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




Monitoring tool for forestry projects

france_Kinome_resizedKinomé is a French company specialised in the multifunctional and sustainable use of forests. It has the status of Young Innovative Company since 2007 and is involved in three programmes of applied research, one of which being a forestry projects monitoring tool. Kinomé is involved in projects of reforestation or of preservation of existing forests.

The company recently developed an IT tool to monitor forestry projects. This project has been through several steps since 2010 when its started maturation. After feasibility studies, selection of the IT solution provider and the study and building of innovative indicators, it started an experimental development test. The project will soon go through a start-up phase.

The main features of the tool are:

-It is a desktop solution for the management and control of forestry projects

-Its manages geolocalised topographic data

-It provides functions for input and consultation (i.e via mobile devices)

-It provides reports tailored to the profile of users

-Finally, it provides monitoring of participatory projects

Barriers and Drivers

In the context of an increased consideration for impact investing in the development sector, referring to investments assessed not only through financial return on investment but also through social and environmental impacts, the latest aspect is increasingly taken into account. There is an increased interest in the field to have a tool to monitor, measure and translate projects effects.

The project has been driven by the observation that the scientific use of existing geographic information systems (GIS) is confined to the study of forest cover through the scientists’ specific lens of intervention. There is little interaction and integration between different fields of research, be it agronomy or hydrology.

Economic Performance

By improving monitoring of forestry projects, it can help improve productivity or reduce costs related to projects by increasing cooperation of all actors involved in a given project.

Social Performance

The project aims at increasing cooperation between different stakeholders in forestry projects.

Environmental Impact

The main objective of the project is to facilitate reforestation in an integrated way. It is aimed at supporting tree planting as well as finance or study of local and global impacts.

Further Information

Picture source: © Kinome

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