Capenergies tasked by the Principality of Monaco to identify high-potential energy innovations

4 September 2017 – The Capenergies competitive cluster, partnered by Accenture consultants and the Azzura Lights start-up, has won a call for tender launched by the Principality of Monaco to help monitor technological developments (technology watch) in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energies. Capenergies – with its “Cap sur l’innov’action énergétique” programme – is the first competitive cluster to be tasked by the Principality’s government to drive their pro-energy transition actions.

The cluster will provide this service in conjunction with the Energy Transition Mission set up by the Monaco government in 2016 to promote renewable energies and energy efficiency and develop the necessary infrastructure for their deployment.

« “With more than 10 years’ experience in the low-carbon energies and energy efficiency sector, collaborating with local authorities in particular, Capenergies was ideally placed to submit the winning tender. As with our all undertakings in Monaco, we are proud to be supporting the government and all the stakeholders in the Principality committed to the energy transition and to be playing our part in this forward-looking mission”, said Bernard Mahiou, Managing Director of Capenergies.

The mission entrusted to Capenergies is three-fold:

  • To monitor global technological developments with the aim of identifying innovations and potential research opportunities for projects in the Principality in line with its ambitious environmental objectives, and to set up meetings with the relevant innovators
  • To support the Energy Transition Mission in defining its actions for raising public awareness and promoting the adoption of these cutting-edge technologies
  • To foster skills development in Monaco’s businesses and industrial stakeholders by identifying training needs specific to the key technologies identified

To achieve these goals, Capenergies is supported by two first-class partners – Accenture, a leading global consulting company offering a range of services to businesses and local authorities alike, and Azzura Lights, a high-potential start-up specialising in providing support for end users of new energy technologies as they become available.

« “We’re delighted to be lending our support in the form of our industrial expertise and international skills base to the government of Monaco in the pursuit of its energy transition strategy” .» said Grégory Jarry, Senior Manager Smart Grids at Accenture.

“By working with Azzura Lights, the Principality’s government is forging links with a sound, approved social enterprise start up. Our company’s guiding principle for sustainability is to systematically promote the shortest possible channels, working with local eco-friendly companies. There’s a strong emphasis on CSR in all our projects”, said Jessica Pellegrini, Founder of Azzura Lights

The Principality has been demonstrating its commitment to greener energy for more than 20 years through its ratification of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and more recently the Paris Agreement. It has set itself some ambitious goals, namely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared with 1990 levels by the year 2030, and to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Press release

Capenergies and EnvirobatBDM sign a partnership agreement focused on energy-efficient renovation

6 July 2017 – At the 2017 Innovative City Convention, Bernard Mahiou, Managing Director of the Capenergies competitiveness cluster, and Florence Rosa, President of the organisation EnvirobatBDM, today signed a partnership agreement to develop synergistic initiatives specifically for the strategic energy-efficient renovation segment.

  With this new partnership approach, Capenergies and EnvirobatBDM will coordinate their efforts to develop a shared, high-impact strategy, based on the leadership of these two innovation players, their complementary expertise, and the strength of their network.

The synergistic initiatives are aimed at developing regional prototype projects, in view of showcase areas, as well as new shared projects, to accelerate business growth and actively participate in the development and international impact of the sector.

Energy-efficient renovation is a far-reaching field and thus crucial to the new industrial and innovation policies in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, implemented in the « Energies de demain » (future energies) and in PR2E1

Key figures in energy-efficient building renovation
In Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur:

A goal of 50,000 homes renovated per year
A base of 1.4 million collective housing units to be renovated
Potential revenues of 300 million euros
13,000 jobs to be created per year


* (1) PR2E: Regional energy-efficiency programme

Raising awareness of Intellectual Property (IP) for developers of accredited projects, organised in conjunction with the INPI

On 22 March 2017, developers of innovative projects that were awarded the Capenergies accreditation in 2016 had the added bonus of being able to attend an introductory familiarisation session on intellectual property, organised by Capenergies and the INPI (French Intellectual Property Institute).

Prior art searches, contracts involving intellectual property, titles and registration conditions (patents, trademarks and designs) and filing of evidence were just a few of the topics covered. The session provided a comprehensive overview of IP with reference to the management of joint projects, for members wanting to increase their knowledge.

The discussions were then followed by individual interviews, during which project developers were able to talk about their problems in complete confidence and benefit from the expertise of the INPI representatives.

Next meetings with the INPI:
The INPI will have a stand at the B2B meetings following the Capenergies AGM on 31 May, and a similar familiarisation session will be held before the end of 2017.

Under the partnership agreement signed between Capenergies and the INPI in 2009, and renewed for the period 2015/2018, the members of the cluster can access a series of targeted activities on request:

  • IP diagnostics,
  • Access to INPI coaching,
  • Access to Pro²PI meetings organised by lNPI PACA in Marseille,
  • IP training and familiarisation activities.

Our project engineers are at your disposal to help you take advantage of this opportunity and get answers to all your questions about IP :


Boris Cicero

Flavien Pasquet

European Disability Employment Week: Recruiting and training new employees as a socially responsible investment

To meet the challenges of engineer recruitment and of attracting disabled workers, several large companies have decided to use work placement training as a recruitment driver aligned with their disability policies. This is the key objective of the HUGo project, aimed at training, qualifying, and facilitating the recruitment of workers with disabilities. HUGo’s successes were presented during the European Disability Employment Week at the event organised in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region by Agefiph.

Supported by the Capenergies cluster, the HUGo project is aimed at setting up a curriculum for disabled students involving work placement training and leading to an engineering degree from a specialised school. The objective is two-fold: To help companies looking for skilled workers in IT, electronics, and electrotechnology, and to promote access to employment for disabled workers. The HUGo project is funded by Agefiph, whose involvement is a novel initiative.

The first class of the HUGo project1: Degree in IT engineering (Level 1) with work placement training

11 trainees

13 companies
Including the CEA, DCNS, Enedis, and the Société du Canal de Provence[1]

1 academic partner: Polytech Marseille – Aix Marseille Université

First class: 30 January 2017 to 18 January 2019

Isabelle Gumos, a HUGo project trainee recruited by La Française des Jeux (operator of France’s national lottery games) shared her experience during European Disability Employment Week:

“The HUGo project is ambitious and clearly innovative because it aims to set up the first Master’s level training curriculum for disabled students, whose health issues are accommodated to allow them to attend an engineering school. The Polytech curriculum and the decision to use work placement specifically address the needs expressed by large companies seeking to recruit employees with a high skill level. This project is a long-term, lifetime project.”

Being recognised as a disabled worker in no way diminishes my goals in the areas of career development and performance. I firmly believe that social responsibility policies represent added value for a company seeking growth. I’m proud to work with La Française des Jeux, which holds ethical values that matter to me, and which has given me this opportunity as part of HUGo, a first-of-its-kind project.”

Lionel Cicerone, in charge of human resource development at La Française des Jeux, underscored and commended “the commitment of all participants in this ambitious project, which offers our company the possibility to take part in an initiative promoting equal opportunity, a principle our company values.”

European Disability Employment Week

Informing and building awareness around recruitment and job retention of disabled workers were the main objectives of European Disability Employment Week. Several events organised throughout the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region by Agefiph took place from 14 to 20 November 2016, bringing together a total of 750 participants, including companies, public and social organisations, and disabled workers. Capenergies was involved in several events, given its commitment to disability policies in its member companies.

[1] Complete list: Atos, Cap Gemini, CEA, CGI, DCNS, Enedis, La Française des Jeux, Gemalto, SAP Labs France, SII, la Société du Canal de Provence, SOMEI, STMicroelectronics.

HUGo project: Future trainees reach an important goal

A milestone for HUGo which is dedicated to level 1 work placement training programmes in IT for disabled people: 13 preselected candidates met an important goal and will join the first HUGo class. On 8 September of last year, they passed technical tests administered by the teaching staff at Polytech, the project’s academic partner. The company partners of the HUGo programme interviewed the future trainees to finalise the recruitment process.

The HUGo project is aimed at creating a training programme to promote the employability of disabled people. It offers students the opportunity to complete a level I degree in IT disciplines and in this way promotes career development and integration in a company.

A work placement training programme is an effective recruitment strategy for the difficulties IT companies face in recruiting engineers and attracting disabled workers. This kind of programme is also in keeping with the disability policies of the companies involved in this project and with the relevant government recommendations and those of Agefiph.

Marie-Pierre Saisse is Human Resources Manager at Gemalto and a manager at Mission Handicap France. As she explains:

« The profile we’re looking for is essentially that of software development engineers graduating from engineering schools. We have significant difficulties identifying disabled workers who fit this profile, as there are few of them on the job market. That’s why we needed a way to train candidates for our disciplines. Since we’re very motivated to integrate disabled workers and help improve their employability, we’ve become very involved in this programme which we believe in strongly. This is our way of promoting equal opportunity; students who were unable to follow an ordinary curriculum due to their disability have access to a degree from an engineering school. This is in line with our values and our sense of social responsibility. HUGo is a truly innovative programme and at Gemalto, innovation is a crucial part of our strategy.

Moreover, integrating a disabled worker in our teams is very beneficial in terms of team spirit and open-mindedness. The experience is very enriching for managers because it reminds them to appreciate the uniqueness of each person for the success of everyone

In partnership with the Capenergies cluster and Agefiph, the HUGo project is the result of a collective effort by the managers of “mission handicap” initiatives in regional companies (Société de Canal de Provence, Gemalto, Enedis, Atos, STMicroelectronics, La Française des Jeux, DCNS, Capgemini, CGI, SII, SOMEI, SAP) which share information on good practices.

The initial goal of training 12 people per session by giving them the opportunity to work in a company seems well on its way to being reached.

« Our first hope is that all of the trainees will be able to complete their curriculum and obtain their engineering degree. If the experiment is successful, we hope to continue with new classes of students in the coming years. And why not imagine developing the programme in other engineering or business schools in other French cities? » notes Marie-Pierre Saisse.


* HUGo = « Handi U Go »

A competitiveness cluster joins forces with Agefiph for the first time

Capenergies and disabled employment agency Agefiph have signed a partnership agreement to develop practical solutions to help people living with disabilities secure employment with firms from within the cluster. The three-year agreement is the first of its type for a competitiveness cluster.

Capenergies, with financial backing from Agefiph, will seek to build on keen interest from member firms, as identified during a recent assessment. Capenergies and Agefiph will target firms with information, awareness-raising and support campaigns, to help them successfully recruit and retain people living with disabilities and to give these people access to training (especially apprenticeship schemes).

The partnership chimes with Capenergies’ initiative to boost member firms’ growth, focusing on people and human capital. The cluster is also helping to develop formal education pathways for disabled workers. The HUGo project, for example, aims to create a combined work and training Polytech engineering programme to deliver IT education to people with disabilities. Disability coordinators from major regional firms involved in the scheme – such as Gemalto, ERDF, Atos, STMicroelectronics, La Française des Jeux, DCNS and Capgemini – will work alongside Capenergies.

New agreement with INPI – protect your innovation!

The Capenergies cluster has signed a new three-year agreement that strengthens its partnership with France’s National Industrial Property Institute (INPI). The aim of this agreement is to encourage cluster members to make better use of their intellectual property (IP) and to harness it to make them more competitive. The actions will focus on raising awareness about IP among business leaders and project initiators and providing them with low-cost access to INPI’s business services.


INPI Coaching: helping businesses harness the power of IP


Q&A with Elisabeth Delalande, PACA Regional Coordinator, INPI

Delalande_INPI« We’re not trying to get businesses to submit masses of patent applications. Instead, we want to get firms thinking about how to protect themselves against future disputes and how to shore up their business strategy. »


What does INPI do here in the PACA Region?

« At the regional level, INPI’s role is to give innovative SMEs and small businesses information and support on IP matters, so they have a clearer grasp of how to harness the power of IP. It’s our job to explain the risks and challenges associated with IP, as well as the opportunities. »

What strategies do firms deploy, both here in PACA and throughout France? Are lots of firms submitting energy-related patents?

« Nationally[1], SMEs and mid-sized firms represent 77.4% of all French businesses that have submitted published patent applications to INPI. But individually, firms tend to submit only a handful of applications. Just 28.7% of national patent applications from French businesses, published in 2014, came from SMEs and mid-sized firms. Large firms accounted for 57%. These percentages have remained largely unchanged since 2011. »



« PACA has been third in the rankings by the number of patent applications for several years now, behind Ile-de-France and Rhône-Alpes. The region also has a high proportion of applications from SMEs, which accounted for 42% of applications in 2013, compared with 17% nationally. This reflects the make-up of the region’s business landscape, with fewer large groups than in Ile-de-France for example. »

« It’s hard to give exact figures about renewables because of the way patents are categorised. However, I can say that electronics and electricity are the main themes covered by PACA applications, including connected objects, machines and transport (mechanics, renewables, etc.). »

Why is it so important for business leaders and project initiators to have a solid grasp of IP matters?

« Our observations show that IP knowledge is lacking. Firms tend not to treat IP as a priority.

However, patents limit competition and boost a company’s reputation and standing. Knowing how to manage IP helps firms establish the right balance, especially when working on a joint project as part of a consortium. And companies looking to raise funds can use patents to showcase the value of their innovation. Businesses need to understand why it’s important to have a confidentiality policy to protect their interests. This will help them move into new markets or new countries without losing control of their assets. IP shouldn’t be seen as a cost centre, but rather as a profit centre. It gives firms a way to become more competitive

Do firms that have a solid grasp of IP matters have a competitive edge?

 « Patent history searches are a good way to detect niche markets and streamline R&D costs. They also help prevent IP infringement and protect against costly legal action. Patents are a useful source of information for business leaders and innovative project initiators. Attending trade fairs, prospecting and building relationships with partners is a good way to glean information. But patents contain confidential details that might not necessarily be available out in the market. Rigorous IP research is a good way to learn about your competitors and streamline your R&D costs from the outset. In my view, IP is an essential decision-making tool for business leaders. »


[1] Source : Emmanuelle Fortune (2015), « Les PME et ETI déposantes de brevet », Analyses INPI, novembre 2015


Technology transfer between laboratories and businesses: Capenergies signs a partnership agreement with SATT Sud Est

Olivier Freneaux, President of SATT Sud Est, and Christian Bonnet, President of Capenergies, have signed a partnership agreement covering technology transfer to businesses in the energy and innovation sector. The partners are aiming to foster the development of products and services that boost the local economy and create jobs.