The transport sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Luxembourg. The objective of the new Sustainable Composite Materials and Manufacturing Innovation Centre (SCMM) of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is to develop composite materials with a very low carbon footprint and to demonstrate their benefits in a range of different transport sectors.
Sustainable composite materials research
The activities of the innovation center will respond as closely as possible to the future needs of the transport market, which is facing its greatest historical transformation. The initiative will be supported by four major players in European transport, Toyota, Airbus, Thales Alenia Space and Alstom, which will share their respective vision of the technological needs of the vehicles of the future.
LIST’s mission will be to accelerate the use of biosourced and/or recyclable materials for ultra-light functional parts, and to develop industrial processes with a low carbon footprint. These technological bricks will be integrated in the form of demonstrators developed and built with the involvement of manufacturers active in composite materials. The sustainable composite materials to be developed could be used in interior panels or automobile bodywork, vehicle structural elements, battery shells or hydrogen tanks, for example.
Achieving climate neutrality will require significant technological developments to make functional materials and structures lighter or even ultralight. The new innovation center at LIST enables Luxembourg to play, where appropriate, a pioneering role in this field.
“Achieving climate neutrality will require significant technological developments to make functional materials and structures lighter or even ultralight,” said Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot at the inauguration of the SCMM. “Composite materials are particularly well suited to meet this challenge if we additionally manage to make them recyclable or even biosourced. The new innovation center at LIST enables Luxembourg to play, where appropriate, a pioneering role in this field, which constitutes a tremendous opportunity to make both the economy and society more sustainable.”
From basic to applied research
This innovation programme has an initial duration of four years for a budget of more than €16 million, co-financed by LIST, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the Ministry of the Economy, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and industrial members. Subcontractors of major automotive, aeronautic, rail and space groups are invited to become members of the centre and join its activities. They will have access to the results of all of the SCMM’s research projects and will be able to purchase the industrial property developed. Several Luxembourg and European companies have already confirmed that they will join the SCMM.
Through its activities, the LIST innovation center contributes both to the strengthening of research infrastructure and to economic diversification.
“The SCMM, covering the entire innovation chain, from basic research to applied research, with the ultimate objective of transferring and using the results in the priority sectors of the automotive, aeronautical and space, is in perfect harmony with the national research and innovation strategy,” said Minister of Higher Education and Research Claude Meisch. “Through its activities, the LIST innovation center contributes both to the strengthening of research infrastructure and to economic diversification.”
Photo copyright: LIST