RIMBAUD’TECH: networking innovation
At a business leaders’ meeting in May, the president of Ardenne Métropole, Boris Ravignon, introduced the brand new regional incubator Rimbaud’Tech.
Given that new law dictates regions and main cities to be responsible for economic development, Ardenne Métropole needed to develop a tool which would foster innovative development in line with its growing and aspirational university campus and proper strengths in technological developments (competitiveness clusters, CRITT-MDTS, MICADO, Platinium 3D).
Two key partners are also taking part in the project : Caisse d’Epargne - the chairman of its board, Benoît Mercier, who comes from French Ardennes, is heavily involved in this - and the Grand Est region which is providing expertise through the Alsace incubator SEMIA (whose chairman is Lilla Merabet, vice-president of the region in charge of innovation).
Rimbaud’Tech will be a broad-based incubator working to support businesses and people willing to develop innovative companies. It also aspires to be a “creative hub” where students, researchers, businesses and funding institutions can meet. It will also work in close partnership with French Ardennes companies, given that a lot of the business leaders, executives and investors will be involved in its governance.
The Rimbaud’Tech facilities are finally ready, located within the Terciarys office complex near to the Charleville-Mézières TGV station (directly connected to Paris). This extremely modern venue is based at the heart of the city in a high-tech environment. It is a collaborative working environment with 20 spaces, as well as a dedicated area to test and develop new ideas, an ‘incubation’ area and 10 desks for one to one support.
A site co-ordinator is being recruited by summer 2017. Patrick Fostier, Ardenne Métropole Vice-President who is the economic affairs lead, has stated that three projects have already been shortlisted.
The reasons for choosing the name “Rimbaud’Tech” were simple: Rimbaud is a world renowned poet who put French Ardennes on the map (as he was born in Charleville-Mézières) and Tech is a nod to the culture of technological progress that runs through the area.
By Ardennes Développement, the Ardennes economic development agency - ardennes-developpement.com