Warm welcome to Technopôle Brest-Iroise, the new NEREUS Associate member! Mrs. Françoise Duprat, Executive Manager at Technopôle Brest-Iroise shares with us more insights about its role in the space sector and why it joined NEREUS in the following short interview!
- Brittany (NEREUS member) is characterised by a dynamic research and innovation ecosystem with important innovation capacity driven by regional clusters. Can you share with us a few words about your organisation and its role in Brittany? How does your organisation distinguish itself from others in the region and where would you see your strengths.
Technopôle Brest-Iroise is a non-profit organisation that aims at supporting the business creation through innovation, and fostering the emergence, creation, and development of companies within the multidisciplinary area of innovation. We are working closely with the 6 other BICs in Brittany to support innovation in the region. Our strengths lie in our ability to gather the different actors of the territory and bring different ecosystems together.
In the space sector more specifically, we support space-based startups as we are co-managing the European Space Agency Business Incubation Centre for the North of France (ESA BIC Nord France). We also contribute to raise awareness of space data : indeed, with the support of the Brittany Region and on behalf of the 7 Breton BICs, we lead the promotion of space actions for the benefit of innovative companies (such as the international hackathon, ActInSpace, or the regional event, Up&Space). These actions make Technopôle Brest-Iroise be a proactive actor in the promotion of the use of space data in the Brittany ecosystem.
- According to your experience, how important is the use of space technologies and data in the maritime sector and digitalisation in your territory close to the port of Brest?
Space data are extensively used in the maritime solutions of our territory. Indeed, space can be implemented in several maritime applications such as maritime security, fisheries management, climate monitoring etc.
To illustrate the importance of space technologies in the maritime sector in the Brittany region, we will take two examples:
- First, in the framework of ESA BIC Nord France, most of the incubatees of the Brest region are maritime startups using space data. For instance, one of the incubatees uses AIS data (Automatic Identification System) to define vessels position and optimise the shipping routes.
- Secondly, Technopôle Brest-Iroise is managing the Ocean Hackathon, a 48-hour competition to generate projects related to the sea and based on the use of various digital data. Among the challenges proposed by the partners, there is an increasingly number of challenges with space data.
These two examples highlight the place of space data in the maritime sector in Brittany and our willingness to boost the use of these data in other applications fields.
- One of the key activities of the network is to promote cooperation between and within the regions. How do you see the added value of interregional collaborations and partnerships for your activities and for the realization of your projects?
Interregional cooperation is necessary for the development of our ecosystem. Indeed, sharing knowledge and exchanging good practice between and within the regions can also bring a different vision and generate innovative solutions. In the space sector more specifically, we think that developing European cooperation can improve the innovation performance of the space sector by increasing technology adoption and interregional cooperation to support start-ups and entrepreneurs, to enhance the growth of scale-ups and the commercialization of new products and services.
- Why did you decide to join our Network? Have you had any previous experience with NEREUS?
In being part of the NEREUS network, we believe we can increase the involvement of the 6 other BICs from Brittany and their members into projects that use satellite data and encourage communication and public policies building. Moreover, we are keen on creating new collaborations with European space actors to keep developing the use of space technologies and data in Brittany.
- How would you like to use the NEREUS platform? Are there any activities / projects of great importance to your organization that you wish to share with us?
The NEREUS platform is a good opportunity to connect with other European space actors and create synergies with European ecosystems. We would also be keen on receiving the latest news of the European space programmes, on following the trends etc. We would also like to use the NEREUS platform to communicate to our ecosystem about opportunities that may be of interest to them. Finally, we will participate in some of the different working group meetings to serve the needs and interests of our ecosystem.