The Ifram’s actions are based on this following observations :
- Metal craftsmen’s professional sector is very diversified and is covering a great variety of professions whose some are practiced sometimes only by around ten craftmen in the whole France, such as metalwork, locksmithing, cutlery, copperwork, chiseling-engraving, tinware, blacksmithing, wheelwright…
- This sector is very dispersed geographicly
-It is indistinctly representated et does not make the object of official statistics. This lack of information makes it even more isolated.
-It is also suffering from a deficiency concerning its image in the eyes of the orders’s giver and the general public.
-The aged craftmen are retiring without being able to transmit their knowledges.
- This sector is chronically short-handed and not being attractive to the young graduated ones who are naturally going toward the industrial firms.
Cannot being satisfied by this diagnosis and its consequences (programed disappearance of knowledges) professionals, present on the whole french territory, have decided to gather and to create IFRAM. The instigators’s will of this gathering is to federate the metal craftsmen about a collective project in the aim to get out of their isolation and to be listened by the public authorities. To permit the structuration of the metal sector, they have begun the constitution of a professional network.
The actions done by the IFRAM have the aim, as the national innovation center, to develop tools in this domains :
- diffusing knowledges and practices
-advicing and assisting firms
-innovating and researching adapted solutions for artisans
Diffusing knowledges and practices :
•Data base : detecting professional sector concerned by the innovation center, Creating a national and complete repertory of the « fèvres », detecting the firms concerned, collecting needs and expectations
•Initial education : formulating an innovating course to train the« fèvres ».
•Continuing education : adaptation of the « fèvres »course to continuing courses for the craftsmen and their employees, creating specific short training courses answering to firms’s daily needs.
•Technical days : symposium with pratical working groups based on technical theme, conventions and debates
•Publications : « Fèvres »Magazine, creating special issues with specific themes, realising technical guide books, developing a correspondence library.
•The « Fèvres » exhibtion : a commercial space where craftsmen and potential metalgoods buyers can met.
Advicing and assisting firms
•Creating a network with cultural, educational, scientific, technical, professional, institutionnal, national and international partnerships.
•Advicing and giving technical assistance : creating a network of « fèvres-technical counsellors».
Innovating and researching adapted solutions for artisans
•Adaptating existing technical solutions, for example developing gas forges. This project is about the study of the technical feasibility and the fabrication of a prototype. Moreover the innovative character of this tool must be approuved and validate by the artisans
•Technologic transmission in the aim of providing technologies used in the industry to the artisans but adaptated to their hand-made context
•Researching on new methods : of an internet network, study of feasibility about the creation of a « fèvres » virtual community, technical preparation for the taking place of a videoconference
In the middle of this large range of actions, this Internet website itself, is a true tool for metal professionals. It is an opportunity for them to exchange their knowledges and to show their realisation to the architects, decorators, landscapers, patrimony managers private individuals, who are the order’s givers… Being attentive to all the artisans in the whole territory, the association is actually seing signs of a revival in the sector. In this way, IFRAM bets on this website, supposed to become over time a meeting place in metal art professions, with the aim to stimulate the recovery of activity and to highlight the whole profession.
So this website is perfectly fitting into the missions pursued by the innovation center : to take care and support the development of traditional firms.