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|Hainaut (Wallonia)- Belgium
Hainaut which covers an area of 3 790 km2 has a population of 1.285 million which represents 38.8% of the population of the Walloon region as a whole. The ceramics industry is an important industrial sector in the region and has been experiencing constant growth in terms of turnover in recent years. Within the sector, emphasis has shifted to the production of more sophisticated products and the exploitation of more sophisticated technologies.
A large proportion of the ceramics companies in Wallonia are situated in the Hainaut area (25 factories). In 1997, these companies employed approximately 2 300 people with an annual turnover of close to 230 million Euros of which approximately 118 million derived from advanced ceramics and advanced refractories and the remaining 112 million Euros came from producers of non enamelled tiles, whiteware, porcelain, craft ceramics and bricks.
The Polytechnic Faculty of Mons has an engineering degree programme in Materials Science which includes the study of ceramics. The Belgian Ceramic Research Centre (BCRC) in conjunction with INISMa carries out research on all aspects of ceramic production and they also carry out training programmes for personnel in the ceramic industries.
Centro – Portugal
The Centro region has a population of 1.72 million which represents 17% of the Portuguese population. The ceramic industry is located in Centro in preference to other Portuguese regions because of the abundant natural clay deposits.
As a result of the ready availability of raw materials, there are, in the region, 112 producers of roof tiles or bricks, 6 decorative porcelain manufacturers, 6 sanitary ware factories, 105 china, stoneware and earthenware companies and 19 factories producing wall and floor tires. There is also a company producing cermets and one producing ceramic coatings. The annual turnover of the ceramic and glass sector is more than 500 million Euros.
Training, technological assistance and research are carried out by the Department of Ceramics and Glasses at the University of Aveiro as well as the Ceramic and Glass Technology Centre in Coïmbra.
Hainaut Cambrésis (Nord-Pas de Calais) – France
Hainaut Cambrésis (720 000 inhabitants) is a part of the Nord-Pas de Calais region which has a population of 3.95 million which represents 7% of the French population.
In the region there is activity in all the major sectors of the ceramic industry but for the last number of years development has tended towards technical ceramics. Furthermore, in order to ensure their economic growth in the years to come, companies in the traditional engineering and metallurgical sectors have introduced ceramic materials into their product ranges. In total there are 19 companies operating in the ceramics industry in Hainaut Cambrésis of which 6 are involved in coating technology.
In Hainaut Cambrésis, training and research are carried out in the University of Valenciennes and Hainaut-Cambrésis which has satellite locations in Cambrai and Maubeuge. Research in ceramics is carried out in the Laboratory for Advanced Ceramic Materials – LAMAC located in Maubeuge. Innovation, technological assistance and technology transfer are carried out by G.I.P. « Céramiques Fines » and CRITT in Maubeuge.
Limousin – France
With 723 000 inhabitants, Limousin has a population density of 43 inhabitants per km2. Industry in the region is very diverse and the ceramic sector represents some 7% of the total. In total, the sector employs 3 100 people in 83 companies. The porcelain industry alone represents 80% of the total turnover of the sector. There are also 2 sanitary ware companies employing 360 people and many technical ceramics enterprises which operate most notably in the areas of metallic coating and bioceramics. The ceramics sector is strengthened by the presence of related industries such as suppliers of raw materials and equipment which employs around 1 000 people. These related industries include producers of colorants, of raw materials, of equipment such as furnaces and presses and of products for decoration.
The Ceramic Technology Transfer Centre (CTTC) interfaces between research in the University of Limoges and industry as does the Centre de Recherche des Arts du Feu et de la Terre in the area of design. Training is carried out by the University of Limoges, the Ecole Nationale de Céramique Supérieure Industrielle, the Ecole Nationale de Céramique Supérieure d’ingénieurs de Limoges and the « Arts de Feu » section of the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs.
Shannon – Irland
The Shannon region has 400 000 inhabitants in an area of 10 000 km2.
Industry in the region has developed around its international airport and a technological park beside the University of Limerick. The ceramic industry in the region is relatively new and is essentially based on advanced or high-tech ceramics (11 companies employing 2 100 people): dental porcelain, zirconia sensors, fibre optic systems and couplers, tungsten carbide inserts, cutting tools, prosthesis, industrial diamonds, cubic boron nitride, pump seals, epoxy resins reinforced by ceramics, alumina powder and porcelain.
Training is carried out by the Limerick Institute of Technology in the area of traditional ceramics (art and design) and by the Department of Materials Science and Technology in the University of Limerick. The Materials Ireland Research Centre is a commercial technical research and development organisation focused on the special needs of the materials, including ceramics, industries and which acts as a support service to these industries.
Valencia – Spain
The Valencia region with 3.9 million inhabitants covers 23 305 km2 or 4.5% of Spain.
Almost all ceramic activity in the region is involved in the production of tiles of which Spain is the second largest world wide producer. Around 200 companies, employing almost 13 000 workers export more than 50% of production. Almost au of the tiles produced are enamelled, and as a result there are many enamel producers and raw material suppliers also located in the region.
Training and research is carried out by the Institute of Ceramics Technology in the University of Jaume I in Castellón.
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