French Maritime Clusters To Showcase Innovation At Oceanology 2008

P?le Mer Bretagne (Brittany Maritime Cluster) and P?le Mer PACA (Provence-Alpes-C?te d?Azur Maritime Cluster), along with around 20 of their members, will be presenting their innovative projects at Oceanology International 2008, which will be held in London from 11 to 13 March.

P?le Mer Bretagne (Brittany Maritime Cluster) and P?le Mer PACA (Provence-Alpes-C?te d?Azur Maritime Cluster), along with around 20 of their members, will be presenting their innovative projects at Oceanology International 2008, which will be held in London from 11 to 13 March.

These projects include Regicolour, a new marine environment monitoring project, Modena, a platform for marine environment modelling and simulation of complex monitoring systems, and Sea Explorer, a project for developing gliders to explore the underwater environment.

The two maritime clusters are internationally oriented French competitiveness clusters (p?les de comp?titivit?) which are recognised by the French government. They bring together large companies, SMEs and research centres working in the maritime sector, with the objective of developing and supporting security and sustainable development projects. The clusters have established links with other maritime clusters with a view to developing innovative projects, some of which could be accepted for European Union financing as part of the EU's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.

On the occasion of Oceanology International 2008, the Maritime Cluster will be setting up a meeting with the Marine South East cluster, which is backed by SEEDA, the South East England Development Agency. On the agenda is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Wednesday 12 March, and a meeting between members of the French and British clusters.

P?le Mer Bretagne brings together 267 members, including 32 industrial groups, 146 SMEs, 48 research centres and higher education institutions, as well as 41 professional bodies and economic-development organisations. P?le Mer PACA brings together 230 members, including 54 industrial groups, 103 SMEs, and 79 research and educational organisations. The two regions have a combined total of 4,800 researchers and 700 companies working within the marine sector, representing over 110,000 jobs in direct connection with the sea. Major companies, innovative SMEs and large research centres are among the clusters? members, including DCNS, Thales, Veolia, ECA, IXSEA, Nke, ACRI, CREOCEAN, MARTEC, ACSA, IFREMER and CNRS.

P?le Mer Bretagne focuses on the Atlantic seaboard of France, while P?le Mer PACA concentrates on the Mediterranean coast. The two clusters work in close partnership, bringing together various stakeholders from the worlds of industry and research, with the aim of increasing business competitiveness through innovation and the improvement of their respective regions? attractiveness, but also through the creation of jobs and the opening-up of the local economy to export markets.

About the Maritime Clusters

The Brittany and PACA Maritime Clusters encourage research centres and laboratories from within higher education institutions to share their knowledge, skills, and expertise with businesses ? whether large companies or SMEs ? in order to develop innovative collaborative projects in five key areas: maritime safety and security (monitoring of ships approaching the coastline and safety of facilities); shipbuilding and leisure boatbuilding (e-maintenance, eco-design and eco-navigation); marine energy resources (offshore oil exploitation, renewable marine energy and underwater intervention robots); marine biological resources (new molecules derived from marine biodiversity and tools & services for sustainable fishing); and coastal environmental planning and development (marine and coastal environment monitoring and modelling, and infrastructures).

Representatives from the Maritime Cluster will attend the Oceanology 2008 trade show in London, to be held from 11 to 13 March 2008 at ExCel in Docklands.

The Maritime Cluster will have a stand on the French national pavilion, which will be a UBIFRANCE pavilion. UBIFRANCE is the French export-support agency, and the French Technology Press Bureau (FTPB) is the London press bureau of UBIFRANCE.

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by Kate Ambler (few years ago!)

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