Development of Eco-Companies on an international scale

Toulouse, July 9, 2015 at the Hotel Palladia, in collaboration with the CCI of Toulouse

Presentations from

  • Mr. Olivier Chazal, Coordinator of the ADEME International Club
  • Mr. Gilles Charier, Director General of the DERBI competitiveness cluster
  • Mr. Jean-Marc Dessapt, Director of Economic Action and Innovation of Midi-Pyrénées
  • Mr. Vincent Lemaire, President of Safra
  • Mr. Francis Larue, President of the International Commission of the Toulouse CCI
  • Mr. David Kassar, President of Kassar International

Topics raised

  • Advantages for French eco-companies on the international scene.
  • Presentation of the ADEME International Club and the DERBI cluster
  • Presentation of the PRIE
  • Presentation of the program of the Quebec/Montreal delegation from October 6 to 8, 2015
  • Testimony of a French eco-company

Mr. David KASSAR

President of Kassar International

Our master of ceremonies opens the session and briefly introduces the speakers.

He reminds us of the themes that will be discussed, emphasizes the advantage that development towards the international market represents for French companies and takes the opportunity to highlight the presence of Mr. Vincent Lemaire, who came to testify about the adventure that was, for himself and his company SAFRA, his development towards Quebec.

Mr. Olivier CHAZAL

Coordinator of the ADEME International Club

ADEME, a major player since it is the national agency responsible for implementing energy policy in France, but also an international player in several areas in the following fields:

  • Energy management, except for water which remains an area handled separately by other actors,
  • Climate change
  • Waste
  • Air and soil pollution
  • Sustainable city.

ADEME employs about 1,000 people in France.

It is a decentralized company that is divided between centers in Paris, which is also the headquarters, Angers and Valbonne, plus Brussels; and of course local branches everywhere.

Budgets are fairly stable, roughly equivalent in 2014, 2015 and 2016. However, the amounts of investment for the future are significant - €2450M - the purpose of which is to provide the necessary funding to bring new techniques to the fore.

At the international level, there is a large number of projects in the field.

Internationally, ADEME's activity is organized to provide two types of services: one geographic, the other "programmatic" from Brussels. It is the International Activity Department that is in charge of, among other things:

  • providing a benchmark vis-à-vis other countries
  • .
  • coordinating activities outside the EU: Mediterranean basin and North Africa, and AFD (Agence Française de Développement) agreements towards Asia
  • structure the innovative offer of eco-companies internationally
  • make known and put in relation know-how / French partners / foreign partners.

Among the priorities for 2015 internationally is above all the consolidation of expertise in the above areas. The CLUB ADEME INTERNATIONAL includes among its members the supervisory Ministry, the Competitiveness Clusters, funding entities and management of donations, but also and above all BUSINESS FRANCE which provides a local presence and management and to which ADEME provides expertise, and finally VIVAPOLIS, that is to say, the Brand France of the "sustainable city" internationally to channel the anarchic urban developments.

The objective is to provide ADEME's support to companies internationally by

  • examples
  • trophies
  • distribution of brochures on French know-how


  • over 120 eco-companies,
  • since 1997,
  • a goal: to support them in their development,
  • a place of exchange including tenders etc,
  • a place of experimentation.

The challenges of 2015:

  • COP21, Paris conference on climate change, in December 2015
  • Continuation of Sustainable City projects, in particular in Ivory Coast, the Emirates and Mexico
  • Development of international consortia
  • Decrypting tenders in Africa for SMEs (Eco-enterprises)

Mr. Gilles CHARIER

Managing Director of the DERBI competitiveness cluster

The Competitiveness Cluster has a different mission from that of ADEME, it is a knowledge and means cluster, whose objective is

  • supporting the development of R&D
  • helping SMEs gain access to scientific and technical skills.

Business area:

  • energy, building efficiency
  • network management and storage
  • non-building production

This is a comprehensive service offering, designed to support a company from the emergence of an innovative project to the marketing of a technology, including of course the financing.

Note that international represents only a portion of the business.

The Members of the Pole are

  • innovative entities, the "Innovants"
  • adjuvant entities, the "Helpers"
  • Institutional and financing entities
  • Schools / Universities

The activities of the Pole :

  • international technology watch, particularly in Asia and the USA
  • identification of potential markets, with priority to the Mediterranean basin, in particular IMEDER
  • technological partnerships, including technology and/or know-how transfers
  • support for innovative and/or structuring projects
  • "IMPACT", a project to support SMEs that are first-time applicants for European funding.

Among the Pole's partners are

  • Business France

and several structures, such as:

  • Réseau Electrique Intelligent (Smart Grid)
  • Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables (Sustainable energies syyndicate)

Notable missions in 2015:

  • Finland
  • Hong Kong, electrical worksite
  • California, Smart City

And finally on the 2016 program:

  • Abu Dhabi
  • Brasil
  • Chile
  • Morocco / Tunisia / Egypt

Mr. Jean-Marc DESSAPT

Director of Economic Action and Innovation of Midi-Pyrénées

Brief presentation of the activity of his entity, which he described as a platform to help in the decision to go international. This platform, named "Midi-Pyrénées Export" is put at the service of local companies willing to turn to the international market.

Mr. Vincent LEMAIRE

President of SAFRA

Presentation of the Businova multi-hybrid bus

SAFRA is an Albigensian company specializing in industrial and railway bodywork - buses, streetcars and subways. Its playgrounds are large maintenance markets, i.e. cities. Indeed, it is important to know that the lifespan of a bus is 10 years, of a streetcar 20 years and of a train 20 years. These are essentially national markets.

Our issues are therefore:

  • The identification of urban and/or public transport challenges, namely
    • Health,
    • Environment
    • Etc.
  • Synergy required
    • Cities / Companies
    • Economy
  • Founding principles at SAFRA:
    • Moving towards innovation
    • Reduce pollution
    • Optimize passenger transportation

The result of all this was the development of a particularly scalable electric/hydraulic multi-hybrid powertrain, with two of its main features being the 0 emission target and a bi-modular chassis.

As far as financing is concerned, it was initially self-financing, then gradually we turned to other sources, but we moved forward step by step, without rushing anything.

Of course, the importance of R&D was crucial.

The international adventure for us has been Quebec with David Kassar for the past 2 years, because this exciting adventure has been for us synonymous with financial aid and R&D incentives, in a context made of different standards, the much harsher climate and the presence of Chinese competition.

Mr. Francis LARUE

International Commission of the CCI of Toulouse

Mr. LARUE warmly thanked Vincent LEMAIRE and David KASSAR for their respective and joint actions, emphasizing that international development is "unproven" and difficult. Indeed, one should never forget that this is a "mille-feuilles" of actors, which can easily take on the aspect of a jungle.

Mr. LARUE expressed the wish that the actors make the effort to regroup with a view to SIMPLIFY. This would promote hunting in packs, to the benefit of the impetus companies.


In closing, David KASSAR gave a quick summary of the symposium.

He emphasized the involvement of many clusters, thereby amplifying the image of the "mille-feuilles" of actors and the idea of a jungle.

He recalled that international development implies an imperative need for concrete analysis and especially catalysts such as Kassar International, the ADEME International Club or the DERBI cluster, to mention only those.

Then he invited all those present to join a buffet that was as friendly as it was delicious.