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DS Smith announces launch of Cellulose Valley Chair, new teaching and research programme by Grenoble INP Foundation in France

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DS Smith announces launch of Cellulose Valley Chair, new teaching and research programme by Grenoble INP Foundation in France

January 10, 2022 - 10:50

GRENOBLE, France, Jan. 10, 2022 (Press Release) -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).

About the Grenoble INP Foundation: inspiring a sustainable society through progress and science:

The Grenoble INP Foundation's mission is to support the ambition and development strategy of Grenoble INP ‐ UGA in terms of scientific excellence, international influence and shared success (promoting citizenship and equal opportunities). Since its creation in 2010, the Foundation has supported innovative projects contributing to the development of Grenoble INP ‐ UGA. It hosts chairs of excellence to advance knowledge and science in partnership with companies; it enables students to carry out projects that are close to their hearts and within the framework of the Foundation's values of citizenship, excellence and international scope. Find out more at https://fondation‐grenoble‐inp.fr/

In figures

  • More than €13.3 million of patronage mobilised
  • 3 patronage programmes developed
  • 12 chairs of industrial, research and teaching excellence
  • 871 scholarships provided, 92 association and school projects funded, for a total of €2.530 million

About Grenoble INP ‐ Pagora, UGA: the Graduate School of Engineering in Paper, Print Media and Biomaterials:

The school has Quality ‐ Safety ‐ Environment certification and belongs to Grenoble INP ‐ UGA, an engineering and management institution whose objective is to train "creative, responsible engineers committed to a sustainable world". The school trains engineers for sectors related to green chemistry, paper, printing, packaging, biomaterials and printed electronics. Its wide range of courses, its mastery of apprenticeship and its strong partnerships with companies enable it to constantly adapt its training to industrial needs and to enable its 60 to 70 graduates per year to access motivating careers in France and abroad. In collaboration with European universities, Grenoble INP ‐ Pagora, UGA is also developing an international training programme: it offers a 2nd year of the engineering programme, international semesters and a Master's degree in Biorefinery & Biomaterials taught in English. The innovative research carried out by its laboratory, LGP2, contributes to the improvement of processes and the creation of products that meet new needs, particularly environmental ones. All of these activities ensure an education at the cutting edge of scientific and technical developments. For more information pagora.grenoble‐inp.fr

About the Laboratory of Pulp and Paper Science and Graphic Arts (LGP2): joint research unit (UMR 5518):

It brings together the CNRS, Grenoble INP and Agefpi, and conducts its scientific activities in conjunction with the Grenoble Alpes University academic community. LGP2 has Quality ‐ Safety ‐ Environment certification and is organised into three teams: Biorefinery: chemistry and eco‐processes ‐ Multiscale bio‐based materials ‐ Surface functionalization through printing processes. Its research aims to meet societal expectations regarding sustainable development (green chemistry, biorefinery, clean processes, recycling, bio‐ based materials, renewable energies) and traceability & safety (functional materials, intelligent papers and packaging). For more information, see: lgp2.grenoble‐inp.fr

About the GUILLIN Group:

GUILLIN is a French family‐owned group founded in 1972, and the European leader in food packaging solutions. The GUILLIN Group works closely with its customers on a daily basis, whether they are involved in the food industry, the food processing industry, fruit and vegetables or collective catering. Commercially present in more than 70 countries, the Group is constantly innovating to offer its customers impeccable service and the widest range on the market with more than 12,000 product references available on stock. The circular economy, eco‐design and the use of recycled and recyclable raw materials for packaging are part of the Group's long‐ standing concerns and constitute a daily priority and commitment for our 2,870 employees. Encouraging team spirit, excellence, respect, openness to progress and performance, Groupe GUILLIN is listed on Euronext Growth, and in 2020 achieved consolidated net sales of €619 million.

Ahlstrom Munksjö

Ahlstrom‐Munksjö is a global leader in fiber‐based materials, supplying innovative and sustainable solutions to customers worldwide. Its offerings include decor paper, filter media, release liners, abrasive backings, nonwovens, electrotechnical paper, glass fiber materials, food packaging and labeling, tape, medical fiber materials and solutions for diagnostics. Ahlstrom‐Munksjö's annual net sales are about EUR 3.0 billion and it employs 8,000 people.

About Citeo

Citeo is a mission‐driven company created by companies in the consumer goods and distribution sector with the goal of reducing the environmental impact of their packaging and paper, by offering them solutions for reduction, reuse, sorting and recycling. To respond to the environmental emergency and accelerate the transition to the circular economy, Citeo has set itself five commitments: to reduce the environmental impact of its customers' products by making the circular economy and eco‐design key features of their practices and strategies; to create the conditions for developing the solutions of today and tomorrow that combine environmental and economic performance; to provide consumers with the keys to reducing the environmental impact of their consumption; to co‐ construct and promote the company's solutions and positions, from the local to the international level; and to cultivate the commitment of its employees to the company’s mission. Since the creation of Citeo, consumer goods and retail companies have invested more than €11 billion in developing eco‐design, installing and financing selective waste collection and creating recycling channels with their partners, local authorities, networks and operators. Today, 68% of household packaging and 60.5% of paper are recycled thanks to the recycling efforts of the French.

About DS Smith

DS Smith is one of the world's leading suppliers of sustainable packaging, whose activities are supported by paper manufacturing and recycling. The group plays a central role in the value chain of market segments such as e‐commerce, consumer products and industry. With its mission statement of 'Redefining Packaging for a Changing World' and its ‘Now and Next' sustainability strategy, DS Smith is committed to leading the transition towards a circular economy, while providing more sustainable solutions for its customers and society as a whole – by replacing single‐use plastics, by reducing carbon footprint throughout the supply chain and by offering innovative recycling solutions. Its circular business model, eco‐design capabilities and innovations are at the heart of this strategy. Based in London and listed on the FTSE 100, DS Smith operates in 34 countries and employs around 30,000 people. It is a strategic partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. DS Smith is located throughout France, with 30 production sites and 4,000 employees.