Published on 20 Nov 2023

  • Business setup
  • Company transformations and transitions
  • Chemicals, environment, ecotechnology, energy
  • Industry
  • Transport and logistics
  • Lyon Metropolitan Area

The French company FORVIA (previously known as Faurecia) is a key player in the global automotive equipment sector. In 2022, it set up a subsidiary specialising in sustainable material development: MATERI’ACT. Having chosen to set up in France, it opened in Villeurbanne, in Lyon Métropole.

As the seventh largest automotive equipment manufacturer in the world, FORVIA Group stands out for its vocation: to be a change maker committed to foreseeing and making the mobility transformation happen. Its goal, validated by the Science Based Target Initiative, is to achieve "net zero emissions" by 2045. From this desire to take action for the environment, FORVIA created MATERI’ACT in November 2022. This entity specialises in developing and producing materials with a very low carbon footprint.

In August 2023, MATERI’ACT set up in Villeurbanne, at the heart of the chemicals-environment sector's innovation ecosystem, to develop its global operations.

MATERI’ACT: serving FORVIA's commitment to sustainable transformation 

For over ten years, FORVIA has been developing special expertise in the use of efficient and sustainable materials for manufacturers and industry. Through MATERI’ACT, the group is stepping up development of its own sustainable materials. By creating this entity, FORVIA is reaffirming its commitment to reducing its carbon emissions.

Are you wondering how?

By installing its decision-making centre, its research & development laboratory and its workshop, MATERI’ACT is all set to design and market cutting-edge materials with a very low carbon footprint.

FORVIA's new entity will also open an incubator for start-ups and small businesses working on durability. MATERI’ACT will provide a 2,000-sq. metre space to house and support these companies. They will also be able to use the MATERI'ACT lab.

Rapid expansion

Having launched this business with just two people in November 2022, the company now has 80 employees just one year later. It has ambitious goals: to create 400 jobs in three years and to reach two billion euros in revenue by 2030.

The arrival of MATERI’ACT as an opportunity for Greater Lyon's economic fabric

MATERI’ACT is located at 64 boulevard du 11 novembre in Villeurbanne, near the LyonTech-la Doua campus. It is situated in the GlassDoor building, which has an environmental label

As well as its head office and support services (3,000 sq. metres of office space + 1,000 sq. metres of social space and canteen), MATERI’ACT has a 1,000-sq. metre pilot workshop, a laboratory (500 sq. metres) and an open innovation space (2,000 sq. metres for the start-up incubator). The group's 1,000-sq. metre pilot workshop is located in the Silk quarter, very close to Alstom in Villeurbanne. It will carry out product testing and pre-industrialisation phases.

MATERI’ACT is helping to develop the local ecosystem. It is also planning to form a number of partnerships with academic laboratories and the region's scientific fabric, which is a global leader in the field of materials. FORVIA has also acquired a stake in Symbio, the leading player in the zero-emission hydrogen mobility sector, alongside Stellantis and Michelin.

Lyon Métropole: a prime region for the sustainable materials sector

FORVIA chose first Europe, then France, and finally the Lyon region to set up MATERI'ACT's headquarters and research & development centre, and an incubator. Rémi Daudin, CEO of MATERI’ACT, explains:

The region and city of Lyon provided a great balance of quality of life, university presence, and chemicals tradition to make it the ideal place for our R&D. Our ongoing recruitment campaign backs up this early intuition. 

Together, Lyon Métropole, Aderly and the town of Villeurbanne successfully promoted the region's assets to the group, which was studying a number of locations worldwide. FORVIA was won over and gained joint support from all three organisations in all stages of MATERI'ACT's installation in the region. Of particular note was their help in finding suitable premises.

This set-up project actually won Aderly a United Nations (UN) award at the World Investment Forum held by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on 16 October 2023. The prize recognises the support given to this project, which advances Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And, particularly, the fact it attracted investment to support the development and production of innovative sustainable materials with a low CO2 footprint for the automotive industry.

Watch the interview with Rémi Daudin, CEO of MATERI’ACT

Rémi Daudin, CEO of MATERI’ACT talks about the FORVIA Group's activity and about MATERI’ACT and its growth potential. He also explains why the company chose to set up in the Greater Lyon area, what the local ecosystem provides and how it plans to help boost the region's vitality.

Interview with Rémi Daudin, CEO of MATERI’ACT, filmed by Aderly on 23 June 2023. The FORVIA Group, a world-class automotive equipment manufacturer, created the company MATERI’ACT in November 2022 to boost development and production of sustainable materials. It chose Lyon Métropole as home to its decision-making centre (headquarters) and its research & development centre housing a materials characterisation laboratory and a pilot workshop. MATERI’ACT set up in Villeurbanne in August 2023. Rémi Daudin, CEO of MATERI’ACT talks about the FORVIA Group's activity and about MATERI’ACT and its growth potential. He also explains why the company chose to set up in the Greater Lyon area, what the local ecosystem provides, and how it plans to help boost the region's vitality.

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