Another innovation platforms
Axelera has certified five innovation platforms: Provademse, TekLiCell, Gaya, Rovaltain Research Company, and Astus Construction.
An innovation platform is a shared-access facility offering physical space, services, and staff to a community of users—especially businesses—on a pay-per-use basis to support their R&D and innovation projects.
The overriding objectives of these platforms are first to ensure that the technologies developed are transferred from the lab to industry and, second, to promote collaborative R&D projects.
Provademse serves innovative ecotech and cleantech businesses by providing shared access to know-how and resources, with a particular focus on sustainable waste management, water resource management, raw materials management, and energy management in highly-anthropized (urban and industrial) environments. Provademse was established to make available to the region’s businesses the fruits of research and educational programs in these fields by nine public-sector institutions (INSA Lyon, ENTPE, BRGM, CSTB, ENSMSE, UJF, G-INP, CNRS, and UCBL, all members of one or both of the scientific interest groups ENVIRHONALP and EEDEMS).
Provademse has two lab facilities:
- One on the LyonTech-la Doua campus in Villeurbanne
- One on the Grenoble-Alpes University Campus in Saint Martin d’Hères, near Grenoble
TekLiCell was founded by partners Grenoble Institute of Technology, the Center for Paper Research & Development, and Grenoble Institute of Technology’s Pagora school of paper, biomaterials, and printing technologies. The TekLiCell platform focuses on:
- smart paper and new printing technologies
- biomaterials, bioenergy, and bioprocesses
TekLiCell was established to pool the three founding partners’ resources in these fields to:
- create a center for research, education, and innovation in paper, printing, packaging, and processing recognized nationally and internationally
- develop relationships with industrial partners and, especially, small businesses
- create synergies with all Grenoble Institute of Technology labs and their partners
- secure an international leadership position in the scientific research and technology fields covered by the platform
The Gaya project kicked off in 2010 with a European consortium of eleven partners from industry, academia, and government. Gaya is a research and development project to validate innovative technologies and applications for second-generation methane, mainly produced from lignocellulosic biomass such as wood and straw.
The Gaya facility in Saint-Fons, at the heart of Chemical Valley, is itself a technological challenge. Ultimately, Gaya will produce a second-generation green gas that can be transported via today’s existing networks or used as-is to fuel natural gas vehicles. Gaya will leverage an innovative production process called methanation, using biomass such as wood and straw residues.
Gaya will also serve as an experimental testing ground for the future biomethane production plants that could become a reality as early as 2020. The green gas will be both economical and environmentally-friendly, with overall yields expected to exceed 60%. Few of today’s processes can achieve this level of efficiency, which more than offsets production costs.
The budget at project launch was €47 million; €19 million of this budget came from subsidies from France’s national energy agency ADEME.
ROVALTAIN RESEARCH COMPANY
Rovaltain Research Company is a research and services company located near Valence, one of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region’s main cities. From innovation-related services to regulatory testing to assess the potential risks of chemical and biological contaminants, the company’s environmental toxicology and ecotoxicology activities meet the needs of academic research and industrial R&D labs.
Rovaltain Research Company’s commitment to quality scientific research, its battery of latest-generation equipment, and its team of specialized scientists position it to provide reliable, independent research and testing.
Astus Construction is an innovation platform for the construction industry. It is certified Bâtiment Energie.
The platform, open to all construction-industry stakeholders, promotes innovation and economic growth.
It will be housed on the Le Clou site in the town of Isle d’Abeau, also home to Les Grands Ateliers innovation, architecture, engineering, and art workshops, and is slated to open by end-2016. The platform will focus on assembling new building construction systems and develop innovations to meet user needs.
Astus Construction was set up as part of the Rhône-Alpes regional development plan and the French government’s sustainable construction plan. The platform runs projects across the region; its current 1,500 sq. m center has three service units:
- Engineering and prototyping, which offers testing and training services, makes recommendations, and promotes sustainable construction
- Production and assessment, where building and integrated systems designers can develop new solutions
- Digital construction, a research unit that focuses on the quality and performance of projects integrating new digital practices