The General Assembly of the Luxembourg Materials & Manufacturing Cluster held on 28th February, highlighted its intense activity. Several initiatives were presented to boost this important sector of activity in Luxembourg which will be spotlighted in a few days at the JEC World 2019 fair in Paris.
With 86 members, the Luxembourg Materials & Manufacturing Cluster, managed by Luxinnovation, aims to foster innovation within companies and bolster their cross sectoral cooperation, particularly in the fields of composite materials, bio-sourced materials, nanomaterials and Industry 4.0, which includes additive manufacturing and automation / robotics.
In 2018, the cluster welcomed 13 new members and organised no less than 24 events that brought together nearly 350 participants. It allowed the creation of 6 new R & D projects and accompanied 12 others. It has also opened up to other sectors, launching initiatives with the EcoInnovation, Creative Industries and Wood clusters.
The collaborative approach of the Luxembourg Materials & Manufacturing Cluster materialised in 2018 through the creation of the Cluster Advisory Group, which brings together about 15 members in two working groups. “Everyone has their say,” says Caroline Muller, manager of the Luxembourg Materials & Manufacturing Cluster. “We meet on average once a quarter and we promote cooperation and collaboration between companies. In concrete terms, we have created a group of “materials analytics” experts, as well as a database listing the analytical technologies, equipment and experts associated with them.”
All this preparatory work will materialise, in the coming weeks, in the creation of a shared secure platform to facilitate exchange and direct interaction between cluster members. “This tool, the development of which is being finalised, responds to a request from our members,” says Mr Muller. “The goal is to keep members up to date about, trainings or upcoming events, but at the same time it is also interactive, with a forum where the actors can ask questions to members and receive prompt answers, even to have direct access to specific actors via a chat function It will also be possible to conduct surveys, to collect the needs or expectations of members.”
To promote synergies
The creation in 2018 of the non-profit organisation Composite Industry Luxembourg (CIL) follows the same logic. The aim of this association is to bring together the skills of private actors in the field of composite materials and their manufacturing processes, but also to promote synergies and collaborative projects between its members and with public or private research centres, within the framework of the National Composite Centre Luxembourg (NCCL), the materials skill centre managed by the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST).
“We want to act as a catalyst, consolidating the core competencies of Luxembourg’s composite industry”, summarised Roger Assaker, e-Xstream’s co-founder and CEO, one of the CIL’s founding companies.
Nine partners have joined forces on this collective platform that will represent Luxembourg at the upcoming JEC World 2019, to be held in Paris-Nord Villepinte from March 12 to 14. With more than 1,300 exhibitors expected from more than 100 countries, and some 50,000 expected visitors, this international event is the largest in the world in the composite materials sector.
In Luxembourg, this sector generates a turnover of more than 400 million euros per year and employs more than 1,600 people. The manufacturing sector, in total, represents more than 800 companies employing more than 35,000 people.
Photo Credit @ Marie de Decker