The story started in August 2010 when the four funding partners of E2P2L, CNRS, ENSL, ECNU and Solvay(Rhodia legacy at the time), signed a letter of intent at the Shanghai Expo site stating their willingness to conduct research together in the field of sustainable chemistry.
- Only 1 year after this first step, E2P2L inaugurated its brand new labs on November 4th, 2011 in the presence of Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transportation and Housing, and Sun Chao, communist party secretary of the Minhang District.
- In Feb, of 2013, UCCSa Lille’s joint CNRS lab became the mirror lab of E2P2L thus favoring exchanges and joint projects between the two teams.
- More recently, the open structure of the E2P2L consortium allowed welcoming two new partners in 2013, Fudan university and Lille university.
Today, E2P2L team is very strong thanks to the different competences and capabilities brought by each of its partners.
The lab has been structured by creating an international joint lab UMI 3464 (UMI – Unite Mixte Internationale in French) between Solvay and CNRS. Such set-up allows having two partners providing a minimum of funds and resources to the team. Then, a consortium agreement has been signed by all six members of E2P2L stating that the members will collaborate on research projects within the new lab.
Each partner brings a unique set of competences and capabilities and E2P2L team is lucky to have the opportunity to work with internationally recognized professors, 3 of whom are academicians (Pr. He Mingyuan, Pr. Philippe Sautet, Pr. Zhao Dongyuan)
An innovative collaborative management model has been adopted with 3 main bodies of governance focusing on projects validation:
- Steering Committee for Solvay with key internal stakeholders (Corporate, Platforms & Global Business Units)
- Steering Committee for UMI with six partners
- Scientific Committee for UMI (consultative only regarding scientific excellence)
All three committees meet annually to review existing and proposed new projects. Although there are six partners, not all six members are required to participate in each project. Participation is based on the competencies and interests of the partners involved. Those who contribute to a specific project share the intellectual property (IP).
The research work, both applied and academic, is focused on the production and application of specialty chemicals (e.g. surfactants, monomers, polymers, additives etc…) using sustainable feedstock such as biomass, carbon dioxide or recycled raw materials with low environmental footprint. Each project has been set-up with clear environmental and economical targets based on Life Cycle Analysis of benchmark technologies. During the life of the project Sustainability Index is then used to assess and position the new solutions developed.