Eco-innovation in Hauts-de-France

Hauts-de-France is committed to growing green business and expanding eco-innovation. We’re strategically positioned at the crossroads of the energy transition and the move to a bioeconomy: we’ve got ambitious goals and are determined to capitalize on our resources. For companies who share our aims of expanding and generating growth—there’s never been a better time to set up here.

Eco-innovation in Hauts-de-France

Hauts-de-France is committed to growing green business and expanding eco-innovation. We’re strategically positioned at the crossroads of the energy transition and the move to a bioeconomy: we’ve got ambitious goals and are determined to capitalize on our resources. For companies who share our aims of expanding and generating growth—there’s never been a better time to set up here.

energies in Hauts-de-France

A region committed to the energy transition

Hauts-de-France has been investing in renewable energy for over ten years. Today more than ever, we’re helping make the move towards a world built on more sustainable energy, with a small environmental footprint and big economic opportunities.

The region’s most popular energy sources are

  1. Oil
  2. Gas
  3. Electricity

In fact, Hauts-de-France ranks third nationwide for electricity consumption, for two main reasons:

  • high population density: we’re home to 9% of the French population
  • vibrant industry, including many energy-hungry businesses

Towards more intensive generation of energy from renewables

Hauts-de-France has clearly stated two main green energy aims:

  • double our generation of renewable energy
  • reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 40%

We’ve already reached our limit for onshore wind turbines, with a quarter of all French generation capacity.

So the region is now shifting its focus to energy from:

  • Wood
  • Biofuels
  • Biomass and biogas
  • Solar
  • Geothermal
  • Coalbed methane
  • Decarbonized hydrogen

It will also explore district heating, incorporating:

  • Waste heat recovery
  • Solid recovered fuel
  • Biomass
ambition for renewable energies in Hauts-de-France
biomethan in Hauts-de-France

High hopes for biomethane

Hauts-de-France is also aiming to become Europe’s largest biomethane producer.

This plan calls for injecting biomethane into the region’s gas distribution network, up to a maximum of 30%.

The process has already begun:

  • 40 biomethane production projects are under way
  • 160 are at the planning stage

Progress has also been made towards structuring the sector: a dedicated technology center for biomethane production is under construction near Arras, and will be operational in 2022.

Riding the REV3 wave, buoyed by the convergence of digital technologies and new energy systems

Hauts-de-France has been actively engaged in the REV3 initiative since 2013—the only region in France to take such a stand.

REV3 is built around two major drivers of change:

  • a region-wide focus on the future
  • economist Jeremy Rifkin’s vision described in “The Third Industrial Revolution”.

For Mr. Rifkin,

“The great economic transformations in history occur when new communication technology converges with new energy systems.”

From this perspective, the third industrial revolution began over five years ago when internet technology converged with new energy sources like renewables.

 

Plants in a warehouse
REV3 in Hauts-de-France

Ultimately, Hauts-de-France aims to combine improved energy efficiency with a transition to renewable energy. We want to create new economic models with small carbon footprints and limited environmental impact.

REV3 is above all a pragmatic approach, based on strong local economic performance, energy sufficiency and self-sufficiency, careful and circular use of resources, as well as a progressive, equitable society. It provides innovative solutions for all scenarios—from startups to big business, and from rural areas to major urban centers. The aim in each case is to set the region’s economy on a sustainable footing for the long term, make it more competitive and improve quality of life for all.

Infrastructure to support the energy transition

In Hauts-de-France, our support infrastructure includes effective mechanisms for growing businesses and transforming the region’s economy. Together these will help make your development, innovation, partnership and financing plans a reality.

Hauts-de-France on track to become a bioeconomy

Our region’s commitment to the third industrial revolution extends beyond renewable energy: we plan to become a full-fledged bioeconomy.

What does “bioeconomy” mean?

The figures are clear: consumer preferences are shifting increasingly toward more bio-based products. Enter the bioeconomy—a new, integral part of the global economy that aims to replace energy from fossil fuels like coal and oil with green energy.

Which markets are set for change?

The bioeconomy will transform many segments, including:

  • Food and feedstuffs
  • Materials
  • Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Transport
  • Energy
  • Construction
bioeconomy ambitions in Hauts-de-France
Hauts-de-France, emerging leader

Hauts-de-France leading the way to a bioeconomy

Our region aims to become a European leader in the bioeconomy.

We have three clear targets:

  • make Hauts-de-France Europe’s top producer of protein, including vegetable protein (wheat, peas, rapeseed and flaxseed), milk protein, and alternatives such as insects and algae.
  • establish a sustainable bio-based materials sector in Hauts-de-France
  • promote bioproduction focused on tomorrow’s molecules of interest, by creating equivalents to molecules derived from oil and exploring entirely new avenues—procedures that use living organisms such as yeast or bacteria, and biotechnology.

A region rich in resources

Hauts-de-France will become a trailblazer by capitalizing on the wealth of resources already directly available here and by developing bio-based products.

Our region is France’s top producer of:

  • Alfalfa
  • Barley
  • Hemp
  • Protein crops
  • Sugar beet
  • Potatoes for starch

Specialist input

Hauts-de-France region is an industrial powerhouse for the whole country. Many of our key players in industry and chemical formulation create added value, and are actively engaged in the transition to a bioeconomy. These include:

A highly effective R&D system

Innovation drives the transitions in our economy. In Hauts-de-France, the region provides a comprehensive set of structures dedicated to the companies behind these transitions. This eco-system helps by speeding up their projects, facilitating technology transfer, and generating synergies.

We are home to three main clusters: IAR, EuraMaterials and TEAM².

Test tube with plants

Bioeconomy catalyst—meet IAR, our industry and agricultural products cluster

IAR is a regional, European and global pace-setter, and has supported over 300 projects since 2005.

Its 400+ members operate across the entire bio-based value chain—from producing agricultural inputs to marketing finished products. They include agricultural cooperatives, research institutions and universities, companies of all sizes and public-sector stakeholders.

The IAR cluster focuses on the production and optimal use of bioresources (agricultural, forestry and marine resources, their by-products and residues) for food and feed, industry and energy.

EuraMaterials: the materials processing industry cluster

EuraMaterials provides support for companies and researchers in materials processing. It brings members together and promotes joint projects and teamwork, fostering growth and performance by working towards shared solutions.

Four forms of support are available:

  • innovation and project engineering
  • technical expertise on materials and processes
  • new commercial, technical and financial opportunities
  • assistance to startups and business acceleration
euramaterial
TEAM²: the recycling cluster

TEAM²: the recycling cluster

TEAM² is a nationwide hub for innovation in recycling, and has been officially recognized since 2010. It harnesses its expertise—and its expert network of stakeholders in industry, research and institutions—to stimulate, support and promote market segments dedicated to producing and using new resources.

Its approach focuses on five areas:

  • Strategic minerals and rare earth elements
  • Minerals for construction and civil engineering
  • Waste including composites, mixed plastics and textiles
  • French recycling equipment suppliers and engineers
  • Local and industrial ecology

Other specialist infrastructure is also available to help develop environment-related innovation.