You are here

The composites sector in Brittany: a full and diverse ecosystem

News International-French

8 Mar 2019

In order to map the skills in Brittany’s composite materials sector, Bretagne Développement Innovation, in partnership with the network Composite Bretagne, conducted an economic analysis of the sector.

The composites sector in Brittany: a full and diverse ecosystem

The publication, produced from a survey conducted at the end of 2018 to 147 entities (including 113 companies) working in the sector, is based on the 86 structures who replied. For 2017, the 86 respondents declared 2,047 direct jobs 737 of which are exclusively devoted to composites and sales of €367 M, including €180 M associated with composites. As well as analysing the figures, the study also deals with the levers for growth. This report will be distributed at JEC World, taking place from 12 to 14 March in Paris. On this occasion, a pavilion of 13 Breton exhibitors will showcase this sector resolutely looking to the future.

In order to map the skills in the composites sector in Brittany, to define its economic importance and learn about trends and future markets, BDI used and analysed the data from 86 questionnaires.

The study revealed that the economic activity exists right across the region and is concentrated in the towns of Lorient, Vannes, Brest, Rennes, Saint Brieuc and Saint Malo. It also shows that the Breton sector exists across the whole value chain and is concentrated on moulding and manufacturing (61%), using “high-performance” materials for over 50% of companies.

In Brittany, maritime and composites navigate together

JEC 2019 Charal Sailing Team © CharalSailingTeam

The regional sector carries the marine environment and history of Brittany.

The study confirms that, of the 86 structures that replied, 46 work in the leisure boating and competitive sailing market and 10 in ship building.

While competitive sailing and yachting are markets that traditionally use these innovative materials, today their application extends to many other sectors: industry, aeronautics, automotive, defence, construction, marine renewable energies, etc.

R&D and other levers for growth

JEC 2019 ID Composite © ID Composite

Specifications are increasingly complex and composite materials need to meet the requirements of weight, resistance and cost control, all requiring research.

For example, the study reveals that 58% of respondents have an R&D budget for their composites business. And, 6 out of 10 of companies have already worked with research laboratories on composites projects.

Among the top 3 challenges for the future, companies cite eco-materials and recyclability (41% of replies), improving manufacturing processes (24% of replies) and legislation and training (9.5% of replies).

Finally, going international is one of the main levers for growth: 60% of the companies export and 47% of them say development of their business internationally is “important or a priority”.

The study will be distributed during JEC World 2019 from 12 to 14 March at Paris-Nord - Villepinte, Hall 6, Booth R67.

9 companies:

  • Avel Robotics
  • CDK Technologies
  • Demeta
  • Europ3D
  • Halcyon
  • Heol Composites
  • Magma Composites
  • MCI Technologies
  • Sense In

3 members of the Composite Bretagne network (research platforms):

  • ComposiTIC-UBS
  • Masmeca
  • ID Composite

One competitivity cluster:

  • Pôle EMC2