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In the green driver’s seat


13 May 2013
FranceFrance
 
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Guided by the Enterprise Europe Network, a French textile SME is helping design car seats made from recycled materials as part of a project co-financed by the EU’s Eco-innovation initiative.

The 17-employee firm, known as Technisit and based in northern Saint-Quentin, supplies carpet and textiles for seats to the automotive, railway and furniture sectors. It is also a longstanding client of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Picardie Region, one of nearly 600 Network branches worldwide helping make SMEs more competitive.

"One of the most valuable services we provide is alerting companies of EU funding opportunities," says Network expert Emilie Marcelet. That includes projects funded by the EU's Eco-innovation initiative, which seeks to bridge the gap between research and the market by supporting green innovations with large commercial potential.She put Technisit in touch with project coordinator Javier Jimenez of the Leitat Technological Center in Barcelona, which was applying for Eco-innovation funding to develop a new green upholstery for cars. Technisit joined the consortium.

"Technisit can use their industry contacts to get feedback on their needs and market specifications," says project coordinator Javier Jimenez, of the Leitat Technological Center.
The application was successful, leading to €473 404 in EU funding for the ‘Green Up' project. It aims to slash the amount of solid waste from car interiors by replacing polyurethane foam with recycled polyester yarn.

Besides getting new business from existing customers, Technisit also hopes to gain new clients in the long term, says managing director Didier Colin. "It will give us a competitive edge."

Network partners involved

 
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