Occitanie in brief:

  • Specialisation areas include subfields of all PARSEC focus sectors

  • 8 million inhabitants, representing 9% of the population of mainland France [1]

  • 4th richest French region: GDP €173.5M or 7.4% of the GDP in France [2]

  • Strategy holder & developer: the Regional Economic Development Agency in Occitanie AD’OCC

  • Consultations with entrepreneurs and other stakeholders organised in regular working groups

Smart Specialisation priorities in Occitanie 2014-2020

Occitanie has chosen 7 regional priorities for innovation [3]. They have been defined and selected in 2016 when Occitanie was created as a region, merging Languedoc-Rousillon and Midi-Pyrénées. Previously Languedoc-Rousillon had 7 priorities [4] and Midi-Pyrénées [5] – 6 different ones. The selected priorities reflect some of the previously shared interests (renewable energy, health and aging, digital or smart technologies or systems), while others reflect competencies (aeronautics, water, food) or natural or geographical specificities (marine) of the former regions.

  1. ENERGY: Energy transition, including the development of renewable energies and the modernisation of industries (more [FR])
  2. WATER: Large and small water cycle, water resource management (more [FR])
  3. MARINE: Coastal and marine economy (more [FR])
  4. HEALTH: Future healthcare and medical technologies (more [FR])
  5. INDUSTRY: Materials and processes for aeronautics and advanced manufacturing (more [FR])
  6. FOOD: Local agro-food production and biomass valorisation (more [FR])
  7. SMART TECH: Smart systems and digital block-chains (more [FR])

How entrepreneurs and innovators are consulted

In Occitanie, since November 2017 a clear working group system has been established to enable regular consultations with the industries concerned by each of the seven priorities. They are organised around 3-4 co-hosts, two or three of each group being experts from the regional body holding the Smart Specialisation strategy – the Regional Economic Development Agency in Occitanie AD’OCC – while one comes from the regional ecosystem. Regional ecosystem co-hosts represent either the regional clusters (see below), a representatives of an industry leader (Airbus, Pierre Fabre) or higher education institution (Institut Mines-Télécom) established in the region.

Members of the consultation groups are around 40 and include industry, research or innovation leaders, they meet bi-anually for a general meeting, while smaller sub-groups are organised to address particular projects or actions and would meet more regularly. Their mission – reflect on the future and define concrete projects or structural actions needed for the priority – development or business related, around 2-3 per year. Once a year, a strategic management meeting is organised where 2 reporters of each of the priority groups inform of their work.

How to get involved with the local entrepreneurship and innovation actors

Food: Agri Sud- Ouest Innovation & QualiMéditerranée, member of the European Digital Innovation Hubs network
Energy/Construction: DERBI
Environment/Water: Aqua-Valley, member of the innovation alliance French Water Team (based in the region)
Aeronautics/Space/Embedded systems: Aerospace Valley, member of the European Aerospace Cluster Partnership, including European Cluster Partnerships for Smart Specialisation project “the Aerospace Inter-cluster Smart Specialization Actions For SMEs Competitiveness in the Circular Economy Approach
Marine: Pole Mer Méditerranée (located in the neighbouring Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region)
Health: EuroBioMed & the Occitanie-based Cancer-Bio-Santé (merged), member of the European Cluster Partnerships for Smart Specialisation project “AI4DIAG, Strategic Cluster Partnership for increased competitiveness of European Medical Diagnostics SMEs thanks to Artificial Intelligence
Other competency centres based in the region and not directly linked to one of the strategic priorities: European Ceramics Cluster

Aeronautics/Mechanics: Mecanic Vallée
Health: Biomedical Alliance
Energy: Cemater, Cyclium, WIND’OCC
Chemistry: Chimie Verte
Wine: Vinseo

Food: Innov’Alliance