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Automotive plastics supplier Novares today inaugurated its newly built skill centre for powertrain products at its site in Lens, France.

This was made possible thanks to the support of the Hauts-de-France Region.

The center is one of eight in the company’s global network of skill centres worldwide and employs 160 powertrain specialists who design parts for the automotive industry. It is one of Novares’ three powertrain skill centres, the other two are in China and the US.

Novares described Lens as “an engine of innovation”, responsible for a third of the 200 patents that its has filed with the French national intellectual property institute, INPI.

Lens began with combustion engine development but is now also focused on developing electric and hydrogen-powered engines.

The centre made its name reducing the weight and cost of individual engine parts by between 30 and 50%, finding plastic alternatives to parts traditionally made of metal.

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By GlobalData

Now its is focusing on current challenges of achieving greener, more sustainable vehicles and reducing CO2 emissions, winning prizes in recent years for innovations in fuel-cell technology and hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

The newly built 7,500 square metre centre is equipped with laboratories and mechanical simulation equipment and brings together the company’s best engineering and research experts in this field.

“The investment by Novares at the site recognises the centre’s importance as an international hub of powertrain expertise,” the company said in a statement.