The Maritime Competitiveness Clusters

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The 70 Clusters of Competitiveness are levers for stimulating innovation and encouraging growth and job creation. Among their numerous missions, they develop innovative collaborative projects, mount export operations and oversee aid and finance destined for SMEs. Building on their success and responding to the expectations and needs of the maritime sector, the Mer Bretagne Atlantique and Mer Méditerranée Clusters have in recent years extended their radius of action and increased their links with other sectors of the economy and other clusters of competitiveness to create a true ecosystem generating growth from all businesses with a maritime dimension. 

the Mer Bretagne Atlantique and Mer Méditerranée Clusters of Competitivness

Profile in figures: 

  • 6 Strategic Business Areas 
  • 715 members (60% SMEs) 
  • representing 100,000 jobs 
  • More than 470 labelled projects representing a total R&D budget of 1.4 billion of which: 
  • 125 projects have been completed involving total public funding of almost € 500 million 
  • 23 structural development projects promoted or supported for a total budget of € 1.2 million. 

Created in 2005, the Mer Bretagne Atlantique and Mer Méditerranée Clusters have been the focal point of investment in research and development into new techniques and technology applied to the maritime world. 

These two clusters and their members have the shared aim of sustainable development in the maritime and coastal economy. This aim translates into three strategic goals: 

  • to play a pivotal role in establishing an integrated maritime policy, 
  • to be an international benchmark for the coastal and maritime sector and enhance the status of cluster members and regions through the “Pôle Mer” brand, 
  • to intensify business competitiveness. 

In 10 years, € 1,4 billion of public and private funds have been invested in more than 470 collaborative projects undertaken by an ecosystem of more than 700 members, 60% of them SMEs, representing 100,000 jobs. 

The Clusters also attract around 90% of France's research and training effort in marine science and technology. 

This innovative model of two closely coordinated Clusters, with strong regional roots and covering France's two seaboards (Channel/Atlantic and Mediterranean) in a complementary manner, connected with the Overseas Territories and developing a network with an international reach, has largely been proven valid by experience. 

The maritime and coastal activities, united by sharing the same environment, are extensive and diversified. These two clusters have formulated a development plan based on 6 strategic business areas, with parameters and key issues common to both regions: 

  • Maritime safety and security, 
  • Naval and yachting, 
  • Marine mining and energy resources, 
  • Marine biological resources, 
  • Marine environment and coastal planning, 
  • Harbours, infrastructures and shipping. 

Their status as legitimate and relevant intermediaries has been acknowledged through their involvement with all authorities related with the maritime environment nationally as well as at European level, and their achievement in future investment is testament to their success. 

Pôles Mer Projects: 


Field: “Marine mining and energy resources”. 

Optimisation software for the architecture of seabed-to-surface linking of a floating wind farm. 

The project aims to develop a decision-making tool for rapidly determining the anchoring and electrical architecture of a floating wind farm. The tool developed as part of Stationis will be applied to two floating wind turbines on the market at two promising sites, one in the Mediterranean and one in the Atlantic. Its 3D graphic interface will allow quick configuration of the parameters of a floating wind farm. 


Fields: “Shipbuildig and leisure boatbuilding”, “Marine biological resources”. 

A safer, cleaner, more economical coastal fishing vessel. 

The SERENITE project involves building a demonstrator coastal fishing boat of under 12 metres with the aim of of launching an innovative, flexible vessel on the market by 2015, which will provide ship owners with a safer, more economical and environmentally sound equipment than is provided by the existing fishing fleet. 

The innovations relate to the boat's architecture, the use of organically sourced materials and the inclusion of a hybrid diesel/electric engine. 


Field: “Marine environment and coastal planning”. 

Centre of expertise producing information on the maritime sector. 

Processing centre for data from space and oceanographic services. 

MCGS’ objective is to provide environmental information tailored for the marine environment from the Sentinel satellites in the COPERNICUS programme, operational monitoring, optimisation of human and materials resourcing, and respect for offshore and coastal regulations. It corresponds to the ESA/EU requirement to build collaborative data processing centres within the COPERNICUS programme (formerly GMES) for the provision of personalised services for local and national parties, both public and private, involved in the marine environment.