“Facilitating the access to necessary competencies to innovate, improve the various players’ competitiveness and develop high value-added industries”: the Technocampus Alimentation organisation created by the Pays de la Loire Region is a platform combining research and technology. The ambition is to further enhance this sector’s visibility and attractivity.
Technocampus Alimentation, which opened its doors early February in Nantes, is a 2,200-m² building hosting businesses and start-ups, a technical centre (Tecaliman) as well as agrobusiness supporting professional organisations and structures (Ligeriaa, Cap Aliment, the Valorial competitiveness cluster, the Ifria training structure, Pôle Agronomique Ouest…), with an outreach in both Bretagne and Pays de la Loire regions. It was set up to showcase the agrobusiness industry of France’s Greater-West, as a European leader, and to operate as a transfer and development centre. This 5-million-euro project was mainly funded by the Pays de la Loire Regional Council, with some support from Nantes Métropole and the EU’s European regional development fund (ERDF).
An innovation and industrial research strategy
After composites, shipbuilding/marine energy and virtual reality, it is the third thematic “Technocampus” to be established in the Pays de la Loire. This structuring equipment is part of an innovation and industrial research strategy devised to promote agrobusiness industry and to develop networks on the territory. “By pooling businesses, start-ups, researchers and teachers in one single place, we are facilitating exchanges, bringing all these players together, and thus promoting innovation, as a source of development in an essential sector of regional economy,” says Christelle Moranceais, the Region’s President. “Such innovation strategy allows the Pays de la Loire’s agrobusiness industry to remain at the forefront of research and to support its growth.”
The challenge is to improve food products for the population, taking pleasure, taste, nutrition and health into account. Agrobusiness is the Pays de la Loire Region’s biggest sector, with over 1,000 businesses and 47,000 employees.