumes, but it is one of the Rear fuselage of large aircrafttraditional divisions of the company". "We went for increasingly technical products,Ducts for the Olympics including one of our key products, used in theTraditional, and almost cultural, we would like design of the rear fuselage of the A380. Toto add because, after starting on the ground, work for Airbus, we of course had to obtain theDiatex rapidly rose into the air. With three key very-demanding EN 9100 aerospace standard,markets: filtration, events and aeronautics. but it has opened doors..." Diatex compositeAt the end of the 90s, this Lyon SME developed consumables are also used in the design of theits first textile ventilation ducts - again, from Ariane V fuel tank, and parts for the cars of theparachute fabric. The products are lightweight, Paris-Dakar race.washable, colourable and customisable, Storage space of 1500 m2endowed with a whole range of properties: Today, composites represent more than 50%antistatic, antibacterial, etc. Result: Diatex of sales. Yet this is not necessarily the onlyducts, now the French leader in 2008, were sector in development. Now aged 25, Diatexfitted in some of the Beijing Olympics reception continues to diversify and consolidate itsbuildings. strengths: strong export presence through aFour years earlier, in 2004, the company network of distributors of consumables, largelaunched membranes for balloons and airships, product storage capacity, cutting department,which also become one of its specialties. The etc. The adventure continues with, amongstrequirements for these complex textiles: the latest, a textile covering for castingresistant to UV, helium, tearing and, finally yet concrete parts to give them special forms.importantly, not turning yellow. Goal achieved, Planned for 2012: even better textiles forusing lamination and coating techniques personal protective equipment and parachutes,designed by the Lyon teams of weavers. followed by the long-awaited entry into serviceThe climb continues - in 2009, new entry in the of Airbus A 400 and A 350...range, with airbrakes for fighter aircraft.High-tech innovationsNevertheless, it is well before these successes Diatexthat the technical textiles expert really took off. 58 chemin des SourcesThe year 1994 marked a turning point, with the ZI La Mouche 69 230 Saint-Genis-Lavalstart of a totally new activity: film and textiles Tel: 04 78 86 85 00consumables used in the vacuum moulding of Contact: email@example.com materials. The process is complex. More information: www.diatex.comThe company provided high-tech innovations,designed and tested on site, on small pilotmoulds. Markets concerned: pleasure andracing boats, wind turbines, motor racing,electrical boxes, etc, and above all, aviation.In just over 10 years, from the late 90s andthe purchase of a weaving factory in theVercors, Diatex has not stopped developing,has quadrupled its workforce, and continues torack up significant achievements.
Denis & Fils, high fashion and high-tech Founded: 1956 Turnover in 2010: €5.5 million Workforce: 38 Products: textiles for clothing, optical-fibre textiles Markets: clothing, furniture, building, transport, communication, health Annual production: 840,000 metresSMS: what is common between a top-of-the-range sari and a luminous fabric made of optical fibre? Atfirst glance, not much. Nevertheless, there is indeed. In the Loire region, a small family businessweaves for both the luxury market and for high-tech textiles; it is one of the few - perhaps the onlyone - in France to master the technique. At the controls, the second and third generation of the Denisfamily perpetuate the family tradition of the business and fight successfully to maintain local industry.The result: a "gem" to be discovered in the village of Montchal, an SME that is full of treasure.Y ou will probably not believe this, but broche cut velvet, silk crepe, etc and, of Christian Denis could have a place in the course, natural silk form the "evening" lines, magazines of the popular press. Yet, he lingerie, jacquard, furnishings and tweed, is not that sort of chief at this small-to- which will make the rounds of internationalmedium textile firm located in the small village shows and will be proposed to buyers,of Montchal in the Loire region. No, his motto particularly for export to the Gulf, but alsowas more innovation and sustainable India, China and South Korea. If necessary, thedevelopment - no glossy paper. At Denis & Fils, samples presented are reworked to suitfor example, all stages of textile production are customers requirements; or recreated fromintegrated - from silk thread to the finished zero according to specification.product and verified in the laboratory -and all High precisionchecked locally. "Textiles are creation, of course. Nevertheless,Fashion models and stars above all, it is innovation. I have lived with thisNevertheless, in the corridors of the company, since childhood, and it is obvious. If we hadthe walls have some beautiful photographs of tried to make everything, we would not be heremodels and celebrities wearing haute couture now! Our job is very demanding and high-clothing and lingerie created with the fabrics of precision", says Christian Denis.this small family business in the Loire region. As proof, the other "specialty" developed by"One of our specialties is natural silk. So we the company in early 2000: optical-fibreare very active in the luxury market through weaving. The Montchal business is one of thepartnerships with major brands, some of which few French companies - perhaps the only one -date back more than 20 years", says Christian to master this technique, which it hasDenis. But hush, no question of giving names developed in partnership with the leader foror revealing trade secrets! In the fashion luminous textiles from Lyon, Brochierdesign studio, we are preparing the 2012-2013 Technologies, also a member of Techtera.winter collection. "Around fifty new models A real challenge - optical fibre is fragile! It tookevery season", declares Françoise Faure, the months of trial and adaptation of the jacquardcompanys fashion designer. Chiffon, satin,
weaving machines to manage, position and In the 90s, Denis & Fils bought a smallwork it without damage or breaks. drawloom firm and acquired a stake in theA 6-tonne prototype Hugo Soie silk-finishing firm. In 2007, here weToday, of the 48 looms that the factory has go again! Anxious to preserve the textile chain,nestled in a hollow in the village of Montchal, the company acquired 35% of the shares inone of the machines - a unique prototype Moulinages de Riotord specialising in twistingweighing six tonnes - weaves optical fibre full- fibre, including silk. From fibre to finishedtime, for future applications in transport, product, the overall industrial process has beenconstruction, communicating clothing, health, integrated. The plant has five warpingetc. High-tech is side-by-side with high fashion. machines for unwinding reels of thread beforeThe companys past meets its present. In weaving. Sampling is done on site. The qualitycharge since the mid-2000s, the third control of finished products is performed in thegeneration of Denis remains true to the lab.philosophy and history of a totally family- Trademark: familyowned firm. "The future, now, is Bruno and Fabienne!" TheCycling between looms third generation of Denis is a duo: consisting ofA story that begins in 1956: André, Christians Christians nephew and daughter. One isfather and artisan weaver, decided to set up on responsible for developing new high-techhis own and took over a workshop weaving for innovations; the other, for nurturing a range ofthe Lyon silk industry. The village of Montchal scarves, created and made on site, and twostill had nearly a hundred looms in homes. The annual collections, which are presented in theDenis firm very quickly expanded. The eldest factorys showroom. "One of the hallmarks ofson, Jean-Paul joined the team formed by his our company is the family! Not just the Denisparents and two employees. The limited family, but all the employees, who are veryliability company was founded in 1969. The loyal to us. We are sure this has helped us tofirst factory was built in 1984. It was equipped be successful, even if it was not always easy!"with the most modern looms. The followingyear, Denis & Fils launched its first range ofproducts. Denis & Fils"I joined the firm in 2000. We had developed a Le Bourglot. I was supervisor at the public works 42 360 Montchaldepartment. I spent my free time helping my Tel: 04 77 28 60 21brother. But that was not enough!" Christian is www.denisfils.frnot a little Denis for nothing. Like hisancestors, textiles are in his blood. "As a child,I cycled between looms!" Like them too, he isdetermined to fight to keep the industry andlocal expertise in their region.
Enveho: the thermal comfort specialists Founded: 2007 Turnover in 2010: €196,000 Workforce: 3 Trade: service provider (laboratory, R&D); expertise, research and development of textiles for personal protection and comfort Markets: clothing, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), sport & leisure, building, furniture, industry SMS: installed right in the Doua campus, in the heart of the science cluster of Villeurbanne (69), Enveho - the clothing environment of people - is a young company providing testing and R&D services. With a specialty all its own: protection and thermal comfort. Founded in 2007 by two women, the smallfirm has developed software for measuring thermal comfort, CASETO®, which allows its customers -mostly small-to-medium businesses - to identify the specifications of their products and adapt them totheir targets." T hermal comfort is a subjective formed with Amandine Souply, textile engineer, concept, which takes into account heat which is behind the project and development of transfer between people and their the firm. environment and each persons Thermal conductivity and radiationperception, including psychosocial factors. propertiesResearch into this is new. It only started in the Conceived around a very specific theme, the70s with a precursor, Fanger, a Danish small firm has several trades: testing andresearcher who was one of the first to analysis, conducted in the laboratory in Feyzin,mathematically model the human body. This is in the southern suburbs of Lyon, thethe reference in our field". Sabine Varieras, development of new products, together withaged 40, is a specialist in thermal comfort. industry, and establishing the specifications ofWith a Ph.D. in energy and heat transfer, she thermal comfort, which is still quite new.devoted her thesis to heat exchange in In the lab, the Sabine-Amandine duo evaluatesvehicles, then her early professional life to the the performance of work clothing or equipmentdevelopment of textile products, taking for firefighters and military personnel, andprotection and comfort into account. checks them for compliance with standards.Tailor-made They also perform tests on the thermalIn industry, where she held a position in the conductivity and radiation properties ofR&D for 3 years, the young scientist noted a textiles.lack; namely small responsive organisations Rating thermal comfortoffering advice and personal services to Their technology base, consisting of speciallycompanies wishing to test and provide developed measuring equipment and testspecifications for their products or develop new benches, enables them to function as anones. In 2007, she decided to set off on her external R&D centre working on innovationown and start a business: Enveho. The with the textile industry and other sectors suchcompany name is an acronym for the clothing as construction. To help them in this, theyenvironment of people; an idea worked out by partly rely on the thermal comfortboth of them. In fact, it was the duo that she
specifications software, which they launched in In 2009, Enveho expanded its small team and2009: Caséto®. recruited a young researcher preparing a thesis"The initial problem was to rate the thermal on the ergonomics of physical activities and thecomfort. Comfort means not being hot and not engineering-design of products. Over thebeing cold, not feeling uncomfortable drafts. months, the small firm has invested in newHowever, there are no standards similar to fields of application, including the buildingthose for protection. We therefore had to industry through insulation and furniture.define measurement indicators such as heat, "People are always at the centre of ourthe characteristics of the textile, moisture concerns. We protect persons, whether this bemanagement, the persons activity and at home, or why not, when travelling",environment, etc. Thats the basis of our Amandine Souply concludes, before adding,software" and the starting point of the firm. "Our role is important because we work on theSales pitch based on reliable information product design. We started six months beforeIn front of the computer screen, the user the crisis; to move forward, we had to buildenters the required information: textile our credibility! Sometimes its sport, but its acharacteristics (water vapour resistance, great adventure". Witness at the entrance ofthermal resistance, recovery rates, etc), the firm, a quote from Aristotle, posted on theactivity, environment (ambience, wind, etc). door: "There is no genius without a touch ofWithin seconds, the software provides accurate madness!" Talking about the future, no?data on thermal sensation and its variations,depending on environmental parameters and Envehoactivity (skin temperature, temperature of the Centre d’Entreprises et d’Innovationmaterial, radiation, moisture). "This allows our 66 boulevard Niels Bohrclients to establish their position and product 69 100 Villeurbannesales pitch based on reliable, verifiable Tel: 04 72 70 84 99scientific and technical information, which is Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org by full-scale tests. This is More information: www.enveho.comincreasingly important for the public", saysAmanda Souply. For manufacturers, too, sinceit allows them to validate their actions and/oradapt their products to their targets.Ergonomics of physical activitiesCaséto® has been running at full speed for twoyears, with key improvements. Developed fromsingle-layer clothing models, the software nowincludes multilayer clothing. In 2012, it willinclude the female variable and proposecalculations designed for each gender. "Eachstep takes a fair time to set up. Since start-up,our firm has evolved a lot. Our project is tocomplement this research with aspects ofproduct ergonomics and diversify into othersectors".
Ecole des Mines dAlès: Grey matter for industryFounded: 1843Workforce: 376Number of students: 813Number of engineering graduates: 181 (2010 figures)Budget: €31.4 millionTurnover through research partnerships: €2.7 millionNumber of research contracts: 127International publications: 43SMS: the Ecole des Mines dAlès, or EMA, is one of the oldest of seven French schools for mining.Founded in the 19th century to meet the labour needs of a booming mining industry, it has followed theevolution of history and has succeeded in accompanying industrial change. It now accommodates 800engineering students, most general, and ranks in the top tier of French engineering schools. At theforefront of innovation, its three research centres work on advanced materials, environment and riskmanagement, and new technologies of information and communication. The psychosensory propertiesof materials - smell, colour and touch - are screened for industrial applications, particularly in thetextile sector, but not only.A fter the 2011 summer holidays, 260 des Mines dAlès. It began to change. In over a new recruits joined the prestigious Ecole century and a half, the transformation was des Mines dAlès, in initial or continuous radical. training, 166 years after their elders, Engineer-entrepreneurswho made up the ranks of the promotion- Today, the Ecole des Mines dAlès offers itsbaptism of the School of Masters-Workers- students engineer-entrepreneur courses lastingMiners in 1845. three years, open internationally, with aThe Ecole des Mines dAlès is one of the oldest number of options and routes within the fiveof seven French mining schools with whom it departments of the institution allowing them toalso forms a large family: the group of mining orientate themselves to their choice ofschools, historical, like its little sister in Douai, profession: civil engineering, mechanical andwhich opened in 1878... The royal order to materials engineering, risk and environmentalcreate the Cévennes establishment was management, production engineering systems,enacted in 1843 to address the shortage of and information systems.personnel in the Languedoc mines. Objectives: "We could say that our trademark, or oldestfirstly, fulfil the labour needs in a growing activity, is civil engineering and construction.industry by training master-miners with This is what attracts most students. Our resultstheoretical and practical skills; secondly, are very good: 94% of our graduates have aenable young experienced workers to climb the job four months after gaining their diploma;ladder of social advancement - a promise kept one third of them in the building sector. This isright into the 60s. Affected by the decline of more important to us than our ranking in theFrench coal, the school then became technical, twenty to thirty top schools". Responsible forchanging its name to Ecole Nationale Technique relations with the innovation clusters, Mireille
Fouletier is a professor in a discipline that is themes, in a way, our warhorses. As regardsone of the jewels of Alès: mass-market materials, we work a lot on sustainability, lifematerials. "Our students receive a broad cycle and recycling of polymers. One of oureducation that will allow them to evolve specialties is also the behaviour of fire. Somethroughout their working life and come out of our work focuses on the mechanicalwith a double profile: technology and trade, properties of textiles: elasticity, strength, etc.making them operational quickly. Our mission For example, we have developed a highlyhas not changed all that much, despite the innovative photomechanical device that allowshistorical upheavals. Our function is always to us to monitor the deformation of textiles andmeet the needs of industry; as much in training establish laws of behaviour. The LGEI has astudents as in research". large team investigating smells and volatileColour and tactile properties of textiles organic compounds, and is developing organicAt Alès, Nîmes and Pau, where the school has filters for the decomposition of smells. We alsoits three sites and research centres, the motto have a big team working on natural andis indeed unchanging: listen to the needs of industrial hazards," sums up Mireille Fouletier.companies, considered as partners. The EMA is The oldest French technology incubatormember of eight innovation clusters and full The EMA is partner of the Doseless R&Dparticipant of the Carnot Institut, which project, which has the Techtera and Trimatecincludes the seven schools under the name "approved" labels for developing more efficientM.I.N.E.S. It puts applied collaborative personal radiation protection equipment forresearch and economic development at the those working in the medical and nuclearheart of its concerns. sectors. The EMA is undeniably noted for itsWitness to this, are its three research centres: close relationship with industry. "The schoolthe CMGD (centre for mass-market materials), distinguished itself very early through itsthe LGEI (laboratory for the industrial and teaching oriented towards entrepreneurship.natural environment) and the LGI2P Each year, our students have field missions in(laboratory for computer science and firms established locally, throughout Franceproduction engineering). They started their and even abroad".activities in the 80s, around themes related to Attesting to the strong links between thenew technologies, the industrial environmental campus and industry, the EMA is the leadingand materials, and including textiles with highly French business incubator. Founded in 1984, itspecific features. was extended with the creation of the ScienceSustainability, life cycle and recycling Park business centre on the Alès site, whoseThus, among others, the CMGD studies the first stone was laid in late 2010. Objective:psychosensory properties of materials, the first accommodate up to thirty new companies,of which is... colour. "We began by studying which will benefit from the proximity of thethe colour of mineral powders and then incubator and laboratory equipment. To beexpanded our research to other properties and continued...other materials. We were interested in theformulation of colours and visual effects in Ecole des Mines d’Alèsorder to develop a predictive model of the 6, avenue de Clavièresvisual aspect of materials. Its very innovative". 30 319 Alès cdx Tel: 04 66 78 50 00Also, very strategic for the manufacturers More information: www.mines-ales.frconcerned, ranging from the building industryto cosmetics, among others. Psychosensorytoo, are the tactile properties of textiles, forexample, on which a dozen researchers at theCentre are working with the University of Pau.With 127 current contracts, the list of activitiesand fields of investigation in the schools threeresearch centres is long. "We have several
ELyT Lab, the Franco-Japanese creators of "smart" materialsFounded: 2008Workforce: around 150 (students and researchers)Status: International Associated Laboratory (IAL) of the CNRSInstitutions involved: INSA Lyon, Lyon Ecole Centrale, Tohoku University (Japan)Research areas: biosciences and engineering, sustainability and reliability in energy andtransport, nano- and micro-materials, fluid dynamics, heat transfer and micro-fluids,tribologyApplication areas: health, industry, transport, electronics, energy, environment, etcSMS: ELyT Lab - meaning Engineering and Science Lyon Tohoku Laboratory - is a unique example inFrance of a public research laboratory associating two countries, France and Japan. Founded in 2008after over 20 years of varied collaboration between the three schools and universities involved, theFranco-Japanese laboratory is noted for its many fields of study and the number of researchers andstudents participating in this bicultural adventure. Results expected? Progress in basic research onsmart materials and multi-functionality (tribology - the science of friction and wear -, reactivity,mechanical and thermal properties) giving the possibility of many applications; closer relationsbetween the two countries. In March 2011, the two Lyon schools mobilised to help their Tohokucolleagues in Sendai, in the north of the archipelago, the region most affected by the tsunami." F or me it was a sign, an extraordinary and this is what makes it a success story - an coincidence. In 2007, the Lyon Ecole original bias: a multidisciplinary approach. Centrale celebrated its 150th For three years, ELyT lab has been noted for anniversary, Tohoku University its 100th the number of students and researchersanniversary and INSA Lyon, its 50th involved in its projects, the variety of topicsanniversary. We were then thinking deeply and vitality. Success was almost immediate.about the work areas for our future joint A deeply-rooted history...laboratory established in 2008. So, we all "In fact, our history goes back 25 years. Itparticipated in the festivities, in Lyon and began with the previous generation. OurJapan! The Japanese researcher, Prof. Tetsuo laboratories, whether in France or Japan, haveShoji, quoted here, is one of the three joint always been very active in the field of tribologyhead scientists of the ELyT Lab, the French- and smart materials. At the time, four of ourJapanese research laboratory set up under the internationally renowned professors regularlyauspices of the CNRS, by the Tohoku met each other in symposia. They got on wellUniversity, which he represents, INSA Lyon and with each other scientifically and becamethe Lyon Ecole Centrale. He, together with his friends. Those were the beginnings of ELyTcolleagues Jean-Yves Cavaillé and Philippe Lab", recalls Jean-Yves Cavaillé. At the time,Kapsa, designed, built and manage this unique this researcher, specialising in the science andlaboratory. A laboratory without walls and engineering of materials, was a member of thewithout its own equipment, like all the team of Professor Gobin, at INSA Lyon, one ofInternational Associated Laboratories (IAL) of the original four musketeers. In a few years,the CNRS, based on joint work teams and the the quartet set up the first collaborations,energy of several laboratories recognised in exchanges of PhD students, and increased thetheir fields on both sides of the planet. With - number of contacts. In 1997, it organised the
first Franco-Japanese Symposium on smart Five workgroups federated around five themes:materials, supported by the CNRS. The bioscience, sustainability and safety in energylaboratory teams involved were mobilised. The and transport, micro- and nano-materials, fluidbicultural adventure really began. From that dynamics, tribology. In three years, theymoment, the number of participants has became the fertile ground for 21 joint researchcontinued increasing. projects on various subjects.Their rallying point? The liaison office is on the An example? In the medical sector, theINSA Lyon campus, in Villeurbanne, on the first development of innovative biomaterials forfloor of the MATEIS laboratory. In these 20 m², catheters in the Biocat project, based notablywas born the embassy in 2004 through a on the tribology expertise of Lyon researchers,formal agreement between the three or innovative alloys used in hip replacements,institutions. Within these walls, are received endowed with special microstructuresstudents preparing their double degree. It was developed by metallurgists at INSA Lyon.opened in 2006 and, since late 2008, receives The projects, mostly focused on fundamentalJapanese researchers of ELyT Lab on mission research, generate international publicationsto Lyon. 10,000 km away in Sendai, the signed by ELyT Lab in scientific journals.configuration is identical: like in France, the Nevertheless, they arouse the interest of largeliaison office is the place for physical groups such as Total and EDF on the Frenchrepresentation of the agreements linking the side, the labs first industrial partners, but notFrench schools and the Japanese university - the only ones...the place where researchers and students meet A first ELyT Schoolto work. "In our three establishments, this laboratory isThe beginnings of a joint adventure... now by far our most important internationalHowever, the first joint research projects did collaboration," says the trio in chorus. "For itsnot wait for dedicated buildings and formal scientific advances of course, but also becauseagreements before starting. Work began long it demonstrates that we are convinced from thebefore the creation of ELyT Lab. In 1990, start: the meeting of cultures is a source ofstudents from the Ecole Centrale joined the innovation. It is necessarily creative".Tohoku teams working on the durability of No doubt, beyond the scientific aspects, ELyTvideo tapes. In 2003, a larger project was Lab is a cultural and human adventure. Inlaunched by the CNRS and its counterpart the 2009, the laboratory held its first summerTSPS. The markers of the joint laboratory were school: ELyT School, held each summer forin place. The idea caught on. In March 2008, three years. For around thirty participants,INSA Lyon and the Ecole Centrale submitted a alternately French side and Japanese side, itfile to the CNRS for an International Associated allows students and researchers to immerseLaboratory. In Japan, the administrative themselves for ten days in the culture of theirprocedures were begun at the same time. The partner country, with a programme of scientificofficial agreement for the birth of the IAL was lectures, visits and exchanges and awarenesssigned on December 8, 2008 in Sendai. It was of the cultural aspects of the host country.followed by a scientific symposium organised "It has taken a lot of time, but we see that ourfor the first time, with the name ELyT Lab. ties are becoming stronger". Witness to theseAn example: innovative biomaterials ties, is the solidarity of INSA and the Ecole"In fact, we went ahead quickly, despite the Centrale towards Tohoku, in the first hours ofadministrative aspects," recalls Philippe Kapsa, the earthquake on March 11, 2011. The INSAfrom the LTDS (laboratory of tribology and foundation donated to Haru, the association ofsystem dynamics) of the Lyon Ecole Centrale. Japanese students, to help reconstructOne year of scientific brainstorming was in fact laboratories damaged or destroyed by theenough to define the laboratory research tsunami. The Lyon Ecole Centrale received asubjects, with the underlying theme: small group of students deprived of premises.multidiscipline, and objective: link up the With 40,000m² of buildings damaged, themutual excellence to start totally new projects.
Japanese University had to work extra hard torestore its infrastructure and continue its work.Beyond scientific exchanges...A major event, the March 11 tsunami isprobably also a turning point for ELyT Lab. Aninternational scientific programme, bringingtogether researchers from the laboratory and amuch wider network of expertise in NorthAmerica, Asia and Europe, will be launched in2012 at Tohoku University. Objective: toexplore new solutions to prevent damage dueto tsunamis, using information gathered afterMarch 11, working in particular on thedissipation of sea energy. Students of thedepartment of Science and MaterialEngineering at INSA Lyon are already workingon innovation projects concerning theprevention of tsunamis; the first workshopdevoted to this research is scheduled for late2012. Techtera will be closely involved.Elyt Lab – Bureau de liaisonINSA de Lyon69 221 Villeurbanne cdxTel: 04 72 43 81 84More information: www.insa-lyon.fr/Laboratoires/GEMPPM/ang_index.html
Sofileta boostsinnovationFounded: 1911Workforce: 235Turnover in 2010: €55 millionTrades: warping, weaving, knitting, dyeing, finishing, coating, laminatingProducts: jacket textiles for firefighters, racing driver suits, protection against electric arc,functional textiles for sport, refreshing and energizing textiles, components for aerospace, etcMarkets: sport, lingerie, fashion clothing, bags and luggage, personal protection, aerospace,automotive and medicalSMS: Sofileta is part of a family Group, which from preparing the thread to the final finishing of mono- ormulti-layer fabrics, masters many textile trades. When the Group began, just 100 years ago, their tradewas the work of dyeing for the Lyon silk industry. Today Sofileta has an industrial organisation withseveral production sites in Isère, where the Bourgoin-Jallieu SME prepares the thread, weaves, knits, andfinishes... And, every year, launches a significant number of innovative products in its preferred markets:sport and personal protection. Growing, despite the crisis, this model company applies its expertise tonew horizons, including aviation. U nique: this could summarise the profile the Isère family Group factories do beaming, of Sofileta, the family-owned firm. weaving, knitting and finishing, and have sites Situated in Bourgoin-Jallieu, about fifty in other parts of the region. "We made a kilometres east of Lyon, it is based on choice… We could have relocated at any time. an industrial organisation incorporating almost We have done the opposite and prefer being all the textile trades on several Isère sites. Full successful with French industry. This took, and industrial integration in less than 100 years. still takes, a lot of courage and tenacity". What could be better? Seventy percent for export An industrial heritage Totally French, the SOFILETA company is "In France there are very few textile companies organised around business units for the like us, who combine the two techniques of markets: Sofileta Advanced Textiles for weaving and knitting, with a good balance personal protection, Sofileta Advanced between the two". Chairman of the board since Materials for industrial applications and Sofileta 2007, Benoit Bouret is the third generation of ActiveWear-Bodywear-Fashion for sport, the family. Today at the helm, along with his lingerie, ready-to-wear and bags. These are father, Jean-Claude Bouret, the young separate units, each with their line manager, manager, graduated from HEC in 2007, is well their R&D and sales teams. Objective: simplify aware of being at the head of an industrial and clarify the organisation and activities of the heritage. "Sofileta condenses the whole history company management, particularly as regards of textiles. The company has followed textiles, international customers. In 2010, Sofileta and adapted, from the outset. We are achieved 70% of its turnover from exports. centenarians and have been faithful for many It is difficult to portray all the products sold in years to our strategy of integration and Europe, particularly the East, Asia and South diversification. First and foremost, our Group is America. Two of the companys specialties have a powerful industrial tool." become famous: sport and personal protection, The Sofileta trade is to design, develop and areas where Sofileta has contributed major market technical and functional textiles. Also, innovations. One of the latest? Sofileta Cooling
Fabrics®, a technology exploiting the subcontractors. The company designed andrefreshing properties of a revolutionary sold finished products - only to the clothingpolymer: it absorbs moisture from the body sector at the start. Our flagship product at theduring physical activity and provides freshness time was acetate lining, of which we were onein exchange. This product, developed in of the largest European producers". But, nopartnership with the Belgian company Luxilon, question of resting on our laurels. In the earlymanufacturer of the filament, won an award for 90s, Sofileta added a first knitting unit andinnovation in May 2011 during the prestigious launched new lines of product, beforeTechtextil international trade fair in Frankfurt. developing textiles increasingly complex in"What is also very innovative, is the their properties and functions.specification work done on textiles using this A brand new factorypolymer. Comparative tests have been Next rendezvous: in 2013, 102 years old, theconducted on a laboratory model simulating Group will offer itself the luxury of celebratingthe human body with its heat and moisture its centenary and, above all, writing a newexchanges. A temperature difference on the chapter in its history. If administrativesurface of the skin between 1.4°C and 3°C was obstacles do not excessively delay the project,measured after 60 minutes of physical effort, a brand new factory will open in Isère. High-compared with existing fabrics on the tech and "clean", it will focus on new moresportswear market. This is not mere sales energy-efficient technologies, optimisedtalk". processes, more environment-friendly, andAerospace, automotive and medical technologically advanced. Without doubt, thisOther examples of star products: the will boost the success of the Isère SME. AmongSofilArc® range for the electrical industry, those coming in 2012: Sofileta Energizingproviding protection from electric arc, the Fabrics®, a technology that could, if ongoingDiamond Technology® innovation, which trials confirm, confer slimming and stimulatingthrough its special weaving, functions and new properties to lingerie or clothing worn close toperformances, provides fire and heat resistant the body. This just shows, concluded the youngtextiles, or SofiShield® technology, which is head of the company, "there is alwaysabout to be marketed in Europe after two years something to invent". Listening to him, weresearch, gives treated textiles outstanding have no doubt that this is true.resistance to abrasion without compromisingbreathability and flexibility. SofiletaTwo years ago, Sofileta added another string to 25, Petite Rue de la Plaineits bow, with the development of technologies 38 311 Bourgoin Jallieu Tel: 04 74 43 55 00inducing new functional processes in textile Contact: email@example.com. The hundred-year-old company More information: www.sofileta.cominvests in new markets: aerospace andmedical. "Our culture is diversification. Whatmarks our history, are the technical challengesto which we have responded. We are thereforeconsistent with our past".When Grandfather Benoit Bouret joinedSofileta, shortly after the founding of thecompany in 1911, and took over management,the little firm had only one trade: dyer for theLyon silk industry. It mutated in line with thegreat transformations in the sector, with theadvent of artificial and then synthetic fibres,and expanded rapidly in the 60s, until the keydate: 1969, when it bought a major weavingfactory. "From then on, we ceased to be mere
The LGCIE, pioneer in the environmental monitoring of siliconesFounded: 2007Staff: 88 teachers-researchers and administrative staff, about 50 Ph.D. studentsResearch domains: civil engineering and urban planning, environmental analysis ofprocesses and industrial systems, urban hydrology, treatment and recovery of waste, soils,polluted sedimentsSMS: here, in this Villeurbanne laboratory on the INSA Lyon campus, the science of waste treatmenttook its first steps in the early 70s, led by visionary chemist professors - Alain Navarro and JohnVéron. The initial chemist approach was then enriched by the addition of process systems researchers.Then, in January 2007, the team collaborated with other separate institutions, INSA and UCBL Lyon1,to form the LGCIE (laboratory of civil and environmental engineering). Thereafter, research madesignificant advances. Today, one of the teams flagship topics focuses on the anaerobic digestion oforganic waste and energy recovery from the biogas produced. Thus, the team conducted the first workin France on the deterioration of silicones present in countless consumer products.D id you know? Every French person uses planning and environmental analysis of an average of 1 kg of silicon per year, processes and industrial systems. found in cosmetics, health, household "We started from nothing. Our knowledge was products, shampoos, paint, zero! What pushed us into this was a problemrepositionable adhesive, bathroom joints, encountered in the field by the biogas energykitchen moulds, electrical insulation, mobile recovery sector; the gas (over 50% methane)phone shells, etc. A recent but exponential produced by the fermentation of waste.development: since their post-war discovery, Unexplained deposits of silica (abrasive) on thethese chemical products derived from silicon energy-recovery engine pistons were likely toand silica (sand) continue to procreate. Their damage them. We analysed these deposits andapplications are endless. No wonder: their went up the chain to discover that they cameproperties, resistance in particular, put them in from the deterioration of silicones in waste.the first rank of performance polymers. Current This is how our work started". Seven yearsglobal growth is 6-7% per year. In short, they later, Patrick Germain, professor and head ofare everywhere, and their future is assured. the environmental, industrial and urban scienceStarting from scratch... degree from 2005 to 2010, gives anSilicones are central to the work done by the enthusiastic report. "Here in our laboratory,LGCIE (laboratory of civil and environmental around ten researchers are involved inengineering) of Villeurbanne on the LyonTech methanisation, biogas and silicone! It must becampus of Doua. said that since 2004, the general context hasThe groundwork began in 2004. The teams evolved a lot. The interest in these subjects isfrom INSA Lyon and the Claude Bernard Lyon I greater now". The first world thesis on theUniversity, came together in 2007 under that relationship between the deterioration ofname to pool their respective fields of silicones, and the technical and economicinvestigation in civil engineering, urban problems engendered, was continued by the LGCIE in 2008; another topic followed in 2011.
A patent was filed on a method for analysing most common material on the planet. But, we,biogas. A purification process was developed the researchers and manufacturers, know whatand field-tested. Today, LGCIE is the only is needed to get that far".French laboratory successfully working on the Hydrology, environmental engineeringdeterioration and environmental impact of Examining environmental issues to improvesilicones. their consideration when preparing building"We are different because of our plots and provide better control over pollution:multidisciplinary approach. When we started such could summarise the overall definition oftalking about the science of waste in the 70s, the work done by the LGCIE. With a strongonly chemists were interested. Then we presence on the ground for sewerage,recruited biologists, geologists, statisticians. purification or waste treatment plants (fromOur research on silicones combines many skills. which researchers regularly take samples), theThis gives us another outlook. For us, 1 + 1 lab works on a variety of subjects inequals 3". partnership with local communities and waste-Global benchmark in the sector treatment and construction companies.The equation shows the value of adding talent. Its role? Identify, analyse and study recoveryManufacturers quickly understood this. Hence, possibilities. For this, the teams employ allof course, the global benchmark in the sector - their expertise: hydrology, environmental andBluestar Silicones, one of the leading silicone civil engineering; the examples abound. Thus,manufacturers, first-class leaders in markets in the Lyon area, the LGCIE continuouslysuch as elastomers for paramedics and the monitors the many physical-chemicalautomotive industry, anti-adhesion for parameters of wastewater and surface water inpackaging, adhesives and textile coating for the sewers. It also takes specific samples forairbags, technical textiles and lingerie. From its its research into the impact of weatherbirth in 2007, and the takeover of the silicone conditions or human activities. Our teams alsobusiness by the Bluestar Group from the work on the transformation of householdRhodia chemist, the new unit formed a closer rubbish into materials usable for sub-layers ofrelationship with the Villeurbanne lab. roads or in the building industry.Objective: measure the impact of its products The long-term aim is greater recovery andin the waste treatment sector. European recycling of waste. "Today, we only reuse 30%regulations require the silicone industry to of biogas production. With the explosion ofreview its production processes and use new renewable energy, this percentage will increasetypes of catalysts free of tin or mercury dramatically. We need to work on, study andcompounds. Bluestar Silicones took up this eliminate the technological blocks in these newenvironmental and economic challenge and waste-recovery sectors".launched a collaborative research project:ECOMAT, approved by Techtera in 2009, with LGCIE – Laboratoire de Génie Civil etfour manufacturers and three research d’Ingénierie Environnementalelaboratories, including LGCIE, as partners. One Tel: 04 72 43 82 76 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org of this project, supported by the French email@example.com, was to assess the environmental More information: http://lgcie.insa-lyon.frimpact and study the deterioration of siliconeproducts with this new generation of catalysts.Conclusion? Too early to tell; the research isstill going on but the outlook is attractive."ECOMAT is expanding our areas ofinvestigation, allowing us to better understandthe decomposition of silicones. Possibly even,to eventually control it with super-bacteria andmove towards biodegradable silicones. If allgoes well, the silicone will finish as sand, the
TECHTERA: FACTS AND FIGURESTechtera is the innovation cluster for textiles and flexible materials in the Rhône-Alpesregion. A network of manufacturers, researchers and persons in higher education gatheredaround one aim: to develop R&D partnership projects (involving at least two firms and onelaboratory). Focused on its mission, innovation, the cluster offers its members a range ofservices dedicated to the development of new products, processes and technologies:Innovation Workshops, "project" workgroups, search for partners and funding, monitoring offunded R&D projects, international communication and development, etc.Founded: July 2005Number of members: 110, including 80% manufacturers and 70% small-to-medium firms(2010 figures)Number of projects supported by the cluster: 204Number of projects with the clusters "approved" label: 110An average of 4.5 partners per project (manufacturers, research laboratories, technicalcentres)R&D budgets for all projects funded since the clusters creation: €137 million.Fifty-five percent of the clusters manufacturing members are partners of one or moreprojects.To do this, they invested more than €11 million in R&D from their own capital in 2009.