Technology firm Lectra has named Laurent Alt as the new director of its software R&D department, tasked with reinforcing the advances the company has made over the last seven years.

Lectra's specialised CAD and PLM software and cutting systems target the fashion and footwear sectors among others, with more than 200 people working at its R&D department in France.

The company says its decision to maintain R&D and production in France has enabled it to compete with low-cost products, increase its competitiveness and boost its margins.

"This decision has also enabled Lectra to protect its industrial property," notes Daniel Harari, Lectra CEO. He adds that the "arrival of Laurent Alt...will enable us to reinforce our technological advance all the more."

Alt has a background in 3D modelling, spent 14 years at PLM specialist Dassault Systèmes, and was most recently CEO at HD3D, a company which develops digital content production management software.