Inauguration of the AXEL'ONE PMI platform: materials in the spotlight in the Innovative Materials Platform
At the heart of the Vallée de la Chimie, the Axel'One PMI (Innovative Materials Platform) hosts, supports and gives R&D projects the means to succeed in the field of innovative materials. The Axel'One PMI platform encourages the pooling of research tools, both for innovative VSE/SMEs and for collaborative projects. A look back at the inauguration of this new structure located in Saint Fons and backed by Solvay's research and innovation centre.
Nearly a year and a half after the foundation stone was laid (April 2013), the Axel'One platform opens its doors with already more than 60 researchers and experts working on the materials of tomorrow, spread over four technology platforms: Composite Materials, Bio-Materials, Materials for Sustainable Building and Materials Recycling.
A shared desire of the stakeholders to establish themselves in the heart of the chemical valley
Consisting of 1200 m2 of technological hall, 800 m2 of research laboratories and 1400 m2 of tertiary surfaces, the platform is tailor-made to accommodate open innovation and the co-activity of different entities conducting R&D programmes. Carried by SCI Novaone IMMO (SERL and Caisse des Dépôts Group) with a financial participation from Greater Lyon, this real estate program of around €10 million is the result of an architectural project signed by Amplitude and entrusted to Sogelym Dixence for the design and construction of the building. To support its growth, the SMI platform, winner of a call for projects launched in 2008 by the State and Caisse des Dépôts on innovation platforms, also benefits from a €2 million operating subsidy from the State (DGCIS).
Host complementary entities to foster research
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To date, six research projects have joined the Axel'One PMI platform (projects led by Bluestar Silicones, CNRS/Solvay and Solvay) as well as four VSE/SMEs: E-Xtream, Lactips, Mécanium and Skinjay.
With them, these entities bring to the platform their collaborative research programs and the research tools needed to meet the main challenges identified in the field of materials: lighter structures, energy savings, functional materials, durability, improvement of mechanical properties, thermal resistance and recycling. All of these challenges aim to produce competitive high-performance materials with a low environmental footprint.
Four technological platforms to develop the materials of tomorrow
Three technological platforms have already been set up since September 2014:
- Composites Platform (Tools for shaping materials, 250 m2, technological hall, PMI site).
- Bio-materials platform (Material characterization tool in controlled atmosphere, 150 m2, technological hall, PMI site).
- Plateau Matériaux Bâtiment Durable (Coating on functional flexible substrates - 150 m2, technology hall, PMI site, etc.)
A fourth zone will be set up during 2015, around the recycling of materials. In addition to these areas, experts and researchers in modelling (E-Xstream) and materials characterisation (Mécanium) will provide scientific support and will integrate collaborative projects.
Research projects for the transition to industrial scale
PMI currently hosts several collaborative projects and start-ups, all involved in projects aimed at improving or developing innovative materials:
- Bluestar Silicones, leader of the ECOSILAC collaborative project for the Eco Design of Silicone Acrylates, shares a pilot tool and skills for surface modification of flexible substrates on the PMI platform. Other collaborative projects such as BIONICOMP and SMOUSSIF will also benefit from this technological environment.
- SOLVAY carries out projects aimed at reducing environmental impact through composite materials (lighter vehicles): STIICPA, and Bio-Materials: POLYWOOD and CAPLA.
- The TAPAS collaborative project led by the joint SOLVAY-CNRS unit concerns polymers and advanced materials.
- The LACTIPS company is specialized in the development of plastics from milk casein: 100% biodegradable, edible, bio-sourced, compostable.
- SKINJAY is conducting research on new materials (recyclable and recyclable materials).
biodegradable) for the design of shower capsules for the diffusion of skin care products and fragrances in water.
- E-XSTREAM develops non-linear multi-scale modeling software for composite materials and structures.
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- MECANIUM is a test centre for material resistance and characterization of the mechanical behaviour of structures.
Teams and tools in one place to increase competitiveness
On the Axel'One PMI site, academic researchers, experts, entrepreneurs, industrialists, as well as all their customers, suppliers and partners come together on a daily basis. This "melting pot" ensures the permeability between industry and public research, thus encouraging the emergence of breakthrough collaborative projects. The ultimate goal is both to shorten the time to market for new products and to reduce development costs by pooling technological tools. Optimal conditions for the birth of tomorrow's materials.
Located in the Lyon region, the Axel'One collaborative innovation platform hosts and supports collaborative R&D projects as well as VSE/SMEs in the chemical and environmental sectors.
Axel'One is a non-profit association created in June 2011 at the initiative of 8 members Founders, including academic institutions (CPE Lyon, ENS de Lyon, INSA de Lyon and Université Lyon 1), public institutions (CNRS, IFP Energies nouvelles) and industrial companies (Solvay and SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT).
Axel'One has three sites in the Lyon area: PMI (Plateforme Matériaux Innovants) in Saint-Fons, PPI (Plateforme Procédés Innovants) in Solaize and Campus (Plateforme Recherche Fondamentale) in LyonTech-la Doua, all serving the Axelera (chemicals-environment in Lyon), Plastipolis (plastics in Oyonnax), Tenerrdis (renewable energies in Grenoble) and Techtera (textiles and flexible materials in Lyon) competitiveness clusters.