Environmental technologies: exceptional assets in Rouen for a promising market
The environmental protection and the resource conservation constitute strong and universal goals to allow future generations to benefit from sustainable development and a maintained quality of life.
These goals are a matter for all, and economic actors contribute to it by innovating in environmental technologies, in the fields of energy, mobility, and building as well as waste management.
For nearly 2 centuries, the development of technologies brought various improvements, but at the cost of an increasingly important consumption of fossil and polluting energies, especially coal and oil, used for the industrial production, the mobility or even the building heating. These fossil resources are far from inexhaustible, and their large scale consumption are impacting our environment, thus there is an urgent need to develop technologies which use complementary resources with alternative term, hence the transition towards renewable and clean energies, coming from the sun, the wind or even from sea currents, for instance.
Car, truck, bus, boat, plane, all these means of mobility for people and merchandises are necessary to our economic activity and our everyday life. In order to reduce their environmental impact, new technologies appear to progressively replace the internal combustion engine. If the electric propulsion is not something new, storage and energy management board are still the subject of many research programs, notably concerning high performance batteries and hydrogen batteries. These technologies are now reaching the market and they will have an increasingly important part to play, thanks to future improvements and cost reductions.
But the sustainable mobility also goes through flow optimisation: it is why many projects are currently developed on the MaaS (Mobility as a Service), that is a shared, multimodal and smart service mobility offer. The first visible programs concern autonomous vehicles available on request from a smartphone app or programed to carry out deliveries. The digital technologies are integrated into the mobility on equal footing.
The Rouen Normandy Autonomous Lab project is an answer to a common desire to invest in the mobility of tomorrow, by connecting specific expertise to innovation skills established in the territory. The project offers the inhabitants of the Rouen Normandy metropolitan area an innovative service which will provide in 2018 a fleet of electric and autonomous vehicles, which is the first of its kind in Europe.
The waste management is also a vital component of the environment protection and the resource conservation. The development of the circular economy is the only way to achieve this, taking into account the products’ life circle, from the eco-conception to recycling.
The premise of this process is to use waste of one person to make it another one’s resource, most of the time through recycling. In order to (remove) (treat and reduce plastics wastes) from the mountains and oceans (plastic wastes) which are polluting our environment, and following the European Directive which impose doubling the recycling rate by 2030, more efficient collecting, sorting and handling procedures are under development.
Similarly, buildings must get with the program, which involves conceiving and developing green building. This priority goes through the necessity of building energy-efficient or even positive energy buildings, and to improve the energetic performance of the current buildings. It is necessary to use innovative heating and cooling systems, coupled to particularly efficient lagging materials. The water management is also part of the environmental concerns that needs to be handled. Furthermore, the digital technology contribution, through home automation, optimizes the environmental performance of the buildings.
Energy transition, eco mobility, green building, circular energy, smart and connected systems, artificial intelligence … the Rouen Seine-Eure metropolitan territory is at the front line when it comes to developing environmental technologies, notably through state-of-the-art skills gathered on the Madrillet Technology Park, scientific excellence cluster which includes research laboratories, higher education establishments and innovative companies at the heart of environmental technologies.
According to Philippe EUDELINE, President of the Rouen Normandy Engineer Science Campus Association, “The Madrillet is a major attractiveness asset for the Rouen Normandy metropolitan area and its surroundings”
Connected to the metropolitan area and its surroundings, the Association currently carries out a wide-ranging work to identify the needed investments on 3 key areas:
- Creation of a real estate and development master plan (construction of a 3 star-hotel and 12.000 sq. m of offices
- Attractiveness improvement (establishment of a range of services)
- Organisation of the cultural life and improvement of the students’ everyday life.