Interview: Frédéric Merle, EuraMaterials

Frédéric Merle is a development manager at EuraMaterials, a french competitiveness cluster. Discover his role within ESSIAL in an interview.

Can you describe Euramaterials, your main activities and expertise in relation to the ESSIAL project?

EuraMaterials is a competitiveness cluster dedicated to materials processing companies. Based in Tourcoing, in the North of France, we support our industrial members, technical centres and research laboratories throughout their innovation projects, from the identification of partners to the development of project results. We are a team of 16 people including 5 project managers.

In ESSIAL, we provide our expertise in technology and market watch in the fields of materials and materials functionalisation.

What is your main role in the project?

We are both active in the field of patent research and scientific articles on the research topics developed in the ESSIAL project, i.e. metallurgy, electrical steel production, laser and surface treatment and assembly technologies. We are also involved in market study to assess the industrial potential of the innovations developed within the project and to establish a list of target companies in Europe and in particular within the countries covered by the consortium partners.

Why did you decide to join the consortium?

Participation in European projects is one of the main missions of competitiveness clusters. Being a partner in this consortium also allows us to develop our expertise in the electrical steel sector, which is still not well known within the EuraMaterials structure.

As part of the project you are mainly in charge of the technological and economic watch linked to the results of the project, what conclusions have you drawn so far?

In addition to the large number of patents and scientific publications that we were able to list (more than 1000 patents and more than 200 publications), we also observed the potential for dissemination of the technology through the market study:

  • Growth in markets related to electrical energy; renewable energies (wind power), electric mobility, defence, and aerospace markets.
  • Expected growth in the markets for motors, transformers, and electrical components.


We have also identified a portfolio of SMEs and large groups in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland as potential users or distributors of the technologies resulting from the project.

What are the main challenges associated with this task?

Understanding the specific applications of the ESSIAL project, e.g. in the field of transformers, targeting high power transformers.

In order to identify the stakeholders, going further than their activity codes (NACE) by going to their website to validate the type of products put on the market.