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Lille Region—the third industrial revolution is now

04 Jul 2014 | A region on the move, Green Business

Inspired by the work of US economist Jeremy Rifkin, Lille Region has embraced the Third Industrial Revolution. Our aim? Become one of the world's most efficient and productive low-carbon economies by 2050.

At World Forum Lille on October 25, 2013, the Northern France Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Northern France Regional Council presented their official Third Industrial Revolution strategy. Developed in conjunction with Jeremy Rifkin, the concept's originator, the project is now operational following the deployment of new tools.

What is the Third Industrial Revolution?

The Third Industrial Revolution promises above all a dramatic increase in energy efficiency. As energy becomes more scarce and expensive, we must revisit its use to optimize consumption in industry, homes, and transportation.
Next, we must combine new energy sources with new technologies. Renewables may be inexhaustible, but they demand massive investment in R&D and advanced storage technologies. With intelligent networks, users can share and distribute energy seamlessly, much as we currently share information over the internet.
Finally, the Third Industrial Revolution demands that we optimize the way we move people and goods by using cleaner modes of transportation running on alternatives such as electricity, hydrogen, and biogas. Other drivers will include enhancing multimodal systems and radically improving logistics through better coordination, fewer empty trucks and more.

Innovative financing

Funding for this project will require contributions from a maximum number of companies. It will also rely on support from a wide range of regional bodies, crowdfunding and other innovative options.
Like the Third Industrial Revolution concept, crowdfunding is all about networking and could give the process a massive boost. Both depend on attracting large numbers of participants, whether to provide funding or propose projects.

Projects under way

Pioneering technologies under development in Lille Region are perfect illustrations of the Third Industrial Revolution and transition to a leaner, more energy-efficient economy. Together they promise to open a new chapter of France's industrial history.
One example is photopolymerization, a new type of 3D printing that produces lightweight composite components to replace heavier metal parts. Now being developed by Mäder—a member of the Maud cluster for sustainable materials and applications—this process has been patented worldwide. Photopolymerization offers more efficient use of raw materials, production rates of one part/minute, and up to 5,000 times higher energy efficiency.
Together these advances will enable the automotive industry to produce passenger cars offering fuel consumption of no more than 2 liters/100 km. Photopolymerization also has a host of potential applications in the aerospace and rail industries.

To learn more about the Third Industrial Revolution in Northern France, click here.


Source: Northern France Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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