LOOKING BACK ON 25 YEARS OF ECONOMIC INNOVATION
There are nearly 15,000 jobs directly related to research in the Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole area, both in the public sector (with all France's main organizations present here, such as INRA, CNRS, Cirad, Inserm, and IRD), and in the private sector through major R&D centers (such as IBM's excellence center for intensive computing in the water sector and Intel's mobile OS research center).
Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole opened its Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) in 1987. Selected as Incubator of the Year 2007 by the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA) based in Seattle, Washington, the Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole BIC has assisted 515 companies, showing an overall 3-year survival rate of 88% (compared to the national average of 63%). BIC has helped create 4,400 jobs.
Working alongside companies throughout their evolution, we have also developed a dedicated solution to assist these companies: the SME Growth Pack. Designed for SMEs who have been in business for over three years, the SME Growth Pack gives entrepreneurs a set of adapted and effective tools to accelerate their growth, with services ranging from self-evaluation on the Internet to personalized follow-up with an advisor.
INNOVATION AND EXCELLENCE ARE IN OUR DNA
Today, our area is host to the world's leading cluster for agronomic research and seven competitiveness clusters, including one with a specifically worldwide focus. These structures enable companies to perform better in their markets by leveraging collaboration projects. They cover the excellence sectors that have become a natural part of our bold community's DNA over the past several decades:
- Water cluster with a worldwide focus (Eau)
- Emerging pathologies and orphan diseases (Eurobiomed)
- Sustainable agri-food systems and quality of life in the Mediterranean region (Qualidméditerranée)
- Development of renewable energies for building and industry (DERBI)
- Optics and photonics (Optitec)
- Development of eco-technologies for the industry (Trimatec)
- Risk management and territorial vulnerability (Pôle Risques)
BETTING ON INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
For the past several years, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole has elaborated and implemented a recognized international strategy, which includes facilitating bilateral set-ups for innovative companies within local incubation and innovation networks. As part of this effort, the community launched the Montpellier International Business Incubator (MIBI) to further welcome international companies.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGREEMENTS
After signing cooperation agreements with the Shanghai incubator network in China, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole set up the foundation for tight economic cooperation with the city of Chengdu and EUPIC. This will help strengthen ties with central China.
In parallel, we pursued our cooperation with organizations in the United States (New Jersey), Canada (Sherbrooke), Russia (Obnisnk - Kalouga), and Brazil (Campinas). Our next focus will be on the United Arab Emirates (Abou Dhabi).
Well-timed strategic change
Aware of ongoing societal and economic changes, we launched a study in 2010 with the auditing-consulting firm Ernst & Young to evaluate the strategic positioning and image of Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole's economic development and to define a new strategy. Our goal? To confirm Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole's role as a European metropolis with international influence.
PRIORITY # 1: EMPLOYMENT
Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole's objective is to become one of the most attractive metropolitan areas in France and anywhere in Europe by 2020. To succeed, this territory must become a major location for innovation, and it must position itself as a center for business and decision-making, thereby helping create wealth and employment.
The Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) will preserve its pioneer spirit at the heart of this approach. At the same time, new strategies must be developed to intensify BIC's action on the growth vectors that are important for start-up companies. BIC will therefore continue to play a leading role in creating innovative companies with strong growth potential.
5 KEY ISSUES
- Reinforce the territory's DNA with respect to innovation and research potential.
- Ensure growth for VSEs such as artisan, technology, industrial and commercial companies, by working with these companies over the long-run.
- Enhance the area's profile and influence nationally and internationally to reinforce attractiveness.
- Create conditions that are favorable for developing key accounts and strategic accounts in the territory.
- Diversify sources of growth and favor the emergence of new business models.
4 MAJOR OBJECTIVES
- Become one of the worldwide leaders in Open Innovation.
- Accelerate SME/VSE growth to stimulate entrepreneurship.
- Attract investment and new companies to the territory.
- Deploy a complete territorial marketing strategy as a vector for attractiveness.