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www.vanefist.eu
FUTURAMAT 2004, July 20
 
It’s plastic, it’s fantastic
 

 
Valagro’s spin-off policies are truly beginning to pay off. As the first large-scale program to see the light of day, in September 2004 the company known as Futuramat shall be commercializing thermoplastic products derived from vegetal matters. Here is where the project stands according to Sandra Martin-Hudry, the CEO of the fledgling firm.

29 collaborators, a budget of one million euros, a 1400 m2 workshop… It is no longer necessary to introduce Valagro, the platform for industrial valorization of agro-resources located on the campus of the University of Poitiers. It nonetheless behooves us to praise the active role of this association set up in 1992 and whose activities have progressively and ever so steadily grown. The latest attestation to its dynamism is named Futuramat. “This is the fruit of four years of research and development within Valagro”, so summarizes Sandra Martin-Hudry in simple terms.

Just a few weeks prior to the launching of her activities, the “godmother” of this young small business and “future” ex-associate director of the association is a true believer in her company’s success. Hers is an industrial unit whose specialty consists – as she puts it - in “tailoring thermoplastics derived from vegetal matters”. Addressed to professionals in the field of plasturgy (the transformation of plastics), these products may be grouped together in three families: composite materials reinforced with vegetal fiber, biofragmentable materials and biodegradable materials.

Money walks, marketing talks

“Even if our products are not all addressed to the same people, they share the advantage of lowering the costs connected with plastic of petrochemical origin”, indicates Sandra Martin-Hudry. What with the barrel of oil presently selling for something to the tune of $45, the economy-based argument should hit a receptive chord with actors in the packaging, the automobile and the building industries. And setting aside price-related considerations, the ecological nature of the project is likely to make professionals think about doing business with Futuramat. “When we tell our customers that we use vegetables to produce goods, this can prove worthwhile from a marketing point of view…” So goes the economist’s credo!

In any event, Sandra Martin-Hudry has already managed to convince the ANVAR (the French agency for scientific innovation) of the relevancy of her project. With the support of the “incubator” of the Poitou-Charentes region, Futuramat is henceforth an award winner in the 6th nationwide contest of aide to creation of innovatory technology in the category designated as “In emergence”. Is this but the beginning of a protracted adventure? One thing is for sure: The creator offers assurance that she will make a point of offering her customers “a product and a service”.

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