Innovation: the next Technocampus will be dedicated to acoustics and matter

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Atlantic France will soon be home to a 7th Technocampus, a project that is eagerly awaited by local players. Its vocation: to bring together players, skills and state-of-the-art equipment (in Le Mans) in order to lead to progress in research and applications in the acoustics and matter sector.

In May, the first construction phase of the new Acoustics and Matter Technocampus in Le Mans, Atlantic France, was completed. It consists of a technical hall that will be joined by other test halls, which are to be built by September 2022, before final completion in May 2023. 

Le Mans and its university centre of excellence have been internationally recognised for more than 40 years for their work and studies related to sound and materials. Thanks to the Acoustics and Matter Technocampus, Atlantic France will benefit from a new collaborative research platform in order to strengthen the links between the industrial and academic worlds and to bring together in one place all the players in this strategic and innovative sector.

A place dedicated to innovation and research

Acoustics is the science of sound. The field consists of studying sound production, control, transmission, reception and effects, in particular on materials with vibration and propagation issues. The application fields are numerous and they concern the building, civil engineering, transport and energy or aeronautics sectors. 

The Acoustics and Matter Technocampus will bring together researchers, engineers, students and industrialists and its technical halls will house state-of-the-art equipment, such as:

  • A robotic, 3D, laser vibrometer to study the vibrations of large industrial equipment, such as tidal turbine blades or plane wings
  • An aeroacoustic test bench inspired by NASA which will allow the study of acoustics in extreme conditions
  • Equipment dedicated to research on surfaces and matter, non-destructive testing (NDT) of materials and structures, digitisation and data-speed acquisition and real time processing, or even simulation of the behaviour of parts made from new materials or from new manufacturing processes.

Thanks to this new offer, the Atlantic France Region wishes to develop the interconnections between research and the industrial world: the Technocampus is a tool at the service of companies and the innovation of their processes!

A unique, regional, research ecosystem

Representing an investment of nearly 10 million euros (excluding equipment and machines), the Acoustics and Matter Technocampus is financed by the Atlantic France regional council, the Metropolis of Le Mans and their partners. 

This site is being built, and will then be managed, by SAS Acoustinov, a project company owned by the economic development agencies Solutions&co (for the Region) and Cénovia (for the Metropolis of Le Mans). This project has also been able to benefit from European Regional Development Funds (ERDF).

Le Mans University will be the main tenant of the site with its institute for molecules and materials (IMMM) and its acoustics laboratory (Laum), which is one of the largest European laboratories in its field with 160 employees.

The Le Mans Technology Transfer Centre (CTTM), which specialises in the fields of acoustics, vibrations, materials and design engineering, will also be an important player on the site and will carry out the technological animation missions of this Technocampus.

Other structures will be hosted on this platform, such as the ID4CAR competitiveness cluster (a reference hub for the vehicle and mobility sectors in Western France), the Technological Research Institute Jules Verne and EMC2 (the European competitiveness cluster for manufacturing technologies).

Some spaces are still available to accommodate new businesses.
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A resolutely, innovative, large-scale building

With technological halls, tertiary spaces and public reception areas, the new Acoustics and Matter Technocampus will occupy a total area of ​​3,400 sqm. It will be installed on the university campus of Le Mans, which is located to the west of the Atlantic France city.

The main facade of the building overlooks a very busy boulevard. The challenge for us was to install an image associated with acoustics into the collective unconscious. In less than a minute, the public exposed to the site must have a more or less precise idea of ​​what is being done here. We therefore used composite panels clad in aluminium sheets to form boxes along the entire length of the building facade. We wanted to represent the image of an anechoic chamber. These polyhedra are white in order to play with the light and accentuate their depth.

Éric Saillard – Architecture agency ARS Architectes Urbanistes

The ambitions of the Acoustics and Matter Technocampus

  • To be a unique place of R&D in the field of acoustics and matter in order to enhance their potential
  • To be a convergence platform for public and private research:
    • by promoting the emergence of cutting-edge research projects in connection with the activities of the Laum and IMMM laboratories
    • by developing collaborations and knowledge transfer services for the benefit of industrial projects
    • by bringing together all the players to attract industrials from Atlantic France and beyond
  • Promote the dissemination of applied science studies to manufacturers
  • Integrate into the network of the other regional Technocampuses and ensure high added value crossings according to the themes concerned (digitisation, robotisation, connected objects, virtual reality, etc.)

The Technocampus network in Pays de la Loire

With seven sites and counting, the Technocampuses were created by the Atlantic France regional council and are run by Solutions&co. Their objective is to bring on board companies from a sector of excellence and head towards the industry of the future.

They bring together, in the same place, industries (large groups and SMEs), private and public research centres (universities or laboratories) and innovation support structures (competitiveness clusters or technological resource centres).

More information

The construction of the Acoustics and Matter Technocampus is co-financed by the Atlantic France regional council, Le Mans Métropole and their partners. This project also benefits from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It is managed and owned by SAS Acoustinov and owned by the economic development agencies Solutions&co (for the Region) and Cénovia (for the City of Le Mans).

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