EDF and the Richelieu Committee (1) are organising the fourth edition of the SME and Innovation Forum on Thursday 7 December. This year, nearly 100 innovative French SMEs and TIEs will be gathered in Paris, coming from all regions of France. It will be an opportunity for EDF to strengthen cooperation between its business lines and the region's SMEs and mid-sized companies (ETIs), which account for nearly 70 % of its suppliers and service providers for its direct purchases alone.
This initiative is all the more topical today as the Government presented an "Ambition for Industry" in November and launched consultations on the "Business Action Plan" in October. The common thread running through these dynamics is inter-company relations and innovation.
The aim of the forum is to bring out innovations to support the fields of excellence on key issues of the energy transition: development of a low-carbon energy mix, new storage solutions, electric mobility, digital infrastructures... It is also about enriching EDF's energy solutions for its customers.
Throughout the afternoon, people from the Group's business lines and subsidiaries will be talking to the managers of SMEs. Support, co-creation or partnership schemes between SMEs and EDF will be presented.
The partnerships initiated following the previous forums have been concluded in a reactive manner, thanks to a simplified contractualisation system, adapted to the constraints and challenges of SMEs. The forum thus reinforces the lasting relationship between the EDF Group, which has had the "Responsible Supplier Relations" label since 2015, and French SMEs and ETIs.
Jean-Bernard Lévy - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EDF Group declares that "EDF places innovation at the heart of its strategy in order to best support its customers and territories in their energy transition. This fourth edition of the SME and Innovation forum is thus an opportunity for the Group to strengthen its relations with SMEs in order to benefit from their dynamism and creativity. For these companies, it is also an opportunity to develop and participate in the emergence of an innovative industrial fabric that is committed to the energy transition. »
For Jean-Pierre Gérault - Chairman of the Richelieu Committee, "This event is today welcomed and awaited by innovative French SMEs and ETIs, who see it as a unique opportunity to meet relevant contacts within the EDF Group. It is not insignificant to contribute in this way to the acculturation of an industrial ecosystem to innovation and the win-win nature of inter-company relations. »
(1) The Richelieu Committee is the national network of innovative companies. It acts to promote an ecosystem favourable to start-ups, innovative SMEs and ETIs and sets up actions to boost relations within this ecosystem. The Comité Richelieu brings together more than 300 companies with the following typical profile: 55 employees, an average turnover of 7 million euros of which approximately 30% are dedicated to export and 30% invested in Research and Development. The Committee addresses a network of 4,000 associated companies with more than 100,000 employees.