Since the launch of France 2030, the Nuclear Valley competitiveness cluster has positioned itself in support of this investment plan which aims to promote the development of the nuclear sector in France. Its action focuses on the labeling of technological building blocks, support for companies in the sector and assistance with training for nuclear professions.
More than 15 years after its creation, Nuclear Valley continues its missions which aim to promote the development of innovative and competitive solutions for nuclear sector In France. This competitiveness cluster, whose headquarters is located in Chalon-sur-Saône, today brings together nearly 450 members (SMEs, ETIs, large groups), nearly half of whom are based in the Burgundy-Franche-Comté and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Since the launch of France 2030, it has also supported this investment plan, the objective of which is in particular to bring about the emergence of new small nuclear reactors and promote training in nuclear professions.
“Of the fifteen files submitted as part of the call for projects” Innovative nuclear reactors » of France 2030, all project leaders are members of our association, rejoices Jean-François Debost, general director of Nuclear Valley. And we supported 11 of them, some on the labeling of their technological building blocks, others on the search for equity capital or even the search for industrial partners. »
Through its scientific council, made up of around twenty independent experts, Nuclear Valley’s mission is to certify certain nuclear innovation projects. To do this, they must respect two conditions: demonstrate their character innovative and their capacity to create jobs in France. “A labeled project then has three times more chance of obtaining a grant, revealed Jean-François Debost. Public financiers do not have the technical skills to evaluate all projects, and in a way, they subcontract this service to us to remove risks. »
Another mission of Nuclear Valley, which is becoming more and more important, is to help companies in the search for equity. To receive public subsidies, such as those allocated within the framework of the France 2030 system, they must in fact respect the one-for-one principle, which means that for one euro of subsidy received, the company must have one euro of own funds. Nuclear Valley therefore created an investors club, called Nuc Tech, which brings together fifteen investment funds, including sovereign, regional and banking funds. “Our member companies have great difficulty finding investors, add Jean-François Debost. We help them prepare their files, train them to pitch their projects, then we submit their files to our fifteen investors. They are ready to invest in nuclear power, despite all the constraints of this sector, in particular the fact of having to deal with a long-term and highly capital-intensive industry. »
Nuclear Valley is a founding member of the University of Nuclear Professions
This support for businesses can also take the form of supporting members in their search for future industrial partners or to help them increase their turnover. To do this, Nuclear Valley regularly organizes meetings between all stakeholders in the nuclear industry. The latest, called the Nuclear Valley meetings, brought together more than 650 people and just over 300 companies during its seventh edition last November.
While support for training in nuclear professions is the second strong focus of France 2030 in this sector, Nuclear Valley intervenes in this area at several levels. He is a founding member of the University of Nuclear Professions (UMN), an association which aims to boost training systems in the sector nuclearat regional, interregional and national scales and to provide responses to recruitment needs in professions essential to the sector.
As part of the “Skills and professions of the future (CMA)” system set up by France 2030, the competitiveness cluster also supports certain training organizations which have submitted files to this “Call for expressions of interest ” (FRIEND) “. “We are partners in a number of initiatives to attract young people to schools, complete Jean-François Debost. For example, we relay the new training courses offered to make them known to our ecosystem of members. We also go to schools and organize forums, to bring companies into schools so that they can present their activities to students, and some of them can get job offers or internships. The training challenge is important, because the French nuclear industry will need 100,000 more skills in the next ten years. »