IPC works to prepare the plastics and composites industry for the challenges of the future by encouraging innovation and technology transfer.
IPC works with more than 300 manufacturers, as well as other cutting-edge research centres and academic laboratories, to develop collaborative and knowledge-building projects:
Knowledge-building projects are in-house IPC projects through which we develop the knowledge that will break through technological barriers and lead to the innovations of the future.
For collaborative projects, we partner with manufacturers to carry out R&D projects the results of which are available only to the project partners.
We have the technical skills and platforms to conduct research at different levels of maturity ranging from laboratory level through to technology demonstration to industrial scale (TRL 3 to TRL 6):
At IPC, our research focuses on three strategic areas laid out in our 2020-2024 Goals and Performance Contract road map.
Given the environmental and social challenges the world is facing, the plastics value chain has a duty to contribute to a paradigm shift. We must increase our focus on ecodesign, taking into account the entire product life cycle from the outset by minimising (reducing) materials usage, increasing durability (reusing, upcycling and repairing), ensuring efficient recovery of materials with no loss of value at end of life and upping the proportion of recycled raw materials. The ultimate goal is to reduce our industry’s environmental impact.
The digital transition, driven by initiatives such as Industry 4.0 in Europe and l’Usine du Futur (Factory of the Future) in France, offers opportunities to create value throughout the entire plastics and composites product development chain. This focus has been developed by bringing together technologies based on data modelling and usage with information technology and new production methods (such as additive manufacturing).
A high-added-value product is one which has multifunctional characteristics enabling it to meet a very specific use case and also scores very highly in economic, social and environmental terms because it is long-lasting and recyclable. Not only are these products capable, for example, of interacting with their environment, monitoring their own structural integrity and offering surface functionalities with specific properties (e.g. antimicrobial or hydrophobic), they are also made from materials that provide functional properties (increasing their conductivity, resistance to extreme conditions or ability to self-adapt).