The use of composite materials in the marine environment raises many scientific questions: durability, hygroscopic behaviour, ageing of structures, the impact of high pressure, mechanical stress or the degradation and end of life of its parts, coupled with their impact on the environment, are all fundamental issues. They are most of the time exacerbated when we talk about biobased composite materials and the use of reinforcing plant fibres. 

Over two days on 22-23 April 2021, the Biobased Composites in Marine Environment Conference proposes to give an overview of the state of the art and to contribute to the dissemination of current research works on all these topics through 4 highlights:

  1. Keynote talks: Pr. Jörg Müssig (U. of Bremen), Pr. Aart Van Vuure (KULeuven), Dr. James Blake & Dr. Jeanne Blanchard (U. of Southampton) and Ms. Rachel Moreau (One Step Ahead & Ocean As Common) confirmed their participation and will introduce the 4 sessions. Consult their biography here
  2. Scientific presentations: from the various academic communities concerned (mechanics, biology, physics, chemistry) and their experts in their fields. Interested in sharing your work? Submit your abstract here until 30/01/2021.
  3. Companies pitch: Discover how biocomposites inspire the maritime industry with the testimony of several European companies. Are you a company that already experienced the incorporation of biobased materials in composites? Or do you intend to do so but did not have the opportunity yet or still face some technical issues? Apply by emailing marinebiocomp@sciencesconf.org before 28/02/2021 with a short description of your company and activities, a title for your presentation and your intention of participation (onsite or online).
  4. Individual meeting: You will have the opportunity to network in both industrial and academic communities, deepen some topics or engage future collaborations with the other participants onsite or online through the B2B meeting platform*, facilitated by Bretagne Développement Innovation's EEN team supporting the Eurolarge Innovation programme.*You will be able to plan your meetings with a link provided after your registration.

The event will go hybrid: the conference will take place onsite in Lorient (Brittany, FR) and a virtual layer will be available for everyone who prefers to join the event remotely. 

More information on the provisional agenda here.


About the conference

Biobased Composites in Marine Environment Conference, organised by University of South Brittany (IRDL Laboratory), is the third to be held within the framework of the FLOWER project (co-financed by the Interreg VA France (Channel) England Programme); following two editions organised by the INRAE in Nantes in 2019 and the University of Portsmouth in 2020. Both were dedicated to the structure and properties of plant fibres and the performance and properties of the associated composites. During the webinar organised by the University of Portsmouth, an important place was also given to industrial applications.

This third event on 22-23 April 2021 will be dedicated to the use of biobased materials and composites in the marine environment. These research areas are directly linked to the scientific axes of the CNRS IRDL institute, organiser of this event (see organisers section for more details). It is also in strong relation with the topics studied in the FLOWER project; in particular through the development of a foiler boat, fully flax fibres reinforced as well as biobased and compostable advertising panels are developed.

In Lorient, this topic takes on its full meaning, as the city has always been related to the oceans.  Founded in 1666 to be the national headquarters of the Compagnie des Indes, Lorient is entirely focused on maritime activities by hosting one of the main French military arsenals, as well as the largest French fishing port in terms of value. Lorient has also been able to diversify by becoming France's leading centre for competitive sailing and ocean racing. All this has earned it the nickname of "city of 5 ports".


During the two days of the conference, the following topics will be discussed:

  • Plant fibres and preforms for biobased composite materials: Degradation of plant fibres in the marine or water environment; Hygroscopic behaviour of plant fibres and reinforcements; Influence of the nature and specificity of the plant fibres; Innovative preforms; Ageing of plant fibres and associated reinforcements.
  • Matrices and interfaces: Ageing; Durability; Evolution of interfaces; Behaviour and degradation of matrices in immersion, relative humidity or marine environment; Biobased matrices; Behaviour in a marine environment, degradation and biodegradation; Modelling and prediction of service life.
  • Biobased composites in the marine environment, in-use properties: Water ageing of biodegradable or biobased composites; Mechanical, vibratory and fatigue behaviour; Extreme stresses; Submerged structures; Biodegradation of parts; Controlled biodegradation; Biobased composite applications for Renewable Marine Energies.
  • Deconstruction, end of life, recycling and environmental assessment of biobased composites: Recycling of matrices; Recovery; Deconstruction; Life Cycle Analysis; Eco-design; Recycling of parts at the end of life; Deconstruction / separation of components.

> More information to participate as speaker in “Submissions” section.


Important dates

Call for abstracts opening


Deadline for abstracts submission - scientific presentation


Deadline for companies pitch application


Communication of acceptance and opening of the registrations







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