France

france

France is a major European player in the field of eco-innovation, and possesses a strong track record in environmental regulation and support schemes – targeting both public and private actors (including individuals). This is illustrated by its strong ranking in the 2015 Eco-Innovation Scoreboard (seventh among the 28 EU Member States). However, France still falls behind a number of front-runners, particularly due to limited energy and water productivity and limited green early-stage investments. Increasing levels of resource efficiency, particularly energy efficiency, in key sectors such as transport and building are also key priorities.

The most important eco-innovation areas in France are linked to network and network management industries, and more specifically water management and sanitation, waste management, and environmental engineering. These sectors are well organised around very large international firms that are also major aggregators of innovations.

Since 2010, a group of clusters, focusing on environmental technologies, have supported the creation of innovative local networks of SMEs and large companies based around water and waste management, energy efficiency, renewable energies, smart cities and smart transport. These clusters act as a major testbed for the emergence of eco-innovations, and help to bring together public and private partners around common issues.

In addition, the national and regional support to eco-innovation and the circular economy is strong. At the national level, a number of dedicated calls for projects have been set up in recent years, complementing existing support measures such as eco-innovation equity funds or tax incentives focusing on the demand side of eco-innovation. At the regional level, 20 out of the 22 (former) metropolitan regions have at least one strategic domain of their Regional Smart Specialisation Strategy directly related to eco-industries. 

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for France

France

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SP3H - Fuel quality sensor

SP3H

SP3H is a research company created in 2005. It developed a fuel quality sensor integrated to vehicles and that allows fuel savings and reductions in emissions and CO2. Its miniaturised sensor can give information on the quality of the fuel within a vehicle. It is transmitted in real time to the computer in charge of the engine management system (ECU) and can adapt and optimise the engine settings.

The sensor developed by SP3H is based in a technology transfer from the refining and petrochemicals fields, but the company developed a miniature and less costly sensor (10 cm long and 2 cm in diameter). SP3H sensors in the vehicles are located at the fuel pump just before the start of fuel to the injectors. It provides a molecular signature of fuel (gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, ethanol, ...).

The business model of the company is based on the “fabless” model, where the company focuses on design and R&D, based on industrial licensing, while outsourcing the fabrication of its products.

Barriers and drivers

According to the World Energy Outlook, the latest annual report of the International Energy Agency, the number of cars is expected to grow from 800 million in 2010 to 1.7 billion in 2035, with a share of hybrid and electric vehicles that will reach only 6% of the total in 2020. To tackle this issue, the reduction of CO2 emissions from internal combustion engines is a very important stake.

Economic performance

The need for the automotive industries to stay competitive is also taken into account.  Today, fuel quality standards do not require manufacturers to adjust the combustion fuel injected in the engine. The SP3H technology aims at filling this gap.  As the technology enables to measure the fuel quality in real time, it can overcome the issue of the variability of quality by integrating it so as to adjust parameters accordingly.

Environmental impact

This technology aims at reducing fuel consumption as well as pollution and CO2 emissions. It provides gains of up to 5% consumption and reduced emissions (HC, NOx, CO) up to 25%.

Further information

http://www.sp3h.fr/

picure source : ©SP3H

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