A Little History
The French Centre for Studies and Research into Collieries (Cerchar) was founded on July 1, 1947.
A major central research establishment within the Collieries of France (CdF), Cerchar became a breeding ground for CdF's technological development, focusing on the study of workers’ safety, metrology of airborne dust particles and methane, and respiratory illnesses.
In the late 1960s, the Centre began to put its skills and knowledge to the service of new industrial sectors, particularly on the subjects of gas explosions and dust particles. During the 1970s, it became involved in chemistry, water quality and air quality. This brought the Centre into increasingly close ties with the National Institute of Applied Chemical Research (Ircha).
As the coal industry continued to decline, Cerchar, whose size and budget had outgrown the needs of CdF, eventually stepped out from under its wing. The Centre soon saw the need to switch to a more forward-looking regime, and it was events in the industrial environment that delivered the opportunity. At the end of the 1980s, fear was driving public opinion in France and around the world in the aftermath of tragedies such as the Bhopal disaster, the Challenger shuttle explosion, and the Chernobyl catastrophe.
So Cerchar’s potential was put to serve the public as part of government's desire to build policy on the major challenges represented by the environment, hygiene, and industrial safety.