Speaker Interviews

Discover more about the topics and technologies to be discussed at Tire Technology Virtual 'Live', via a series of exclusive interviews with a selection of our expert speakers!

Raffaele di Ronza - R&D open innovation expert - Bridgestone

What is your presentation about?

The purpose of our presentation is to discuss and highlight some of the partnerships and solutions that are helping to drive a future of sustainability at Bridgestone. We’ll also be emphasizing the difference that collaboration can make to innovation in this area; in particular, we’ll be giving an in-depth look at TECHSYN, an innovative material technology platform we co-developed in partnership with Arlanxeo and Solvay.

How can tires be made more sustainable?

Earlier this year, Bridgestone announced its Sustainability Business Framework, a roadmap for supporting safe and secure mobility and contributing to the realization of a carbon-neutral society. The sustainability of tires can be improved at every stage of the value chain, including procurement, development, manufacturing, use and end of life. A big part of this is improving rolling resistance and fuel efficiency across our tire portfolio and doing more with fewer resources: reducing raw material consumption, as well as recycling and diversifying resources and using them effectively.

We’re investing to make our manufacturing processes greener: this year, we reached the milestone of powering our European locations with electricity from 100% renewable sources. And we’re embracing a digital-first approach, using virtual tire prototyping and testing to lessen the environmental impact of the development of Bridgestone tires.

What does Techsyn do, and how does it work?

TECHSYN is a tire technology platform that combines chemically optimized synthetic rubber with tailormade silica, interacting at a molecular level, to deliver outstanding performance with no trade-offs. Each material was developed in parallel by the three companies to create a tire technology platform that is unrivaled in strength and environmental performance.

TECHSYN enables tires to achieve up to 30% better wear efficiency and rolling resistance that is reduced by up to 6% compared with other conventional Bridgestone EMIA1 summer products. TECHSYN’s durability extends the designed lifespan of tires made with it by up to 30%, to ultimately result in a tire that can go further for longer and reduce the consumption of raw materials in the long term.

The technology also augments the sustainable performance of the tires it’s applied to, by reducing overall fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.2

Not only does TECHSYN achieve all this without compromising any other performance areas, but it can also be endlessly rebalanced for different needs, prioritizing rolling resistance, wear or wet grip, in an infinite array of combinations.

What are the advantages in working as a partnership?

Working in partnership means that you can bring the best expertise and knowledge from experts in specific fields to create something that is truly innovative – no single company has all the answers, especially considering the challenges we face today.

For example, developing TECHSYN required the expertise of all three companies: Solvay’s unique advanced silica developments, Arlanxeo’s expertise in developing, manufacturing and delivering novel tire polymers, and Bridgestone’s innovative compound technology.

Through close partnership, Bridgestone, Arlanxeo and Solvay were able to bring the concept to reality in just 24 months (two-party collaborations typically take 36 months).

This exceptional cooperation and understanding between the three companies, combined with a profound knowledge of molecular mechanisms, demonstrates just what can be achieved through close collaboration and an open-minded approach – and all while respecting and protecting individual intellectual property rights.

We have recognized this as a valuable approach and have identified a roadmap where close collaboration within our ecosystem will be essential to move forward.

What are Bridgestone's next steps in advancing sustainable tires?

Bridgestone is transforming to become a sustainable solutions company by 2050 – a long-term vision grounded in two main objectives: to utilize 100% sustainable materials,3 and to achieve a carbon-neutral state by 2050 and beyond. TECHSYN marks a significant breakthrough on our journey.

While 2050 may seem a long way away, the journey is well underway, with intermediary milestones on the horizon for 2030, such as reducing our absolute CO2 emissions by 50% from where we were in 2011 – a goal we’ve already achieved across our European operations.

We’re also working within other partnerships to ensure a more sustainable future: for example, with mobility innovator Lightyear to engineer tires for Lightyear One, the world’s first long-range solar-electric vehicle.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?

As Bridgestone transforms to become a sustainable solutions company by 2050 – guided by its Sustainability Business Framework and a series of mid/long-term sustainability-focused goals, the launch of TECHSYN, a solution created with the environment front of mind, marks a significant breakthrough on this journey.

We’re excited to reveal many more initiatives and partnerships on this journey in the near future!

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