Getting assistance materializing your innovation
You are invited to contact the Regional Innovation Network (RRI), managed by the Regional Innovation Agency and Transferts LR (transferts-lr.org). RRI works with nearly 70 assistance structures: all consular chambers, the regional chamber of social economy, Transferts LR, the Synersud network - including Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole BIC - BPI France, competitiveness clusters, INPI and regional technology platforms.
Transferts LR assists companies, evaluates and audits both R&D projects and applications for innovative aid funding (Oseo, local government...).
Participating in cooperative competitiveness cluster R&D projects
Competitiveness clusters boost R&D development and technological innovation by uniting companies, research centers and educational organizations within a given territory. Eurobiomed focuses on health (eurobiomed.org). Eau, the worldwide water cluster (pole-eau.com) specializes in evaluating and leveraging water resources. Qualiméditerranée (qualimediterranee.fr) explores agri-food issues. Derbi (pole-derbi.com) concentrates on renewable energy applications for building and industry. Trimatec (pole-trimatec.fr) works with technologies and industrial processes derived from the nuclear industry. Optitec (www.popsud.org) specializes in optics. Pôle Risques (pole-risques.com) focuses on risk management.
Exchange ideas about innovation within sector-oriented clusters
Sector-oriented networks turn innovation into a major focus:
- Agri-food: LRIA (agroalimentaire-lr.com) represents the sector and Vinseo unites equipment manufacturers and viticulture suppliers (vinseo.com).
- Water: Swelia brings together many players in the water sector (swelia.com).
- Health: Biomeridies (biomeridies.com) is dedicated to biotechnologies and life sciences, while OcWell concentrates on cosmetics and wellness (ocwell.fr). The association CR2i works at the intersection of ICT and health.
- At the confluence of ICT and implement health CR2i the association,
- Sustainable development: TerInov (terinov.com) unites stakeholders in the fields of geoscience, green energy and bio-fuel, leading to the creation of BioEnergieSud (bioenergiesud.org).
Sharing effective innovative practices
Generalist business networks highlight the relationship between performance and innovation: LeadeR (leader-lr.fr) brings together growing companies, as does Oseo Excellence (excellence.oseo.fr). So Eco (so-eco.fr) combines performance with sustainable development.
Other organizations push forward on social innovation: Regional Chamber of Social Economy (creslr.org), Regional Union of Cooperative and Participative Companies, (scop-lr.coop) and Alter’Incub(alterincub-lr.coop).
Innovation for artisan business is also covered: in 2012, Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole signed a framework agreement with the Hérault Chamber of Trades that includes a focus on artisan innovation. The Stars & Métiers competition rewards innovative artisan entrepreneurs every year (http://innovation.cma-languedocroussillon.fr).
Calling on innovation funding networks
Several groups of entrepreneurs and investors assist young innovative companies. Based in Montpellier, business angels Melies (melies.fr) and Sud Angels (sud-angels.fr) participate in first-round funding. The seed fund Créalia (crealia.org), frequently present alongside young innovative companies, is leveraged via the Synersud network (synersud.com), of which Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole BIC is a member. Open to individuals, business angels and investment funds, the investor circle Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole Jump'Invest mobilizes additional funding. Local venture capital firm Soridec (soridec.fr) focuses mostly on development, but may also request funding from the inter-regional Emergence Innovation 1 fund.
Finding office space suitable for innovation
Innovative companies enjoy a privileged environment that ranges from furnished office space and co-working space to personalized assistance, group actions and training at several local incubators: Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole BIC - Cap Alpha (biotech and clean-tech), Cap Oméga (ICT) and MIBI (for international companies). Leveraging these facilities, BIC coaches over 140 company founders.