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What is a competitiveness cluster?
The aim of clusters is to support economic regeneration by bringing together the skills of businesses, universities and laboratories around industrial research specialities in promising sectors. This will help put France in the forefront of innovation and offer a response to outsourcing. They are run by voluntary associations of businessmen, academics and civil servants. The government can use this “label” to give tax and social security rebates and grants of public money.
 
Today there are 71 competitiveness clusters in France, and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region has 11, including one global cluster (SCS) and two that are globally orientated (Sea and Water).
 
 
More information:
 
http://territoires.gouv.fr/poles-de-competitivite
 
Map of clusters in France -July 2010
 
What is a PRIDES?
A regional cluster for innovation and mutually supportive economic development
 
- The PRIDES label was created in March 2007 at the initiative of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Regional Council. It marks formal approval of a group of stakeholders in the region (businesses – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises and industries, research laboratories and training centres), aiming to develop shared action on 5 levers: innovation (the innovatory aspect of collaborative projects), the optimum use of ICT, international development (profiting from of networking in order to conquer new markets), social and environmental responsibility (training, the eco-citizen approach of businesses) and mutually supportive economics (using inventiveness for the benefit of the people and places within its area of influence).

- The basic structures of a PRIDES are competitiveness clusters, interface structures and professional associations which provide a group of players on the regional scale at least.

- The various PRIDES cover high-tech or emerging industries (new technologies, biotechnologies, microelectronics, etc), as well as more well-established concerns (mechanics, aeronautics, etc.) and provides a critical mass of stakeholders on the regional or interregional scale.

- They are part of an international perspective, primarily European: 9 PRIDES are run by competitiveness clusters, the others by professional associations and interface structures.
The PRIDES all enjoy financial support from the Regional Council, to help with administration, to support collective action, to finance R&D projects, to aide finalised research projects and to help businesses.
 
Prides Directory
 
What is a business cluster?
8 business clusters in PACA
 
Business clusters consist of and are principally run by very small, small and medium-sized enterprises.  They are strongly rooted in the local area and, depending on the contexts, bring together major businesses and those involved in training, research and innovation. They offer practical services to businesses, particularly to help them establish their strategy on their markets and improve their competitiveness. They encourage cooperation with other public and private stakeholders, especially in training, employment and skill management, and innovation.
 
While competitiveness clusters principally take a standpoint on the development of R&D and technological innovation, business clusters aim at the development of innovation in all its forms and at action closer to the market for businesses.
 
The Ministry of agriculture, food, fisheries, rural affairs and land-use handles a budget of 24 million euros over two years (1st and 2nd waves by late 2009 and 2010 respectively) to benefit business clusters, complemented by aid from the Deposit Office and Oséo and from other ministries.
 
In Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, 8 business clusters have been selected:
 
- Artemis Carma www.materiatech-carma.net
- Cluster PACA Logistique www.cluster-paca-logistique.com
- Hyères Hortipôle – Florisud www.florisud.fr
- Cluster of cultural and heritage industries www.industries-culturelles-patrimoines.fr
- Regional cluster for the image, multimedia and the internet (PRIMI) www.medmultimed.org/index.fr.htm
- PACA Cluster for services to the person www.psppaca.fr
- Riviera Yachting Network www.rynetwork.com
- Regional Union of start-up firms www.ureipaca.org
 
More information:
 
The website of the Prefecture of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region:
http://www.paca.pref.gouv.fr/Actualites/Grappes-d-entreprises-6-reseaux-d-entreprises-ont-ete-selectionnes-en-PACA
 
The website of the DATAR (Interministerial delegation for regional planning, land-use and commercial appeal), a service of the Prime Minister made available to the minister in charge of planning.
http://territoires.gouv.fr/grappes-dentreprises
 
Map of business clusters
 


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