By Denna Bowman
Michelin was named Tyre Manufacturer of the Year at the annual Tire Technology International Award for Innovation and Excellence ceremony.
The prestigious award comes in recognition of a year that saw the French tyres manufacturer deliver massive internal investment and the development of significant new partnerships with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and Amyris Inc.
The first of these is focused on developing new actions to foster safer and more sustainable mobility through motorsport technology.
The second centres on a collaboration in the development and commercialisation of renewable isoprene. Under the agreement, Amyris and Michelin will partner financially and with resources to develop Amyris’s technology for producing isoprene from renewable feedstocks.
Amyris expects to begin commercialising this isoprene in 2015 for use in tyre and other speciality chemical applications.
In terms of investment, during the course of last year Michelin directed US$200 million towards its Lexington facility in the US to further expand capacity, while an additional $50 million was spent in the US upgrading equipment and expanding capacity at the Fort Wayne BFGoodrich Tire manufacturing facility.
Additionally, a 100 million euros was spent upgrading Michelin’s global research and development centre in Ladoux, France.
The award was announced at the Tire Technology Expo 2012 in Cologne, Germany, last week.