published at 21/10/2014

"To favour collaboration
between research, industry and education"

Launched by the State in 2004 for a 3-year period, the policy of competitive clusters is an industrial policy, which mobilises the key triggers involved in competitiveness, at the forefront of which is innovation. This policy was renewed for an additional period from 2009 to 2012.
Formation :

What is a competitive cluster?

A competitive cluster gathers together in a given region, companies, research centres and training organisations to develop synergies and co-operations. Protagonists involved in economic development and innovation, State, local authorities and Consular chambers are brought together. Relying on collaborative projects to enable companies to be innovative and position themselves at the forefront in their sectors, both in France and internationally, such is the objective of the competitive clusters.

A new industrial strategy designed to mobilise the key triggers involved in competitiveness.

To reinforce the competitiveness of the cluster’s member companies

The mission of the competitive clusters is to favour collaboration between research and training companies and organisations to boost the competitiveness of its members companies, through:

  • technological innovation: support of collaborative research and development projects and the mounting of platforms, demonstrators or pooled equipment…
  • hosting of the network, where the clusters offer different services in response to expectations expressed by their members.

The clusters’ policy

The clusters’ policy was launched in 2004, for a 3-year period, and was assessed in 2008. The second phase of the clusters’ policy called “Pôles 2.0” (Clusters 2.0) was then outlined for the period from 2009-2012. It emphasises three main lines: reinforcement of the hosting and strategic management (performance contracts), new funding methods (innovation platform) and the “development of an ecosystem for innovation and growth” with a more significant appeal for private funding in particular. Today there are 70 competitive clusters.


Each competitive cluster draws up its own strategy. It must enable:

  • partnerships to take concrete form between the different protagonists with recognised and complementary skills
  • strategic collaborative R&D projects to be built that are able to benefit from public assistance, notably with Single Inter-ministerial Funds (FUI)
  • a global environment favourable to innovation to be promoted: hosting of the network, pooling or support of members of the cluster with training and human resources, industrial property, private funding, development overseas, etc.