The University of Bordeaux and the Solvay Group: A partnership with strong chemistry

Some insight from Eric Papon, Deputy Vice-President Innovation, University of Bordeaux, on this historical partnership.

The partnership between the University of Bordeaux (UBx) and the Solvay Group initially originated with Rhodia in October 2004. In September 2011, Rhodia integrated Solvay. 

This partnership,that also involves the CNRS (French National Scientific Research Council), is strongly adapted to chemical research and innovation and was launched to focus on the development of highthroughput tools and methods (in particular robotics and microfluidics). Such a focus is critical with regard to new industrial needs in terms of: process and formulations, high speed characterizations, search and analysis of large quantities of collected data, etc.

Why Bordeaux?

UBx has well-renowned competencies in the fields of soft matter physics, polymer chemistry, chemical process modeling and spectroscopy. In addition, the University has a very open approach to such partnerships with strong support from its governing body as well as the local authorities, the Conseil Regional d’Aquitaine (Regional Council of Aquitaine). 

Main projects

  • Complex fluids : the development of enhanced oil recovery technology, improvement of filtration performance, overall energy consumption in industrial processes;
  • Functional materials : the development of new, highly-performing functional materials e.g. within the domain of insulation;
  • Microchemistry : the development of new catalytical systems for industrial processes, novel polymerization techniques, development of tools for assessment of reaction enthalpies and safety evaluation of chemical processes.

This list of projects will surely get longer as the Solvay Group has confirmed further investment in our collaboration with just one of the results being brand new laboratory space, inaugurated in January 2015.

Added-value of such partnerships

To name just a few:

  • Increased possibilities for internships at all levels (Master, Engineer, PhD, Post-Doctorates),
  • Better knowledge of real industrial strategies and approaches applied to market and also of course,
  • Access to certain job opportunities within the Solvay Group but also in other companies due to the high expertise acquired by our students.

Updated on 25/10/2017