Start-ups of the urban community of the city of Bordeaux, France, invited to the first “PLATO Innovation” meeting, initiated by GDF SUEZ27/01/2015
“PLATO Innovation” kicked-‐off during the 2015 French National Energy Conference! About fifteen innovative SMEs based in Bordeaux Métropole will benefit from skills-‐based sponsorships over a renewable period of two years. Such is the objective of the partnership agreement signed on January 27 by the City of Bordeaux, PLATO France (an association that supports and guides the development of SMEs) and GDF SUEZ.
The agreement was signed by Virginie Calmels -‐Alain Juppé’s deputy mayor, in charge of innovation and economic development-‐ and Eric Sarrazin – GDF SUEZ, South-‐west Region, Deputy General Manager. “Boosted by the FrenchTech label it was awarded in November 2014, Bordeaux Digital Metropolis pursues its actions in favour of the ecosystem of innovation”, declared Virginie Calmels.
“Management training and support on key strategic themes: we will work as a project incubator”, explained Eric Sarrazin. Biotechnology, computer science, energy... the managers of the selected start-‐ups will meet ten times a year. “The role of GDF SUEZ is to promote the PLATO Innovation program and to finance PLATO France’s project engineering process”. PLATO is key to the national entrepreneurial fabric since it gathers over 1500 SMEs in France, with 300 partners in 9 different regions.
“PLATO Innovation” is not the Group’s first initiative in terms of territorial innovation. In 2013, GDF SUEZ launched Terr’Innove, a program designed to support local authorities with energy transition issues. In the Aquitaine region, innovation consisted in adding another brick to Terr’Innove through crowdfunding with a new partner: APESA (Technology Centre for risk management and environment control) based in Aquitaine. According to Eric Sarrazin: “The agreement signed on January 29 between the Regional Council, APESA and GDF SUEZ promises to be a co-‐construction. It matches the Group’s ambition to be a local player”.
Source: Hugo Whitemore