The California-France Innovation Clusters is conducted in collaboration with the California Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), and aimed at developping bilateral collaboration between California Innovation Hubs (iHubs) and France's innovation clusters.
This initiative is motivated by the decentralization of innovation and the distribution of the expertise that are required by today's complex systems, while providing a wealth of opportunities for economic development.
The goal of this initiative is to establish and develop links, through services, between all California's and all France's innovation clusters distributed over those two States, towards a bilateral collaboration, aimed at increasing state wide activity, foster economic development, wealth and job creation, for the benefit of both.
The path chosen is "Bottom-Up", identifying committed actors in the field, and getting the ball rolling with cluster-to-cluster agreements and tangible projects.
As the initiative moves forward in the field, information will be fed back to GO-Biz and to the French Diplomacy, towards a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) could be worth signing between the California and French governments.
- March 2nd, 2016, GO-Biz & WCE Alliance Information meeting
A meeting was held on March 2nd, 2016, to introduce representatives of various parties that would be involved in such a project:
- Hervé Auch-Roy, Founder, West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance initiative (http://www.wce-alliance.org/),
- Executive staff of the Califormia Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (Will Koch, Brian Peck, Louis Stewart, Diana Dominguez and Jason Law - GO-Biz - https://business.ca.gov/),
- Regions of "Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur" (PACA), "Rhône-Alpes-Auvergne", "Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes",
- "Sociétés d'Accélération du Transfert de Technologie" (SATT),
- Pôles de Compétitivité "Eurobiomed" (BioTech - PACA Region), "Mer Méditerranée" (BlueTech - PACA Region), Transactions Electroniques Sécurisées (TES)" (ICT and Virtual/Augmented Reality - Normandie Region),
- SoNumérique, a SmartTerritories and Virtual/Augmented Reality startup company from Normandie, which exhibited under the banner of "La French Tech at the 2016CES show in Las Vegas.
The presentation material that was used as a basis for discussion is available here.
After the presentation and a series of Q&A, all parties expressed their high interest in moving forward with the development of a platform as an international extension of California innovation clusters (California Innovation Hubs - "iHubs"), with the goal to foster economic activity and job creation through bilateral collaboration along Higher Education, Technology Transfer, Professional Development, Entrepreneurship and Startup incubation, Business Development, and Investments.
The West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance initiative, which has been performing the groundwork since July 2014, will become a registered corporation (legal entity to be defined), with its headquarter in the Sacramento area, relocating from the San Diego area where it all started. A secondary office is envisioned in the Temecula Valley to address the Southern California iHubs and their resources.
Among the discussions, we also decided to explore the possibility for SoNumérique (http://www.sonumerique.fr/), a French startup from Normandie, France, member of "La French Tech" community of French entrepreneurs and of the "Transactions Electroniques Sécurisées (TES)" competitiveness cluster of Normandie, to relocate to the Grass Valley area, and participate, on site at the Sierra Digital Media Campus and alongside with other companies, in the definition, the architecture, and the implementation of the platform in California and on a global scale.
SoNumérique is one of the French startups which exhibited under the banner of "La French Tech" in the Eureka Park at the 2016CES show in Las Vegas in January 2016, and operates in the Digital Media, Virtual/Augmented Reality and "SmartTerritories" (SmartCities, SmartCounties, SmartRegions and SmartCountries) technologies.
"This is the natural and long anticipated outcome of what was started in July 2014 towards innovation in Education, Science, Technology, and Entrepreneurship on a global scale" says Hervé Auch-Roy, Founder of the West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance initiative, and initiator towards GO-Biz for bilateral collaborations between the California Innovation Hubs (iHubs) and France's innovation clusters and entrepreneurial ecosystem. "Neither California, nor France, have anything to prove anymore with regards to their capacity to innovate, and this program will open a wealth of opportunities for both states to increase their economic activity and create jobs. By bringing in a French startup to participate in the design and the implementation of the platform, we aim at ensuring that it will address the needs of both California iHubs and France's innovation ecosystem. "
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France is among the leaders in terms of innovation, although its ecosystem might be difficult to navigate.
All through his career on both sides of the Atlantic, the founder of the WCE Alliance has established and maintains a large network of connections throughout the country and its institutions, making the WCE Alliance your partner of choice for bilateral collaborations with France in Education, Technology Transfer, Entrepreneurship and Business Development.
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In 2015, the French Administration reorganized the country's regions, combining some of them into a single one. The map below shows the new regions and the previous ones, labelled "sub-regions" for the purpose of the mapping:
France's Innovation Ecosystem articulates along several axis:
Science and Technology
La French Tech
A competitiveness cluster brings together large and small firms, research laboratories and educational establishments, all working together in a specific region to develop synergies and cooperative efforts.
Other partners may be brought in, such as public authorities, either local or national, as well as firms providing business services.
The goal of competitiveness clusters is to build on synergies and innovative, collaborative projects in order to give partner firms the chance to become first in their fields, both in France and abroad.
France's competitiveness clusters are distributed across the counttry, and several act in concert, as well as with clusters in other European countries, towards the same thematic.