The Grenoble INP Foundation has just launched a new teaching and research chair in partnership with several companies: Cellulose Valley. Its objective is to develop new high‐performance cellulose‐based materials for the packaging industry.
The Chair is hosted by Grenoble INP ‐ Pagora, UGA, Graduate School of Engineering in Paper, Print Media and Biomaterials, and the Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Science and Graphic Arts (LGP2 ‐ Grenoble INP ‐ UGA, Grenoble INP ‐ Pagora, UGA).
Planned for an initial duration of 4 years, it is supported by DS Smith Packaging France (manufacturer of sustainable packaging solutions), Ahlstrom Munksjö (one of the global leading players in sustainable and innovative fiber‐based solutions), Alphaform of the Guillin Group (moulded cellulose), and Citeo (a mission‐driven company working to reduce the environmental impact of packaging and paper).
For Julien Bras, holder of the Cellulose Valley Chair, teacher at Grenoble INP ‐ Pagora and researcher at LGP2*: “The aim is to develop new packaging from cellulose, some of which could become alternatives to plastics. We are already planning to fund two theses, two postdoctorates and some twenty work placements for master’s students.”
Recyclable and biodegradable packaging
In terms of research, the Chair will focus on obtaining new cellulose‐based materials, i.e., bio‐sourced materials, which will aim to be recyclable and biodegradable. These new materials will provide the necessary mechanical and barrier properties to be used for packaging.
Cellulose Valley will thus contribute to the environmental transition by providing a solution to companies looking for more sustainable solutions in packaging.
The Chair will also make it possible to increase and consolidate the level of excellence of the partner companies and of Grenoble INP ‐ UGA by organising major discussion and research work on this theme on an international scale.
Training responsible engineers
The Chair will also engage in training by developing learning and academic resources for student engineers, giving them rapid access to research results.
Cellulose Valley will also promote discussions and research on cellulose and its use by partner companies, engineering students, doctoral students and master’s students from Grenoble INP.
Its programme aims to develop actions to promote the use of cellulose, particularly in the field of packaging and its entire value chain (student projects, work with external associations and students, teaching work).