Actualité Innovation

Intervention de Geneviève Fioraso au High Level Forum

Geneviève Fioraso au High Level Forum de Grenoble© D.R.

Geneviève Fioraso s'est exprimée en ouverture du High Level Forum qui s'est tenu à Grenoble les 9 et 10 juillet derniers.

Discours - 9.07.2012
Geneviève Fioraso

It's a pleasure for me to open the High Level Forum held here within GIANT Campus in Grenoble.
It's a unique event that gathers for two days, key actors from famous innovation centres.
It's really an honour to have here in Grenoble, this international Forum centred on open innovation with debates on "innovation eco-systems", "success criteria for world leading eco-systems", "self-sustaining industrial landscapes" and "balancing of research – development-innovation portfolios".

Open Innovation means Ecosystems

Grenoble is a typical example of the French way to create efficient innovation ecosystem.

GIANT campus illustrates what could be done to stimulate interaction between researchers, out of the box thinking and cross links between academia and industries ...it's what is called "Open Innovation".

This ecosystem is not an artificial Island; it's really a cultural heritage of more than a century of continuous development, conducted by scientist and politics leaders having contributed to create such an environment.

Addressing industrial and societal challenges requires systemic, multidisciplinary and human centered approaches. I want to promote high level education, world class basic research, intensive technological research, up-to-date technological platforms closely developed with industry. This alchemy, we can find it here in Grenoble.  We need to stimulate, in different regions, local initiative to improve networking and creating innovation continuum from basic sciences to industrial enterprises.

Open Innovation also means to have a very close link with society and I would like to see more cross-thinking processes between researchers, artists and citizens through Living Labs or similar open mediation platforms.
I visited here on this site a "powerful tool" called IdeasLab dedicated to Science and Society, an original lab for open innovation! Thank you Michel Ida, Philippe Mallein and all the IdeasLab team for having been pioneers and so creative.

Today growth means Innovation

Improving the economical impact of R&D is a key concern for France, especially in coherence with its new national policy in favour of growth. Today in advanced countries, there is no way to stimulate growth without a strong innovation policy.

Our Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault said during his general policy talk in the parliament, last Tuesday  : "We have strong assets. I want to give a competitive advance to France in the field of new technologies, to create national and European champions."

This will define priorities of the French Research, Technology and Innovation policy I am conducting. This policy should be deeply renewed in the forthcoming months in order to foster growth and employment.

The French innovation landscape is structured by the French competitiveness clusters: more than 70, including 15 world-class clusters in key strategic fields such as Aerospace, Healthcare and Biosciences, IT, Nanotechnologies. In Grenoble, Minalogic Cluster is dedicated to Micro and Nano Technologies.

World-leader companies, innovative SMEs and public research organizations are involved in these clusters. After two 4-year phases, the French government currently investigates a third phase in order to switch from R&D concerns to economical growth concerns.Such innovative ecosystems play a key role for sustaining research and innovation: about 2.7 B€ have been funded -State and regions- for the period 2008-2011.

In the field of technology transfert policy, France is going to create about 12 T.T.O. (Technology Transfer Office) to reinforced transfer issued from academic research, especially Universities. In the coming year, the regional and national transfer system should be deeply modified. I want it to be simpler, more efficient, focused on economical results, focused on innovative SMEs, focused on market ans users, apart from technocratic complexity so repelling for SMEs.

Innovation is strongly related to innovative SMEs and France is going to implement many appropriate tools in favour of SMEs to foster partnerships between academia and SME.

Entrepreneurship is a key element. In the last decades, about 1400 high-tech start up companies - about 60% among them are stemming out from public research - have been distinguished in France.

Seed-money can be found while the key concern is now related to the funding of the later stages of the start-up developments: how to switch from "start" to "up" and become per chance, a medium company, able to create and added value jobs through innovation, exportation, European and international development.

Think Local Act Global

European initiatives should be investigated in order to foster the so-called hyper-growth fields such as Biotech, I.T. or Nanotechnologies with a special focus on "industry".

The European policy should then be deeply renewed in the forthcoming years in order to stimulate "Innovation for growth" and "Technology for growth"!

The keystone of this policy will be the technology and what we call now KET's (Key Enabling Technologies). The Europe 2020 strategy clearly pointed out the importance of industrial competitiveness for growth and jobs as well as for Europe's ability to address grand societal challenges in the coming years.

Mastering and deploying KET's in the European Union (E.U.) is central to strengthening Europe's capacity for industrial innovation and the development of new products and services needed to deliver smart, sustainable and inclusive European growth.

In the KETs domain, the EU is now facing growing competition from both developed and emerging economies in particular in North America and East Asia.

Although the E.U. remains resilient, in a position of relative strength, it must now reinforce and rapidly develop its KET's industry to compete for the future.
The KET's High-Level Expert Group, (Jean Therme is the chairman) has identified the major difficulties Europe has in translating its ideas into marketable products – in crossing the internationally recognised "valley of death".

To cross this valley, it recommends a strategy comprising three pillars: 

  • A pillar focused on technological research
  • A product demonstration pillar focused on product development
  • A production pillar focused on world-class, advanced manufacturing.

I have discussed these topic with my European colleagues in Brussels within the frame of a competitiveness group and with my G8 colleagues in Constance during a week-end seminar. We share the same roadmap.


In conclusion, to address grand societal challenges in the coming years, particularly population growth, energy transition or climate change, it seems to me essential to mobilize all the actors of the innovation chain, to focus on "human centred innovation" and to contribute to build a more friendly world!
The innovation policy I summarized in my talk, is mandatory to stimulate growth and jobs and provide a better future for our citizens.
To conclude, I wish you a very productive Forum and have nice stay here in Grenoble. Don't forget to visit our Museum of arts and to climb our mountains.

1ère publication : 9.07.2012 - Mise à jour : 13.07.2012

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