In April 2013, the French Prime Minister gave Anne Lauvergeon the task of identifying the technological and industrial challenges that our society would be facing by 2030. The Innovation 2030 Commission identified seven strategic goals covering the technological and industrial challenges that French society would be facing by 2030. They are based on strong social expectations and growth sectors, and each offer significant opportunities with particularly high potential for the French economy. In response, the French State launched the Worldwide Innovation Challenge in December 2013, in the presence of the French President and under the aegis of the Minister for Industrial Recovery and the Minister Delegate for Small and Medium Enterprises, Innovation and the Digital Economy, with the support of France's Investments for the Future program. The aim is to identify talent and future champions of the French economy in order to support the growth of French or foreign entrepreneurs whose innovation project has real potential.
The Move2Chem project aims to develop a system for the recovery of the co-products, effluent and waste from the agribusiness sector, by converting them into chemical molecules used to create new materials and products (dyes, solvents, polymers, etc.). By creating a model in which the biodegradable organic carbon can be reused to produce materials, thereby conserving fossil resources and reducing CO2emissions, the Move2Chemproject ties in perfectly with Veolia Environnement's priority focus on the circular economy. Moreover, the French Minister of Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg appointed Antoine Frérot as project leader for the "Recycling and Green Materials" sector initiative as part of the French Industrial Renaissance program.
"Winning the Worldwide Innovation Competition is confirmation that Veolia Environnement has made the right strategic choices in its circular economy research and innovation initiatives. These will deliver tangible developments in the area ofplant chemistry in order to provide concrete solutions to the problems of resource scarcity in France and worldwide," explains Anne-Sophie Lepeuple, Head of Veolia Environnement's "Biotechnology & Agronomics" research unit.
Gilles Ravot, General Manager of SAS PIVERT, is delighted with the choice made by the Worldwide Innovation Competition which "ties in with the ongoing discussions initiated between the partners in the area of co-product recovery and which will enable the rapid development of innovative solutions to provide the chemicals industry with renewable carbon."
Jean-François Rous, Deputy Vice President of Innovation and Forecasting at Sofiprotéol says, "Maximizing the performance of industrial units by recovering all co-products is an approach that our company has been applying for a long time. This project will not only make it possible to expand the range of possibilities, but also eventually to release on the market new chemical products derived from the recovery of products from the agricultural sectors."
Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE and NYSE: VE) is the worldwide reference in environmental solutions. With 200,000 employees*, the company has operations all around the world and provides tailored solutions to meet the needs of municipal and industrial customers in three complementary segments: water management, waste management and energy management. Veolia Environnement recorded revenue of €22.3 billion* in 2013. www.veolia.com
(*) Excluding Transdev revenues currently under divestment.
SAS PIVERT was created on May 29, 2012 within the frame of the "Investments for the Future" ("Investissements d'avenir"). It is a private company based on a public-private partnership, in charge of the Institute for Energy Transition P.I.V.E.R.T. (Picardy Plant Innovations, Teaching and Technological Research). The mission of the ITE P.I.V.E.R.T. is to develop plant chemistry from renewable, promising and competitive raw material: the oilseed biomass. SAS PIVERT is in charge of (i) the scientific animation of a pre-competitive research program (GENESYS program) which is conducted by an Academic Consortium, (ii) the exploitation of GENESYS program results and structuring maturation projects, and (iii) the construction and the management of the BIOGIS Center, a technological platform with innovative pilot scale equipment, that will be used to Bridge the gap between research and industry and accelerate technological transfers in plant chemistry.
Sofiprotéol is the industrial and financial arm of the French vegetable oils and proteins industry. Its mission is to create sustainable value in these sectors by contributing to better food for humans and preservation of the planet. Sofiprotéol focuses on agribusiness activities in its two Divisions: the Oilseeds Division (oilseed crushing and refining, the packaging of edible oils, biodiesel production and fat and oil processing), and its Animal Products Division (animal nutrition and hygiene, biosafety, nutritional specialties and food products: pork, poultry and eggs). Sofiprotéol is also active financially as a Development Bank: in 2013, it provided support for 140 companies throughout the industry through loans and minority stakeholdings. In 2013, Sofiprotéol achieved a turnover of €7 billion, and employed 8,240 people working in some twenty countries. www.sofiproteol.com.
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