Henri-Fabre Technocentre: A breeding ground for future technologies

Henri-Fabre Technocentre: A breeding ground for future technologies
29 September 2016 / Vous revenez en france, Créez votre entreprise , Implantez, Générale, Aéronautique
New site to attract new businesses

The Henri-Fabre Technocentre, a jewel of the new economy destined to boost the appeal of the Aix-Marseilles-Provence region, held its grand opening on September 23 at Les Florides in Marignane. The event was attended by representatives from industry, businesses and local authorities. The research and innovation site, which was originally developed by Airbus Helicopters and EDF, focuses on a diverse portfolio of technologies in an inter-industry approach. Provence Promotion is working with Team Henri Fabre* to promote the project and attract new businesses to its five sites.

The official debut of the Les Florides Technocentre on September 23 was the hallmark event of the autumn season. The building's 2,100 m² space is slated to expand to 16,000 m2 in the next five years.
This opening is a turning point in the Henri Fabre project, which has now entered the operational phase. Launched in 2011 by industrial firms and backed by local governments, Henri Fabre convenes key areas of expertise – mechanics, materials, processes and digital engineering – and puts them to work for regional industries of excellence: aerospace, energy, shipbuilding, energy, chemicals and transportation.
"We are leading the way. Airbus Helicopters and EDF share a common vision of the energies of the future. We created Inovsys, a technology platform that combines technical resources and know-how in smart coatings, additive production and composites. There will also be collaborative projects within the Expiris consortium," says Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus Helicopters.

12 million euros' worth of advanced equipment available to businesses

A total of €12 million was invested in the Technocentre to acquire cutting edge equipment. The site is organized around three research laboratories (physicochemical characterization of materials, coatings of the future and metal forming and assembly) that are open to major corporations and small businesses.
 "Companies must seize the opportunity to conquer new markets by trying out our shared tool platform. They should come see what can be done, for example, with our 3D metal printer," exhorts Vincent Lambert, President of Inovsys.
"With Henri Fabre, the city of the future is here today. This project connects the most sought after technologies in the region," says Jacques Pfister, President of the Marseille-Provence CCI. 
For Martine Vassal, President of the Bouches-du-Rhône Department Council, Henri Fabre serves as an "unprecedented public-private project" that aims to increase the attractiveness of the region and to create new jobs in high-tech industries.

15 companies relocated by Provence Promotion in 3 years

"Over the last three years, Provence Promotion has supported 15 relocations to Henri Fabre, including six foreign businesses. These companies have generated nearly 300 new jobs in the region," boasts Solange Biaggi. The President of Provence Promotion, accompanied by Gérard Goninet and Vincent Gabette (President and Vice-President of Team Henri Fabre, respectively) honored three of these moves by awarding them the "Invest in Provence" label in recognition of their major investments.
MGP Asquini and STTS with Gaches Chimie were also singled out for their joint investment in Expiris, whose goal is to leverage the potential of multi-sector markets as a springboard. "Our six-person research office in Marignane cultivates close relationships with customers," explains Ludovic Asquini, President of MGP Asquini. Meanwhile, Christophe Cador, CEO of STTS, notes that the Henri Fabre project is the reason why he invested in Provence.

Russia's SuperOx makes Marignane its European base

The Russian company SuperOx, an international superconductivity specialist, chose Marignane to market its technology in Europe. "At the invitation of Provence Promotion, last May I met with CEA Tech and toured the Arbois platform and the Technocentre," says Cédric Etlicher, SuperOx adviser for European development. He was won over by the region's assets and signed the statutes of the French subsidiary just a month later!

Henri Fabre by the numbers

- 175 ha at 4 sites (Les Florides Technopark in Marignane, Empallières Park in Saint-Victoret, Cap Horizon in Vitrolles and the aerospace cluster in Istres). 
- 1,900 jobs in 2016 including 300 at the Technocentre
- 7,000 new jobs in the long term
- €40 million invested by Aix-Marseilles-Provence in the Les Florides Technopark (40 ha)

Photo: An initial space at the Henri Fabre Technocentre covering 2,100 m2 was inaugurated on September 23 at the Les Florides park in Marignane. The opening was attended by representatives of the French government, the Aix-Marseille-Provence region, the Marseille-Provence CCI, the Department Council, the PACA region and many companies, including Airbus Helicopters and EDF.

*Team (Technology & Expertise in Advanced Manufacturing) Henri Fabre is an association created in 2015 which convenes public and private partners.