The Top Ten Highlights of the French Cleantech Cluster

French Cleantech was established in 2008 to act as a showcase for the promotion of French cleantech expertise and innovation. With more than 100 French companies under its belt, French Cleantech offers a number of services that assist them in accelerating connections for both cleantech companies and cleantech players, such as public institutions, investors, and industries. For cleantech companies, international visibility and community access are provided; for cleantech players, access to information, the cleantech community, and other services are provided.

1) Innovation showcase. French Cleantech brings in-depth knowledge of french cleantech innovations through a selection of most promising innovations on The website aims to give an easy and fast access to company profiles with a multicriteria search tool and a structured information in 11 categories: air & environment, agriculture, energy efficiency, energy generation, energy storage, manufacturing/industrial, materials, infrastructure, recycling & waste, transportation, water and wastewater.

2) Weekly tracking. To increase the visibility of cleantech innovations from France, French Cleantech provides every week a company tracking with a detailed presentation including a company history and innovation presentation, a description of the target market and his strategy. This tracking offers to industrials and investors a weekly focus on a french innovation in the cleantech field.

3) Facilitate funding access and industrial connections. French Cleantech is working with a large network of European investors, family offices and industrials. It assists innovative companies from the clean technologies sector to build strategic roadmaps and offers fund raising support. It provides them with the necessary connections to various funding opportunities or industrial partnerships.

4) Strong partnerships. French Cleantech is fortunate to have a variety of cleantech partners from a number of different areas, including international networking, media, institutional, and private. Some of the companies include Australian Cleantech, Cleantech Group, Cleantech Holland, GCCA, Swiss Cleantech.

5) Partners with leading national cleantech events. French Cleantech is partner of Innov’eco Event, a quarterly meet of cleantech business professionals and decision makers in the Paris Region. During these events, a number of cleantech business professionals meet up along with decision makers to exchange and share ideas on the growing cleantech sector. Another partner event was the HEC 8th Sustainable Business Conference. This year, one of the conference tracks was dedicated to Clean Tech and Smart Grids. 20+ speakers including VCs, start-ups (3 of the Global 100 CleanTech) and industrial corporations among which Veolia, EDF, Renault.

6) Partners with top European VC conferences. In Europe, French Cleantech is partner of :

Clean Equity Monaco conference dedicated on March 3 and 4, 2011 to 30 of the world’s most inspiring next generation cleantech companies. EVM in Germany, a two-day networking conference for 200-300 investors, service providers, early stage entrepreneurs in the ICT, Cleantech and lifesciences

Cleantech Investing Seminar in Lausanne, a unique investment-partnering event dedicated to cleantech for 60 ultra-high net-worth families, family office executives. European Tech Tour’s 2011 which seeks to identify more than 25 private cleantech companies in Europe that have developed exciting new products and services and showcased high-growth numbers.

7) Lyon – a European reference for cleantech. French Cleantech is located in Lyon, France’s second city (58 districts and 1.3 M inhabitants) which is a thriving clean technology area with 800 cleantech businesses and 13,000 Cleantech jobs. The city aims to become a European reference for Cleantechs by 2015. Greater Lyon supports French Cleantech to promote local industry and development of cleantech companies, create economic growth and jobs, while contributing to reduce, through innovation, impacts of human economic activities on environment.

8 ) The Grand Lyon Climate Plan. French Cleantech brings its contribution and analysis to the Grand Lyon Climate Plan. By 2020, the Lyon urban area aims for a 20% reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption, and increase to 20% share of renewable energy in total consumption. To facilitate this plan, Grand Lyon has done a collective work in which French Cleantech was contributor, in three stages through a climate diagnosis, urban scenarios expectations and action plans.

9) Pollutec International Exhibition. As the world’s leading show for the environment, Pollutec brings the full range of equipment, technologies and services for the prevention and treatment of pollution of all kinds and more generally for the preservation of the environment and the implementation of sustainable development. French Cleantech was invited this year by the Senator Mayor of Lyon to open the 24th show. With 2,400 exhibitors, it offering products across a range of sectors in response to market developments together with 75,000 trade visitors from industry, local authorities, construction and the service sector.

10) Cleantech players services provided. French Cleantech has emerged as a partner to help industrials and service providers to open doors in the cleantech industry and raise their visibility in France. It gives access detailed company information, facilitate connections with French entrepreneurs and public institutions involved in the cleantech industry. It also raise their visibility with sponsorship options.

Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. . He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at

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