Atlantic France has established itself as a leader in the composites market. With a network of research and development centres, clusters and platforms, the region has developed a strong ecosystem for innovation. JEC World 2023 is approaching, and Atlantic France will be there to showcase its know-how in the field of sustainable composites.
Atlantic France is at the forefront of the composites industry, with a focus on sustainable and innovative solutions. Companies in the region have incorporated composites into their products, using the durability and flexibility of the materials to meet ambitious sustainability targets.
With the use of composites expected to grow by 8% each year until 2025, the region has invested in research and development centres, such as the Composites Technocampus (see below), to develop innovative technologies for the manufacturing and assembling of large composite parts.
Atlantic France players have also recognised the challenge of composite waste and have invested significantly in the development of thermoplastic resins that are both high-performance and recyclable.
Innovating to make composites greener
Many players are leading innovative projects on composites in Atlantic France. Here are some examples:
- The IRT Jules Verne, with its ZEBRA project (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch – Research on Zero Waste Blades), is bringing together a consortium of industrial players and research centres. The aim? To develop the first 100% recyclable wind turbine blade. Launched in September 2020 for a period of 42 months, the project has a total budget of €18.5 million.
- The aircraft manufacturer Daher opened an innovation centre near Nantes in October 2022. It is dedicated to the composite aerostructures of the future. Called “Shap’In“, this 1,600 sqm technology centre will employ 160 people and respond to the technical, economic and environmental challenges of the sector.
- The startup company Fairmat raised €8.6 million to industrialise its technology for the circular production of thermoset composites based on carbon fibres. The former Hexcel Composites factory in Bouguenais (44) is where the deeptech startup has launched this revolutionary industrial process.
- The company Airencos in Pornichet, which helps manufacturers to optimise their production processes, plans to invest €2.6 million in the development of flax and hemp fibres, offering a bio-based alternative to carbon fibre.
- Nantes skipper Armel Tripon, who came 11th in the most recent Vendée Globe, will build his new boat using fibre scraps and composite parts from the Airbus Technocentre. Such a project has never been attempted before! Armel Tripon intends to launch this newly-built Imoca at the 2024 edition, which will be a first for the nautical industry.
- The EMC2 cluster organises Composites Meetings, an international business conference for composites. The 9th edition will be held in November 2023 in Nantes. An exhibition at the heart of the event, Green Composites, will highlight all the “green” initiatives of the industries in the sector.
The place to be for composites professionals
JEC World is the industry’s leading international exhibition and takes place in Paris. This year, two of our business advisors and several Atlantic France players will be there in order to showcase the region’s capabilities in the composites sector.
If you have an installation project related to composites and you are keen to discover our region and its assets, contact our business managers who will accompany you in your project. Together, we can continue to drive the composites industry forward and develop sustainable solutions for a more resilient future.