France

france

France is a major European player in the field of eco-innovation, and possesses a strong track record in environmental regulation and support schemes – targeting both public and private actors (including individuals). This is illustrated by its strong ranking in the 2015 Eco-Innovation Scoreboard (seventh among the 28 EU Member States). However, France still falls behind a number of front-runners, particularly due to limited energy and water productivity and limited green early-stage investments. Increasing levels of resource efficiency, particularly energy efficiency, in key sectors such as transport and building are also key priorities.

The most important eco-innovation areas in France are linked to network and network management industries, and more specifically water management and sanitation, waste management, and environmental engineering. These sectors are well organised around very large international firms that are also major aggregators of innovations.

Since 2010, a group of clusters, focusing on environmental technologies, have supported the creation of innovative local networks of SMEs and large companies based around water and waste management, energy efficiency, renewable energies, smart cities and smart transport. These clusters act as a major testbed for the emergence of eco-innovations, and help to bring together public and private partners around common issues.

In addition, the national and regional support to eco-innovation and the circular economy is strong. At the national level, a number of dedicated calls for projects have been set up in recent years, complementing existing support measures such as eco-innovation equity funds or tax incentives focusing on the demand side of eco-innovation. At the regional level, 20 out of the 22 (former) metropolitan regions have at least one strategic domain of their Regional Smart Specialisation Strategy directly related to eco-industries. 

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for France

France

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F-City: From Montpellier to the sea, sustainable urban development project

Labels: France Construction

ecocitiesThis project has been developed within the framework of the ‘Ecocities’ initiative recently launched by French authorities. Its main objective is to completely renew an eight kilometre-long road, leading to the Mediterranean and across the towns of Castelnau-le-Lez, Lattes, Pérols and Montpellier. It seeks to radically modify this urban artery by transforming it from its current commercial and outdated state, into an organised urban space based on the coexistence of man and nature.

Determinants
The main reason having led local authorities to develop this project was the need to renew a key transportation connection of this particular metropolis. Already existing built environments will be transformed in order to strengthen the concentration of populations and activities, develop energy-efficient buildings, reinforce social and functional diversity, and mesh natural and agricultural spaces into the urban environment.

Sustainability 
The project, currently in its initial phase, is expected to reduce the environmental footprint of this urban centre, as well as to increase the quality of life of city inhabitants.

Further Information

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Eco Innovation in Practice in France

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