France Launches its “Innovation 2030 Worldwide Challenge”

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On April 18, 2013, the President of the French Republic launched the Innovation 2030 Commission, chaired by Anne Lauvergeon and under the aegis of the Minister for Industrial Renewal and the Minister Delegate with responsibility for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Innovation and the Digital Economy.

In an effort to confront the major challenges of the world of 2030, the Commission singled out a select number of key opportunities with very significant implications for the French economy.

Following these efforts, the Commission identified seven goals based on pressing social concerns. These goals can be seen as seven critical pillars to put France on the road to long-term prosperity and employment.

This is why the French government is launching a Worldwide Innovation Challenge. The goal is to foster talent and bring out future champions of the French economy. It will accomplish this by identifying and providing support for the growth of both French and foreign entrepreneurs whose innovation projects have significant implications for the French economy.

This Challenge will encourage the talents of today in order to create the collective wealth of tomorrow, whether these talents are in France or abroad. The French government thus hopes to attract the world’s best talents, so they can complete their projects in France.

As part of the Invest for the Future Programme, and with support from the Public Investment Bank, the French government will allocate €300 million to co-finance innovative projects that comply with the seven goals defined by the Commission.

With this Challenge, the French government is introducing a genuinely forward-looking policy committed to supporting creators, innovators and risk-takers.

Projects will be selected through a three-stage process:

- In the Start-up Phase, opening on December 2, 2013, projects at a very early point in their life cycle will be selected. There will be two intermediate closing dates of January 30, 2014 and March 31, 2014,and this Start-up Phase will close when one hundred projects have been selected. Companies whose projects are selected will receive financial support in the form of grants of up to €200,000 per project.

from left to right: Arnaud Montebourg, Minister for Industrial Renewal, Anne Lauvergeon, Chair of the Innovation 2030 Commission, Fleur Pellerin, Minister Delegate with responsibility for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Innovation and the Digital Economy, during the launch of the Innovation 2030 Worldwide Challenge on December 2, 2013. Credits: AFP

- During the Risk Reduction Phase, opening on September 1, 2014, support will be provided for expanded development of about 30 promising projects. In some instances, this support might be provided as grants of up to €2 million. A specific call for projects with a separate timeline and specifications will be issued next year.

- In the Development Phase, opening in 2016, seven of the projects supported in Phase 2 will be given large scale support for industrialization.

Applicants are under no obligation to take part in all three phases. This call for projects will be open to companies, large and small, French and foreign, or to consortia involving companies. Only research taking place in France will be financed. The selection process will be based on interviews with applicants whose projects meet the admissibility criteria and will not last longer than six weeks.

7 strategic goals of the Innovation Commission

The Innovation Commission has defined seven goals in very different areas; these goals can be seen as pillars for France’s future development. Company projects submitted to the Worldwide Innovation Challenge must correspond to one of the following seven goals:

1. Energy storage
2. Recycling of metals
3. Development of marine resources
4. Plant proteins and plant chemistry
5. Personalised medicine
6. The silver economy - innovation in the service of longevity
7. Big Data

- For more information and to submit a project, visit the official website: