Moulhouse, December 2012. The 1st public conference of the S_LIFE project took place on 12th November 2012, in Mulhouse, France. The S_LIFE project aims at contributing to a sustainable use and management of natural resources and wastes in the automotive industry by enhancing research & innovation as well as developing collaboration, synergies and common strategies across participating regions. The project aims at covering the entire vehicle life-cycle from raw material to end-of-life. More than 30 representatives from industry, authorities and scientific institutes participated to the S_LIFE conference in Mulhouse, which was focusing on sustainability, resource efficiency, CO₂ emission reduction in production and vehicle life cycle, material innovations as well as the dismantling and recycling of end-of-life cars.
Greening vehicle life cycle
Eric Gross, Pôle Véhicule du Futur (F) and Project coordinator S_LIFE opened the conference with a short introduction on the S_LIFE project and Jürgen Stichling, Vice President, PE International AG, Leinfelden-Echteringen (D), offered insight on Future Prospects of Mobility and E-Mobility - Sustainability and Resource efficiency. Furthermore, the trends and challenges of new materials for future sustainable mobility were highlighted by Rainer Mayer, Cluster New Materials, Bayern Innovativ GmbH. Gert-Jan van der Have, Consultant/Project manager S_Life, ARN Advisory sustainability expertise (NL), focused on the exploration of future vehicle recycling challenges. In the final summary, Rodolphe Gie, Pôle Véhicule du Futur (F), Project coordinator S_LIFE presented first results, topics and areas fields of activity of S_LIFE.
Discussion on bottlenecks and opportunities
Beyond the presentations speakers, project partners and participants had the opportunity to discuss the bottlenecks, which have been identified so far extensively. As some examples of hurdles which have to be taken into account, regarding the improvement in resource efficiency, are unstable supply of recycled materials, modern joining technologies which offer many advantages but may also complicate the recycling processes. Another bottleneck mentioned is the steadily increasing demand from third countries for recyclable materials. As a result, less material can be recycled in Europe.
Tour through the labs of IS2M - Institute of Materials Science
The conference took place at the IS2M - Institute of Materials Science at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique d'Alsace. As a final highlight, the participants were offered a tour through the labs.
The Institute of Materials Science of Mulhouse, IS2M-LRC 7228, is a research laboratory belonging to both the CNRS and the University of Haute Alsace (UHA). IS2M conducts research of excellence in materials science in the fields of chemistry and physic of surfaces and interfaces, conception and optimisation of materials and nano-materials (polymers, carbons, ceramics, oxides, semi-conductors, biomaterials) and their industrial valorization.
Lighter now and after
On 13th November the workshop "Lighter now and after" was organized as part of MOBILIS conference in Mulhouse. The speakers Salvatore Di Carlo (Fiat), Micha Lesemann (Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen Aachen), Neil Mc Gregor (RICARDO), Sophie Richet (PSA Peugeot Citroën) and Hector Timmers (Auto Recycling Nederland) discussed intensively the challenge of always lighter vehicles and at the other hand increased recyclability, how can the two go together? More than 40 participants took part in the discussion.
Bayern Innovativ GmbH with the Clusters Automotive and New Materials is a partner in this EU-funded project. Other project partners are organizations from Baden-Württemberg, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Belgium. (this paragraph may be altered by each project partner)