Testimony from Marc BOUCHEZ

Industrial representative from the first year of the Industrial Club

When the ARD MATEX was established by the Centre-Val de Loire region, an Industrial Club was envisioned and created, with a rotating presidency of an industrial representative every year.

For the establishment of this Club, MBDA and I were approached, and it was only logical to accept. During the setup and the first year of this MATEX Club, I appreciated its interest and dynamism, largely due to the especially efficient, responsive, and attentive leadership team.

Both as an industry professional, I fear (and avoid, when possible) 'empty shells' and 'organizations with no real purpose,' and I have observed that this is not the case here: the MATEX Club is already yielding visible and appreciated results by participants (industrial representatives of all kinds, academics, elected officials, public operators, etc.).

Even though it is part of a clear framework (ARD MATEX) and a strong determination, the reality of the Club has been built with a certain amount of generosity and a collective effort from motivated individuals finding concrete assistance at each meeting, newsletter, testimony, survey, and company/instrumental park catalog entry.

As agreed, I am stepping aside for another industrial representative, but I am proud that this initiative exists (even if it can still be improved, and efforts are being made under the guidance of its executive committee and based on participant feedback). Living in Berry for 35 years but working in a highly international context, I appreciated the Club's willingness to operate through 'visitations' all over the region, territory after territory, to encounter local realities and personalities.

The MATEX Club is a great example of a collective effort combining political, industrial, and personal will to develop industry, research, society, and continuing education. It facilitates the openness of individuals involved in an original and diverse regional territory. This practical and enduring initiative will help, especially, to prevent industrials, SMEs, and sometimes even large European groups like mine from suffering from a lack of innovative solutions to solve the problems of extreme environments for their products, clients, or factories when they are right next to sources (public research laboratories located in the Centre-Val de Loire region).

Finally, I appreciate, as it is not so common, the ability of the MATEX Industrial Club not to separate these industrial and academic concerns, 'serious' and 'very professional' in the American sense, from other human dimensions such as art, challenges, or the realities of everyday life. For example, during the September meeting in Châteauroux, we spent the morning getting a firsthand look at the concrete reality of airport firefighters, and in the afternoon, we quickly discovered a 'Ceramic Route,' not just for making engine parts or industrial furnaces, but also to concretely rediscover and enhance our world and lives.

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