Anne Lauvergeon, former president of Areva, was entrusted with the chairmanship of the "Innovation 2030" commission by Jean-Marc Ayrault, during a trip to Tours on innovation in the context of the implementation of the measures of the competitiveness pact. This commission will be responsible for identifying the sectors and technologies in which France could become a leader by 2030.
Soon to be set up by Arnaud Montebourg, in the presence of Fleur Pellerin, this "Innovation 2030" commission will be composed of industrialists, scientists and representatives of civil society.
Its mission will be to propose to the government by the summer the sectors and technologies in which France is likely to occupy leading positions by 2030, focusing on activities that will meet the needs of tomorrow's society and create the greatest value and the most jobs in the country.
Photo credits ©Alain Jocard/AFP
So much for the official government press release. A commission to boost the technologies and players in the dominant sectors, from start-ups to large groups.
Indeed, the government will launch an innovation competition for each industrial challenge it has selected, open to all companies, start-ups, ETIs, large groups, and foreign companies that want to develop in France. It will devote €150M from the Investments for the Future programme, managed by the Public Investment Bank, to stimulate the creativity of our companies and mobilise significant private funding.
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The most promising projects will be supported in the long term until they are industrialised and all public instruments will be mobilised and made consistent to accelerate their development and bring out the champions of tomorrow.
In a recent interview with Les Echos, Fleur Pellerin, Minister Delegate for the Digital Economy, explains that the government's action is aimed at redeploying future investments towards "priority sectors, such as the Cloud, IT security, Big Data or connected objects. Big Data will be used to improve our competitiveness everywhere, in administration or energy consumption. The leverage effect of innovation on society is immense.
Last Friday, the government unveiled an investment of some 11.5 million euros to support seven Big Data projects, again as part of Investments in the Future. It should be noted that the government seems determined to go further in this area, with the creation of a real Big Data sector in the context of the capital's future digital district.
In line with the Welsh report, the government has also just received a report, written by Jean-Luc Beylat, President of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs France and President of the Systematic Paris-Region competitiveness cluster, and Pierre Tambourin, Director of Research at Inserm and CEO of Genopole® in Evry, recommending in-depth work on the culture of innovation in France through 19 specific recommendations.
So is this new commission an additional layer to the governmental technocratic millefeuille or a new dynamic for growth?
Jean-Marc Ayrault makes it clear that this Commission is there to "reflect on how France must prepare, on the technological and industrial levels, to meet the new needs that will arise in the next twenty years from changes in our lifestyles and consumption patterns, but also from ecological imperatives". He also considers that it is "urgent to redress the bar, by providing our country with a more ambitious and coherent innovation policy". Indeed, France is "stagnating" in 11th place in Europe and 16th in the world.
He wants to "set up an experimental programme of so-called 'breakthrough innovation', that which opens up radically new possibilities and transforms our relationship with technology, in order to stimulate the creativity of companies in a few strategic sectors".
The "Innovation 2030" commission, which will have a dozen members, should be operational in a fortnight", Anne Lauvergeon told Reuters, assuring that she "did not hesitate" before accepting this new position.
It will also serve as an input for the reflection of the General Commission for Strategy and Forward Studies, which will be set up shortly by the Prime Minister.
The new chairwoman of the "Innovation 2030" committee is currently a director at Vodafone, American Express and Total. Recently, Anne Lauvergeon has also joined the Board of Directors of EADS. She is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the newspaper Libération.
At the head of such large groups, will it also be able to hear the expectations of the thousands of smaller companies who are waiting for more accessible, less scattered financial and administrative support? And what about training for new professions? Are we on a global overview, a real roadmap in response to the measures provided for in the Competitiveness, Growth and Employment Pact and above all to the expectations of the many innovative companies? Only time will tell...
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