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Niveau: Supérieur, Doctorat, Bac+8
ACTIVITY REPORT 2006 | CHAPTER 1 Encouraging dialogue between research and industry The year 2006 witnessed an evolution in the French research system as a result of application of the Research Policy Act. Direct consequences of this policy move would include the Research Ministry's reorganisation with the creation of a Research and Innovation Division, the more prominent role played by the National Research Agency (ANR) and the consolidation of competitive clusters - all created the previous year - along with the development of Research / Higher Education clusters. This innova- tive measure has been designed to help implement the government's research strategy in conjunction with a major objective: intensifying collaboration between research bodies and universities, as well as between research and the world of industry, modelled after the public-private partnership. Clearly stated in the new four-year contract tying LCPC with the French government(1) over the 2006- 2009 period is the government's desire to promote contractual research, and in so doing strengthening the position occupied by the Laboratory, which of- fers and often spearheads initiatives. LCPC acts as a key participant to a large majority of ANR-spon- sored projects, in the fields of road infrastructure, engineering structures and geotechnics, attesting to LCPC's capacity to provide a multifaceted, yet not over-dominant, input towards research efforts in these fields, while spending just a quarter of the Research Agency's subsidy allocation.

  • than fehrl

  • european road

  • projects

  • public bodies

  • fehrl has

  • transport research

  • lcpc

  • road research



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The LCPC strategy
A new four-year fnancing contract
aligned with a reinvigorated
national research policy
2006 was a transitional year for LCPC in more ways than one. The Laboratory
successfully brought to a close the four-year contract (2002-2005) tying it to
the French government and has initiated the subsequent 2006-2009 contract.
This progression took place against a backdrop of considerable change in the
national research organisation, as refected by application of the Research
Policy Act and a number of new institutional features designed to stimulate
collaboration among research bodies and between research and the corporate
world. As one of the longstanding driving forces behind such collaborative
initiatives, LCPC is well positioned to beneft from these latest trends.
Through its myriad of research projects, the Laboratory has been able to aug-
ment the contribution of infrastructure in raising the level of road safety and
has focused on incorporating sustainable development mandates into its
project work. Moreover, LCPC has procured new, high-performance research
instruments such as a partial reverberation room and an earthquake simu-
lator, which will serve to make research breakthroughs, respectively in the
study of urban noise and the resistance of structures to seismic jolts.
the government’s research strategy in conjunction Encouraging dialogue with a major objective: intensifying collaboration
between research bodies and universities, as well between research
as between research and the world of industry,
modelled after the public-private partnership.and industry
Clearly stated in the new four-year contract tying
(1)LCPC with the French government over the 2006-
The year 2006 witnessed an evolution in the French 2009 period is the government’s desire to promote
research system as a result of application of the contractual research, and in so doing strengthening
Research Policy Act. Direct consequences of this the position occupied by the Laboratory, which of-
policy move would include the Research Ministry’s fers and often spearheads initiatives. LCPC acts as
reorganisation with the creation of a Research and a key participant to a large majority of ANR-spon-
Innovation Division, the more prominent role played sored projects, in the fields of road infrastructure,
by the National Research Agency (ANR) and the engineering structures and geotechnics, attesting
consolidation of competitive clusters - all created to LCPC’s capacity to provide a multifaceted, yet
the previous year - along with the development of not over-dominant, input towards research efforts
Research / Higher Education clusters. This innova- in these felds, while spending just a quarter of the
tive measure has been designed to help implement Research Agency’s subsidy allocation.0
Accommodating the Quality: Certifcation and accreditation
research priorities adopted LCPC was first granted the «ISO 9001»
certification in October 2002, and a renewal by public authorities
was issued in November 2005 (valid through
October 31, 2008) for its quality management
(2)Through its five major orientations , the four-year system dedicated to the activities of research,
Government-LCPC contract covering the period development, expertise studies and evaluations,
2006-2009 serves as the benchmark to guide certifications and testing for:
LCPC in establishing research priorities. While the - civil engineering materials and structures,
contractual terms are roughly in line with those - geotechnical engineering and natural
of the previous contract, this new period will still - hazards, the environment and transport
be marked by a number of changes that warrant infrastructure operations.
attention. The heightened focus on upgrading road
user safety, as manifested through programmes to LCPC has also been awarded the «COFRAC
improve road infrastructure, comes first to mind, Essais» accreditation as specified in ISO
17025, for the following 7 test programmes:given the priority status assigned by upper political
- P rog. No. 3: testing on hydraulic concrete echelons. Similarly, the incorporation of sustain-
and its components (PCM/Paris),able development requirements into researching
- P rog. No. 5: testing on concrete methods, materials, structures and technology
reinforcements (MACOA/Nantes),solutions for conserving non-renewable resources
- P rog. No. 29-1: metallic materials testing, has led LCPC to develop methods and tools in the
mechanical tests (MACOA/Nantes),aim of re-evaluating material and structure optimi-
- Prog. No. 8: tests on asphalt mixes and their sation criteria.
components (MSC/Nantes),
- Prog. No. 23: testing on rocks and aggregates
Generating instruments well - P rog. No. 86: testing on bitumen and
bituminous binders (MSC/Nantes),adapted to the new research - P rog. No. 105: tests on special products
intended for hydraulic concrete construction orientations (PCM/Paris).
In order to fulfl its mission to the utmost, LCPC
N.B.: LCPC is one of the 5 laboratories that founded began in 2006 the operational phase on a new set
the RNE National Testing Network in 1979, which of experimental equipment to successfully complete
then became COFRAC in 1994.
research projects in felds as critical as noise emission
controls in urban settings and earthquake resistance
LCPC received its «COFRAC Industrial Product
of structures. For these two examples, the Laboratory
Certification» in compliance with Standard EN
is now equipped with both a partial reverberation
45011 (accreditation date: May 1, 2006), for the
room to carry out acoustic studies and an earthquake
EC/CE marking of aggregates (as per Directive
simulator to perform realistic modelling of soil beha- 89-106 «Construction Products»), distinguished
viour under seismic loads. n as a notified body in accordance with the «2+»
system (completion of a PPC - plant production
(1) a s represented by the two oversight Ministries (Transportation, Public
control - audit) for aggregate quarries.Works, Tourism and Maritime Affairs and Higher Education and Re-
(2) 1/ Increasing the infrastructure contribution to road safety (accounting
for roughly 20% of the Laboratory’s R&D activity); 2/ Developing mate-
rials and structures that limit the consumption of non-renewable energy
resources, accounting for ~15% of Laboratory activity; 3/ Overseeing
the integration of infrastructure into the environment, with an emphasis
on urban and suburban areas, and preventing natural hazards, for
~20% of activity; 4/ Enhancing existing infrastructure through diagnostic
assessments and maintenance, ~25% of activity; and 5/ Devising new
civil engineering tools and methods, ~20% of activity.
(effective through April 30, 2010)ACTIVITY REPORT 2006 | CHAPTER 1 LCPC
Jacqueline Lecourtier
Managing Director of the French National Research Agency
“Opening the lines of communication
between fundamental research and industry”
Biographical notes
Jacqueline lecourtier has been heading France’s National Research agency
(aNR) since January 00. upon completing her doctorate in the Physical
sciences, Ms. lecourtier has held research management posts at the CNRs
Centre followed by a research engineer and project leader position with the IFP
Institute, before being named to the executive team in . Five years later,
she became scientific Director of the organisation and took part in the project
to create aNR.

Jacqueline also holds patents, received the Kodak Pathé landucci and
Bertrand & odile Tissot awards (bestowed by the French academy of sciences
in and 00, respectively) and sits on the executive committee of several
prestigious academic and research institutions: eNs Cachan, eNsC-lille,
les Mines at both st etienne and Paris, and the Ifremer marine institute.
The purpose of the National Research Agency (ANR), sciences, through inciting organisations to include
which has begun its second full year of operation, is in their responses an array of research communities.
to interact with French research organisations through It also proves essential to explore all opportunities
two types of programmes. Strategic programmes for transnational projects in order to adopt broader
encompass the promotion of innovative concepts approaches and embark upon new paths. Put
and the generation of new scientifc knowledge, while otherwise, ANR is geared towards helping ensure that
theme-based programmes – such as the one entitled best practices become more widespread and that the
Civil and urban engineering – are intended to meet best of the class raise the level of all participants.
government priorities in the feld of research. The In this respect, LCPC has been assigned a very
introduction of new programmes at a rate of around special role, given its clustering of a wide range of
30% a year serves to stimulate projects over 3- to skills, all of high scientific calibre. LCPC input also
5-year periods without usurping the basic supporting stands out since its domain of research expertise, i.e.
role played by ad hoc organisations. Such an evolution civil engineering, is so closely tied to economic and
also enables incorporating, for example, the kinds industrial activity and its research scope increasingly
of social dimensions that research bodies would not covers the sustainable development perspective. As
spontaneously address. a partner, it is able to open lines of communication
Regardless of the targeted sector, be it biomedical, between the world of fundamental research and
IT or energy, ANR pursues three major objectives specific sectors of industry and, in so doing, to unite
via the programmes it subsidises. The frst consists the most effective set of scientific partners in the
of contributing to the development of public-private aim of spurring, as part of either strategic or theme
partnerships by making such associations a requisite programmes, applications that generate sustainable
component of all project bids. As an entity historically competitiveness for our nation’s industry. n
favourable to this type of relation with industry, LCPC
holds a decisive advantage in programme involvement.
Jacqueline LecourtierThe impetus lies in advocating pluridisciplinary teams,
Managing Director of the French National with overlap particularly important between the so-
Research Agencycalled hard sciences and the human and social
Jørgen Christensen
FEHRL’s president
A network policy on the european level
Short biography:
Mr. Jørgen Christensen () has held the three-year Presidency of FeHRl since
00. He has a masters degree in chemical engineering from the Technical
university of Denmark (0) and in operations research from stanford university
(). He is a fellow of the Danish academy of Technical sciences.
He was President of the Danish association of Chemical, electrical, Mechanical
and Construction engineers -. Mr. Christensen has directed and
conducted national and international research since and was the director
of the Danish Road Institute from until 00. He now serves as Chief
Counsellor in the Danish Road Directorate and as leader of international research
projects. He is a member of the Transport advisory group for the european
Commissioner for Research.
TH a single contractor, but a number of institutes provide the IN 2006, THE 6 EUROPEAN RESEARCH AND
FEHRL is an association, an “aisbl”, under Belgian law, DID IT CHANgES FEHRL’S STRUCTURE AND WAY OF
and cannot easily make fundamental changes to its COOPERATINg?
structure and distribution of responsibilities, but we clearly
need to be able to take decisions and enter into contracts FEHRL has supported its members in forming consortia
under very narrow time limits. This is also seen by others and writing proposals for all the European framework
as a test of our professionalism as a business partner and programmes in which road transport research were
contractor. addressed, i.e. since FP 4. The start was quite modest,
We need to improve our ability to combine the but the involvement has increased sharply and the
competences of our members, as the project preparations of tenders for the frst call for proposals
opportunities are becoming increasingly “horizontal”. for FP7 are multiple and broad. I see this as a result
To develop winning proposals therefore requires a very of FEHRLs continuous efforts to develop a strategy of
good overview of FEHRL resources by the teams and the anticipation and preparations for new opportunities.
team leaders who have the task to coordinate and write
the proposals. Our external partners in such proposal Equally important is our cooperation with other
consortia clearly expect that such an overview exists and stakeholders in road transport research, which is
is mastered by our participants in the proposal process. organised in the European Technology Platform for road
Apart from these considerations, which serve to illustrate transport research, ERTRAC. It has given FEHRL a very
our preoccupation with the European Commission “client”, satisfying advisory infuence on the work programme
FEHRL must fnd ways to become equally effective for road transport research in FP7, which of course is
when opportunities arise for FEHRL internal projects, i.e. invaluable for a strategy of anticipation.
projects involving a number of member institutes and paid
from own funds. To handle the demands for increasing involvement FEHRL
A new challenge for which FEHRL has to prepare and get has implemented a clear division of responsibilities for the
organised is the ERANET ROAD cooperation by European major processes: opportunity development, programme
Road Administrations. Its aim is to coordinate research management; and project management. A few years ago
needs and join the funding available for these needs in framework projects might involve more than 20 individual
making public calls for tenders from the entire European road contractors. It was a problem for the project coordinators
research community, which of course is much more than as well for the Commission and a limit was set on the
FEHRL. Here a number of member institutes stand to loose number of individual contractors. This, in turn, made it
their privilege as primary provider of road research for their diffcult to meet the wish for participation by many qualifed
national road authority, at least to some extent, and FEHRL FEHRL institutes. To deal with this problem we had to
must fnd and agree on its role in this new situation. invent the so-called “umbrella” projects, where FEHRL is ACTIVITY REPORT 2006 | CHAPTER 1 LCPC
WHICH WOULD bE THE WAY FOR IMPROVINg FEHRL has existed since 1989 while the working
TRANSFERT OF ROAD RESEARCH RESULTS TOWARD conditions for national road research laboratories in most
INNOVATIONS? countries have undergone dramatic changes. At the start
most member institutes were operating as public bodies
Road technology is by its nature conservative: new ideas on government budgets with considerable freedom to use
and technologies may be thoroughly tested in the labs these resources as they saw best. Reductions in funding
and in accelerated loading facilities, but the real life testing and reduction in staff levels have been everybody’s
under traffc is still giving the ultimate answers to questions experience under the adaptation to market economy. This
about durability and longevity of new technologies. Add took place not only in the former Soviet bloc countries in
to this the development of standards and norms for the Eastern Europe, but as much – and sometimes even more
use of road technology, which are based on experiences, – in the Western European countries.
and you have a setting where changes tend to be
incremental and one typical unit of time is 20-30 year, or It was followed by a transition to various forms and
one generation! levels of commercial organisation of the institutes,
which is still under way. It has not always been easy,
Nevertheless, the providers of road technology are under and the resulting reduction of opportunities for “blue
pressure to deliver cost-effective solutions which perform sky” research are in my opinion a loss to societies as
better, last longer and protect the environment against well as to the research institutes.
pollutions including noise and arerosols at reduced lifelong
energy consumption for construction and maintenance Generally, however, the process has been a success. The
while offering surface qualities that contribute to reduce old institutes that were capable of providing road research
the energy consumption of the traffc. of any type to the national users are gone. The new
There are many drivers for this development, internal and institutes have had to learn how to operate in competition
external. Increasing congestion on the nation’s highways and under the usual demands of commercial agreements.
makes frequent repairs and maintenance extremely They have specialised and formed alliances to obtain the
undesirable, while easy access to effcient road networks benefts of mutual strengths.
is indispensable for the economic growth of modern
societies. New material technologies, including nano FEHRL itself has many features of such a major alliance.
science experiences, offer themselves for usage in the These features are still under development, and it will
road sector. Similarly, advances in sensor technologies take a while before key researchers in all FEHRL member
and communication technologies will enable future roads institutes know the strengths of their sister institutes in
and structures to be self-reporting on their condition and other European countries. Still, a large number of them
needs for interventions. now have personal professional networks throughout
the community of FEHRL members. Knowledge sharing
The big challenge and a cause for frustration for many between road institutes in FEHRL has become a target
researchers is the very diffcult transition from research within reach, which will highlight the societal value of
and development to large scale trials and subsequent the organisation. FEHRL institutes have an increasingly
implementation. Even the best tested innovations present important role in disseminating knowledge to their nations’
some risks, when they are implemented at a larger scale, road professionals, and here the common body of FEHRL
and this delays or kills many potential improvements. Most knowledge will be a treasure. The strength of FEHRL
road administrations operate under contracts that quantify depends on its members. It is fair to say that under the
their goals and specify how the achievements must be current conditions for road research in Europe, FEHRL is
measured. We may hope that the obligation to implement indispensable. If FEHRL did not exist, we would have to
new technologies and accept the risks associated with invent it. n
such objectives soon fnd their way into these contracts.
Jørgen Christensen
President of Forum of European National Highway A gOOD kNOWLEDgE OF THE MAJOR EUROPEAN