New businesses and facilities

A total of seven new businesses and other facilities have elected to open in the region under Axelera-certified projects set up to help create the scientific and business environment the cluster’s members need to fuel their innovation strategies.

CLEA, the lyon environment and analysis campus

CLEA, the Lyon Environment and Analysis Campus, opened its doors in December 2013. The campus’ three buildings—CRMN, Irstea, and ISA—are home to research units in the fields of environmental science and analytical chemistry. The campus is conveniently located near the LyonTech-la Doua campus in Villeurbanne. Nearly 300 researchers work at the campus.



The Laboratoire Polymères et Matériaux Avancés (Polymers and Advanced Materials), LPMA – UMR5268, created jointly between Solvay and CNRS, works primarily on semi-crystalline polymers (including biosourced polymers), elastomers, and combinations of non-polar and polar polymers, with an emphasis on rheological and mechanical properties, barrier properties, and ultimate properties. 

Through fundamental research on systems and topics of interestwe aim to develop materials with finely controlled properties, which meet three major challenges: a significant reduction in the weight of various parts of land transport vehicles; improvement of barrier properties for environmental safety; and control of the lifecycles of engineered plastics and rubbers. 

The lab houses 7 research scientists (3 CNRS researchers & 4 Solvay researchers), one Solvay technician and around 10 PhD students, post-doctorate fellows and invited professors/researchers. 

The LA FEYSSINE wastewater treatment plant

The La Feyssine city wastewater treatment plant treats wastewater from 300,000 residents for a total volume of 91,000 cu. m per day. 

The plant was commissioned in 2011 to lighten the burden on the Saint-Fons wastewater treatment plant and improve the Greater Lyon area’s city wastewater treatment cycle.

The plant uses a “free culture” process to treat the wastewater, which is then released into the Rhône River, in compliance with EU standards.



the RE-SOURCE project

The Re-source project, led by Suez subsidiary Sita, has been certified by Axelera. The project will develop processes for separating plastics from ferrous and non-ferrous metals and for industrial scale sorting by family (PVC, PP, etc.). The goal is to recycle these materials into new materials of use in manufacturing industries.

The project directly resulted in the construction of Sita’s D3E plant in Feyzin, which specializes in recycling end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment. The plant, which went online in 2010, leverages an industry-leading process ensuring both depollution and optimal recycling of the following equipment:

  • Large cooling appliances: refrigerators and freezers
  • Mixed small appliances: toasters, microwave ovens, hairdryers, etc.
  • Screens/displays


lyon chemistry institute technology platform

The Lyon Chemistry Institute (ICL) of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) is a multi-institution hub for chemistry research in Lyon. The Institute’s mission is to bring together some of Lyon’s leading international-caliber chemistry researchers in a broad range of specialty fields to address major industrial and societal challenges in materials, healthcare, the environment, food, and energy. The Institute helps create synergies between academic research and Axelera (and, in particular, the cluster’s small- and mid-sized business members) and contributes to forming a stronger, more structured chemistry research community in Lyon and across the region.

The Institute focuses on five major themes: analytical chemistry, the environment, processes, materials, and healthcare.


the biochemistry institute

The Biochemistry Institute (Institut de chimie du vivant) brings together in a single facility two chemistry research labs covering microbiology and molecular and supramolecular chemistry and biochemistry.

It rounds out the existing life sciences research taking place at ICL and as part of Axelera-certified projects for bioactive molecules and bio-based chemistry.


the INTERFORA training and consulting center

Interfora provides chemical-industry and process training and consulting services. The center has a technical unit used for the following activities:

  • Training center for vocational to undergraduate students in work-study programs; students can participate in programs at Interfora or partner institutions in the region, such as IFAIP.
  • Consulting and continuing professional development in regulatory issues, technical and competency upleveling, and performance improvement..



the GAYA platform

The Gaya R&D project kicked off in 2010 and involves eleven industrial, institutional, and academic partners from across Europe. The project aims to validate innovative technologies and applications for so-called “second-generation” biomethane, derived mainly from lignocellulosic biomass (wood, straw, etc.).

The project encompasses an advanced technology platform (ground broke on the new facility in 2013); a new green gas and a methanation process (with the goal of carving out a position in the energy mix); and, finally, an organization.

The platform is today used as a pilot plant to test processes for tomorrow’s biomethane plants (2020 and beyond).