The market for French industry is changing. Timely or too late… To meet both economic and ecological constraints, the industry tends to become sustainable. Among French economic activities, French industrial companies have experienced the full force of deindustrialization and relocation…
France’s reindustrialization strategy
To face the crisis, the strategy changes and takes the side of reindustrializing France. Covid-19 will indeed have focused on the shortcomings and weaknesses of such a system of international dependence. Therefore, the recovery plan provides for phenomenal budgets for industry.
Support for investment and the modernisation of industry,this call for projects is open until 1 June 2021. It concerns the automotive, aeronautics, nuclear, health, agri-food, electronics, as well as the essential inputs of the industry. A long walk that promises to be…
Recovery plan for industry, (re)building france of factories
The recovery plan for industry is divided into national and territorial measures (1). The national therefore manages the projects of modernization, diversification, digital and ecological transformation of the production tool; as well as investment projects, (re)location or reinforcement of production units, in strategic value chains and chains. As far as the nuclear sector is concerned, the national recovery plan also finances innovation projects to develop “Factory of the Future” solutions.
The objective of this recovery plan for the industry is clear and legible. Strengthen the competitiveness and performance of companies. Reduce dependence on suppliers outside France and Europe. The allocation of funds is arbitrated by Bpifrance’s Expertise Department and the Directorate General of Enterprises (DGE).
Depending on the project, other administrations may be solicited. This is for example the case of the DGEC for the nuclear sector.
As for the recovery plan managed at the territorial level, the selection of supported projects is entrusted to the prefectures and regional councils. Bpifrance’s regional directorates are also taking part in the process. The objectives of locally funded projects differ from the national level. Thus, they must concern industrial investments with a high territorial impact.
The notion of speed of implementation is also taken into account, as are the socio-economic benefits at the local level.
In concrete terms, the same company can apply for assistance for several projects at the AAP. On the other hand, the expenditure bases, as well as the nature and objectives of the project, must be quite distinct.
Investments, towards a sustainable and profitable industry
Aid from the recovery plan for industry is in the form of a subsidy (1). In the context of the Covid-19 crisis, the conditions and amounts have been reassessed. Thus, subsidies can go up to € 800,000. Above this threshold, the aid varies according to the nature of the expenditure and State aid schemes mobilised.
Among the conditions to be eligible: demonstrate a correct financial health. Thus, companies must be in good standing on their tax and social obligations, in particular; just as they must be able to justify not being in great difficulty that can lead to futile investments.
In this context, the recovery plan is well reminiscent of its objective, which remains to rebuild French industry, not to squander funds. Projects are therefore judged on specific criteria such as the technical and financial maturity of the company, testifying to its ability to fully exploit the potential of investments; the relevance of the business model; the value of economic and social benefits.
Maintenance and creation of jobs, reduction of national or European dependence, improvement of competitiveness, contribution to the ecological transition, development of solidarity…
Modernization Fund, rethinking the industry of the future
By investing in industry, the state seeks to modernize it. It therefore provides for various measures to build the industrial landscape of tomorrow’s France. Starting with the “Industry of the Future” system. Whose mission is to support the “support the upgrading of smEs and industrial mid-caps”.
To do this, the State is betting on digitization, digitalization, as well as the adoption of new technologies. This system therefore joins the investments and aids for the digital transformation. The window to qualify for the “Industry of the Future” scheme is open from 27 October 2020 to 31 December 2020 (2).
In continuity, sectoral modernization funds are also opened. The one for aeronautics provides for allocations of EUR 100 million per year until 2023 (3). The selected projects must both allow the sector to start again by developing qualitative value chains to get out of the crisis; and preparing for the green mobility of the future.
As of 19 November 2020, 52 aeronautical projects had already been selected out of the 107 supported by the modernisation fund.
On the modernisation side ofthe automobile industry, the fund is acquiring €8 billion in aid (4). Objective: to renew the vehicle fleet with clean vehicles. It has already chosen to finance 85 projects for more than €70 million. In addition, the Steering Committee for Automotive Research and Mobility (CORAM) contributes to the whole.
It supports 27 projects to develop a production chain of strategic components for the manufacture of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Relocating the industry for more independence
The government is also relaunching its calls for relocation projects for the industry. For good reason, faced with the shortage of raw materials and materials during the crisis, France found itself faced with the result of thedismantling of its industry over decades. Whether it is production chains or supply chains, it is now necessary to get rid of the dependence of suppliers abroad. (5)
On 19 November, the first 31 projects selected were announced. Seven of them concern microelectronics or electronics, also contributing to the revival of French industrial sectors (6). For these projects alone, the investment amounts to €680 million,including €140 million in state support. They currently account for more than 4,000 industrial jobs, and provide for the creation of about 1,800 direct jobs.
Decarbonisation and depollution, towards a sustainable and viable industry
In addition to the reindustrialization and modernization of industry,it is necessary to think about the factory of the future in the context of ecology and the major challenges of the century. The government is therefore opening a scheme in the form of a subsidy to support manufacturers in their energy efficiency. Boosted by the recovery plan, €1.2 billion will be mobilised from the end of 2020 to support the profound transformation of the industry (7).
Companies can claim to benefit from this scheme for energy efficiency projects from €3 million. In this context, funding may concern force or heat recovery equipment; equipment intended to improve the energy efficiency of appliances or installations; equipment that emits less greenhouse gases, alternatives to fossil fuels. (8)
Industries that have taken the plunge into change
Industrial companies have already begun the change. This is particularly the case for the Europlasma group via its CHO Morcenx website (9). Expert in remediation for more than 20 years, the company develops innovative solutions to treat and recover hazardous waste, produce green energy, as well as applications to reduce the environmental footprint of industries.
With the aim of deleveraging and modernizing the group, Europlasma is undertaking a major reinvestment plan. The company then plans more than 30 million euros to dismantle part of the CHO Morcenx power plant. To enhance this dismantling, it wants to sell the equipment it will no longer need and valorize the materials. In addition to entering into a recycling process, these operations should bring nearly 7 million euros to the company.
In parallel, the Europlasma group intends to develop a solid recovery fuel preparation activity on behalf of manufacturers. The objective: to find and democratize alternative means to fossil fuels. A solar farm is also expected to be installed on the site. Just like the development of its asbestos inerting activity.
Specifications “Recovery plan for industry: support for investment and modernization of industry”, Ministry of Industry and Bpifrance, 24 November 2020
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