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Launch of the Polytechnique Montréal and UQAM School of management International life cycle chair - $7M in private investment

April 18, 2012 - Source : NEWS
Flagships of sustainable development, ArcelorMittal, Bombardier, Desjardins Group, Hydro-Québec, LVMH, Michelin, Nestlé, RECYC-QUÉBEC, RONA, SAQ, Solvay, Total, Umicore and Veolia Environnement, join forces to advance research in the field of life cycles.


The launch of the joint Polytechnique Montréal and UQAM School of Management (ESG UQAM) International Life Cycle Chair took place today at Polytechnique Montréal. This new research unit of the Interuniversity Research Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services (CIRAIG), one of the world's biggest research centres in this field, was inaugurated in the presence of Rémi Quirion, Québec's Chief Scientist; Christophe Guy, CEO of Polytechnique Montréal; Claude Corbo, Rector of UQAM; Gilles Savard, Dean of Research and Innovation at Polytechnique Montréal; Ginette Legault, Dean of ESG UQAM; as well as the chairholders and various representatives from the partner companies.

From left to right: Claude Corbo, Rector of UQAM, Jean-Pierre Revéret, chairholder of the Chair, ESG UQAM, Réjean Samson, principal chairholder of the Chair, Polytechnique Montréal, Manuele Margni, chairholder of the Chair, Polytechnique Montréal, Louise Deschênes, chairholder of the Chair, Polytechnique Montréal, Rémi Quirion, Québec's Chief Scientist and Christophe Guy, CEO of Polytechnique Montréal.

With an overall budget of $7 million over five years, the Chair will be directed by its principal chairholder, Professor Réjean Samson of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal, and three other chairholders: Professors Louise Deschênes of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal, Manuele Margni of the Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal, and Jean-Pierre Revéret of the Department of Strategy, Social and Environmental Responsibility at ESG UQAM. Fourteen international partners from key sectors of the economy, including energy, transportation, metals, chemical products, retail commerce, food and financial services, will provide $500,000 each in funding for this research Chair. The partners are ArcelorMittal, Bombardier, Desjardins Group, Hydro-Québec, LVMH, Michelin, Nestlé, RECYC-QUÉBEC, RONA, SAQ, Solvay, Total, Umicore and Veolia Environnement.

“Because of the work of this Chair, Polytechnique will continue to play a key role in research on the design and development of eco-responsible goods and services,” says Christophe Guy, CEO of Polytechnique Montréal. “This alliance with world-class partners helps to broaden our influence in both the intellectual and social realms and keep us in tune with industry's and society's needs.”

The Chair's research focuses
The work of the International Life Cycle Chair will follow that initiated by Polytechnique Montréal's International Chair in Life Cycle Assessment (2007–2011), a true pioneer in the field. The new Chair will focus on advancing knowledge in the realm of life cycle with a view to helping organizations and companies design, develop and market goods and services in a responsible fashion in keeping with social and environmental imperatives. Focusing on promising themes in responsible production, consumption and governance, the Chair's projects will look at implementing knowledge in application contexts that meet tangible needs, such as conservation of energy and natural resources, land-use planning, product design, the impact of climate change, the effects of laws and regulations, and corporate social responsibility.

“Innovation happens not only in the realm of scientific advances, but in their application. With this in mind, our partnership with engaged companies is fundamental,” explains Réjean Samson, principal chairholder of the Chair. “The life cycle approach offers a unique perspective that's essential to consistent decision-making. This Chair, with the support of its partners, has set ambitious goals to accelerate the development of knowledge in the life cycle field and to put that knowledge into practice.”

Concurrently with its research activities, the Chair will also aim to train more than 50 graduate students. “UQAM is particularly pleased to be associated with Polytechnique Montréal in this project. The Chair's work focuses on complex issues that must be addressed now and in the foreseeable future as research and development on goods and services can and must be conducted according to certain imperatives, namely environmental preservation and the good of society. This Chair will also offer an excellent training environment for students” noted Claude Corbo, Rector of UQAM, at the Chair's launch.

To find out more about the Chair, visit www.chaire-cycledevie.org.

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