Chair in Factory for the Future

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Signed with Safran and the Michelin Corporate Foundation, this chair is under the aegis of the ESCP Foundation. It adresses the human and organisational management modes required to adapt to the acceleration in the development of production methods, and examines the related conditions and consequences.

Safran and the Michelin group have deployed new production methods in order to respond to market changes. These transformations have revolutionised traditional organisational models and have made operators increasingly autonomous. The growing digitalisation of production units has altered men’s relationship with production, and raises serious questions about management methods.

The Chair, launched on the 27th April 2017, is designed to explore the impact of the digital revolution on managerial and organizational methoss in industry. This Chair is led by Géraldine Galindo, Associate Professor at ESCP.

Safran and Michelin factories

Geraldine Galindo, PhD Business Administration, Associate Professor at ESCP
A word from
Géraldine Galindo
Scientific Director

Digitalization is transforming organizations and their management methods, particularly within production units. Human beings are at the centre of this evolution, by being both a resource for transforming factories and impacted in their daily work by these very transformations.
The objective of this chair is precisely to study the effects of digitalization on the skills of industrial companies' employees and on their management methods.
The research will deepen the new skills expected of all stakeholders. Management practices will be questioned in order to study, for examples, new ways of thinking employability, the HR function and work organization.
The "Factory for the Future" Chair is therefore dedicated to taking part in debates on digitalization and its effects, focusing on the human and managerial challenges associated with this issue.
The challenges addressed by this Chair are perfectly in line with the DNA of ESCP, a business school characterized by its humanistic approach of management.

Géraldine Galindo
Associate Professor at ESCP
and Scientific Director

Jean-Luc Bérard, Executive Vice President for Human Resources at Safran
A few words from
Jean-Luc Bérard

The aviation sector is growing and Safran is adding several hundred new operators and technicians every year.
The increasing digitization of our production facilities will require new skills and knowledge, which we have to add right now.
With the measures implemented by this new chair, dubbed ‘Factory of the Future', we are taking an active role in shaping the future of our industry and these students.

Jean-Luc Bérard
Executive Vice President for Human Resources
at Safran

Philippe Legrez, Executive Director of the Michelin Corporate Foundation
A few words from
Philippe Legrez
ED, Michelin
Corporate Foundation

This chair will enable students to carry out research on a subject that concerns not only industry, but society as a whole.
It will help us better understand the impact of the digital revolution on factory work so we can more effectively support our workers, especially production staff, in this transformation that is already under way.

Philippe Legrez
Executive Director
of the Michelin Corporate Foundation

What will the factories of tomorrow look like ?

The Factory for the Future chair is the result of a shared will to explore and anticipate these changes’ impact on the role of humans at work, and on organisational and managerial methods. Safran and Michelin group have deployed new production methods in order to respond to market changes.

Factory of the future Plan

In 2014, the French government launched 34 plans to boost the industrial sector in France.
The “Factory of the Future” plan is one of these schemes, involving intelligent robots, connected objects, 3D printing, digital production, and more. Industry had not experienced such disruptions in almost 50 years. What will the factories of tomorrow look like? Innovative? Efficient? Secure? Job-creating? They are currently being redesigned.

Increasing knowledge and sharing practices

This Chair aims to enable Safran, Safran Aircraft Engines and the Michelin group to contribute to increasing knowledge and sharing practices in this field.
Achieving these objectives will require internal analysis and benchmarking as a first step, followed by an examination of international best practices with regard to Human Resources management within empowering organisations.

Purpose of the Chair

  • Develop analyses and bolster knowledge on the topic via European benchmarking and case studies entrusted to students and researchers.
  • Transmit this knowledge through publications and conferences.
  • Contribute to the public debate on the conditions and impacts of new organisational methods in manufacturing.

Main Theme

The chair will revolve around a central theme: the impact of current upheavals in production methods on humans and organisations.

Factors of these changes

1st Empowering organisations

The first factor, historically speaking, is the implementation of empowering organisations through Lean Manufacturing. The production units which have adopted these methods, some for several years now, have already had to restructure their organisations, sometimes dramatically, in order to enable operators to work more autonomously than in the past.

2nd Digital technologies

The second factor is the massive arrival of digital technologies in factories, which radically alters the relationship between humans, products and production processes, and imposes new managerial and organisational modes.


The combination and resulting mutual intensification of these two trends today raise the following questions for both Industrial and Human Resources managers:
  • How do we engage operating teams in these changes?
  • What are the consequences on their work?
  • How do we measure what they expect, or possibly fear, from these upheavals?
  • How do we train and support them?
  • How do we define the necessary skills for recruitment? How do we develop these skills?
  • What is the new role of management? What new managerial skills need to be recruited and developed?
  • What are the drivers of long-term engagement from teams and managers, in these new organisations?
  • How do we acknowledge and encourage individual engagement in order to serve the wider interest?

Areas of research

Research activities

Expected research activities on the theme of The Factory of the Future:

  • Research led by ESCP professors and doctoral students, with support where appropriate from external specialists (associated researchers networks, calls for research projects).
  • Setting up a "Best Practices" observatory to explore the themes under study.
  • Final theses carried out by students on the issues chosen.
  • Company Projects carried out by students in the International Business MBA.

Participate activities

Participation in the public debate, internal and external dissemination of ideas:

  • Annual public conference and themed seminars.
  • Drafting of a white paper on Best Practices.
  • Awareness-raising activities among ESCP students (teachings, final research theses, Company Projects for students in the International Business MBA, learning expeditions to China with ESCP professors, students and Safran and Michelin executives, etc.).


Geraldine Galindo, PhD Business Administration, Associate Professor at ESCP


Scientific Director

Focus on ...

chaire Une Usine pour le Futur


Lauch of Food for Ears Operation [FR]

31 march 2020
Podcasting recommendations complete the online pedagogical offer for ESCP students.

Welcome to the New Chair Factory for the Future


Welcome to the New Chair Factory for the Future

27 April 2017
Safran and Michelin endow ESCP chair: "factory of the future": how people fit in the digital world


Michelin Corporate Foundation and Safran commit in Factory for the Future chair[FR]

Why did Safran and Michelin Corporate Foundation decide to join in the Factory for Future chair?

News & Events

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Michelin Corporate Foundation and Safran commit in Factory for Future Chair

[in French]

Research & Publications

Impact Paper
Industry: A prototype that is better prepared than others for the end of the crisis?

ESCP Business School
Mai 2020

This paper questions the industrial sector which has almost become a barometer of the crisis and is under the spotlight of the media and analysis.

Written by Géraldine Galindo

Usine pour le Futur : six projets de recherche en cours [FR]

Chair Une Usine pour le Futur
26 juillet 2018

Dans le cadre de ses activités scientifiques, la Chaire Usine pour le Futur a initié plusieurs nouveaux projets de recherche autour de la digitalisation cette année.


Usine pour le Futur : une doctorante en immersion chez les partenaires [FR]

Chair Une Usine pour le Futur
10 juillet 2018

Dans le cadre de sa thèse, Chaïmae Bennis s’est plongée dans les usines des partenaires de la Chaire Usine pour le Futur afin de mieux cerner l’impact de la digitalisation.



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