[Feedback on] The “Biobased Composites in Marine Environment” Conference

[Feedback on] The “Biobased Composites in Marine Environment” Conference

The third conference planned in the framework of the European project FLOWER (co-financed by the Interreg France (Manche) England Programme) was held on the Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd April 2021. After INRAe of Nantes in 2019 and the University of Portsmouth in 2020, the lead partner University of South Brittany was the main organiser of this new event that took place remotely because of the COVID19 health crisis. The event was waiting for 140 registered participants and gathered more than 90 people simultaneously. This conference allowed to have an overview of the project progress, but also to share the latest scientific and technical research works as well as the industrial developments on biocomposites materials used in marine applications.

The thematic sessions over the 4 half-days have been introduced by keynotes presentations of about 30 minutes by Prof. Jörg Müssig (University of Bremen), Prof. Aart Willem Van Vuure (KU Leuven), Dr James IR Blake (University of Southampton) and Dr Rachel Moreau (Ocean as Common – One Step Ahead). It was the opportunity for them to address contextual elements and propose a relevant state of the art of available knowledge, both in terms of behaviour of plant fibres or interfaces with a polymer in the marine environment, but also in terms of the mechanical behaviour of biobased composites in severe environments or their end of life.

Regarding academic research, the participants could access to 22 presentations gathering European researchers. They all bring a large overview of the scientific community works on the behaviour of plant fibres and composites in wet or marine environments. The diversity of the fibres used could were presented and many presentations highlighted the potential locks to work on in the coming years, they mainly concern the sensitivity of plant fibres to moisture and also the quality of parts and composites which must be a priority to obtain durable parts.

During the afternoon, some companies of the maritime sector came to introduce their developments and innovations on biocomposites during 5-minutes talks. Following their presentations, they were able to exchange and speak with the participants connected during 2 round table discussions. On the first day, companies which develop semi-products based on plant fibres and bio-based solutions were presenting (RISE, Seabird, Cobratex and EcoTechnilin), ensuring the link with the companies intervening on the second day that use these types of products in their activities in relation with marine environment (Gsea Design-Compozit, Ox Eye, Greenboats, Kairos, Time for Oceans – Stéphane Le Diraison).

Finally, each half-day was closed by an hour dedicated to individual meetings between participants who wanted to through a dedicated platform, facilitated by the organizing partner Bretagne Development Innovation.

The online event gathered several professionals including:

36 from companies : IMOCA Class, AEG design, Adisseo, Dia-Stron Ltd, Blue Ocean Upcycle Marine Boat, EcoTechnilin, Grand Large Yachting, Seabird, Nautix, Resireno, Tahe Outdoors, Kairos, Howa-Tramico, Gsea Design – Compozit, Van Robaeys Frères, Linéo, COLAS SA, Cobratex, EODev, Time For Oceans, France Energies Marine, Greenboats GmbH, North Sails, X shore, Ox Eye, IRMA etc.

• 96 actors of academic research :  : Université de Bretagne Sud (Laboratoires IRDL, LBCM et Archipel), Université de Franche-Comté (Institut FEMTO), Ifremer, INRAe Nantes, Ecole Centrale Nantes, Sapienza Universitá di Roma, University of Cambridge, Université de Picardie Jules Vernes, LCA-ENSIACET, University of East Anglia, University of Portsmouth, Centexbel, Université de Rouen, INSA Rouen, Université de Caen, ENSICAEN, Université de Haute Alsace, ISAT, Budapest University, University of Southampton, KU Leuven, Singapor Institute, Université de Reims, University of Bremen, Central Saint Martins, CPDM Laboratory, UTT, IFTH, IMT, Université de Lorraine, CEA,  Université de Polynésie, LGP ENI Tarbes, Université de Strasbourg, INSA Toulouse, University of Girona, etc.

• 9 from business support organisations :  Bretagne Développement Innovation, Eurolarge Innovation, Europe Entreprise Network, Pôle IAR, Pole Mer Bretagne Atlantique, European Boating Industry, Rhode Island Marine Trades Association

The conference in numbers :

  • 141 registered participants (120 on Thursday and 100 on Friday)
  • 9 nationalities including 52 Breton participants, 57 from France, 9 from England, 20 from Europe and 3 from other countries on a global scale
  • 33 speakers
  • 14 individual meetings via the B2match platform, managed by the Bretagne Development Innovation partner
  • 10 companies pitchs

The University of South Brittany has collaborated with several organisations* in relation to the topics of the conference that help for the programme, the communication but also the individual meetings platform, and particularly the Bretagne Development Innovation team.

*L’Institut de Recherche Dupuy de Lôme (UMR CNRS 6027), Bretagne Développement Innovation via Eurolarge Innovation and European Entreprise Network, Archipel, Audélor – Lorient Technopôle, Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique, EMC2 and IAR Le Pôle de la Bioéconomie.

Save the date! FLOWER project will be happy to meet you on December 2021 for the next conference that will be organized by the partner University of Cambridge and which will address biocomposite developments in the mobility, transport and construction sectors.


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