By Louise McHenry, ERJ staff
Orleans, France -- French rubber and
polymer association ElastopÃ´le spent over Euro 50 million on R&D
projects and collective programmes in 2010 in its quest to promote
and develop the French elastomer industry.
The â€œcompetitiveness clusterâ€ of
rubber companies, research laboratories and universites, and
suppliers and users said in its 2010 report that the money was spent
developing research and innovation. In the report, ElastopÃ´le also
outlined its programme of national and regional events, and promotion
of the industry in the media.
ElastopÃ´le cited a number of
continuing three-to-four-year R&D projects in its report such as
vulcanisation optimisation study Thermel, and Cana, which focuses on
the development of natural rubber for anti-vibration uses. Each
project involves different partners from within the organisation's
members that work with ElastopÃ´le in achieving the projects'
ElastopÃ´le, which was founded in 2006,
created a Scientific Council at the start of 2010 and appointed
Claude Janin as the head of the council. The Scientific Council is
charged with developing new ideas and innovations. Janin and his team
identified six areas for priority research, including nanotechnology,
green materials, and rubber substrates.
The Scientific Council organised a
series of meeting days for each area, the first of which was held on
9 Feb 2011, ElastopÃ´le said in the report.
The association also invested in what
it called 'collective actions,' programmes of education aimed at
helping rubber businesses prepare for REACH regulation and achieve
effective management within their companies.
â€œCompetitiveness clusters are a
decisive vehicle of economic and industrial policy in France,â€ said
Didier FÃ©gly, ElastopÃ´le president and Sacred CEO.
He added, â€œThe procedures of
innovation must allow our economy and our businesses the best way to
confront international competition and the big social, economic and
environment issues of the 21st century.â€
During 2010, Olivier Gille joined the
organisation as operational director, leading the team in charge of
project management. ElastopÃ´le said in the report that it appointed
two interns. One was tasked with researching â€œthe implementation of
a economic intelligence policyâ€ while the other was to identify new
members. The interns worked for for a period of six and three months
Membership of ElastopÃ´le was up by 12
in 2010 with a total of 89 members, including Sacred, Goodyear Dunlop
Tyres France, Trelleborg Modyn and ETRMA (European Tyre and Rubber
Manufacturers Association). ElastopÃ´le said that its goal was to
reach 110 members by the end of 2011.
FÃ©gly said that 2010 was the year of
international development and maturity. Throughout the year, the
association participated in a number of major events internationally,
nationally and in its four regions throughout France, ElastopÃ´le
said in the report. The organisation also highlighted its links with
international companies and associations.
ElastopÃ´le also outlined its tools of
communication for 2010, aimed at spreading the work of the
association, nationally and internationally. This included the daily
updating of the ElastopÃ´le website and participation in a number of
Website of Elastopole (French language)