international newsletter
  No. 31  -  December 2014
Accueil > International Newsletter No. 31 > Expertise - ISSN 1957-7184
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Investments for the Future

Building the society of the future starts today


The French government created the Investments for the Future Programme (Programme des Investissements d’Avenir) in order to encourage the development of promising technical innovations. Since 2010, ADEME has overseen work on several of the programme’s thematic priorities.

ADEME maintains a wide scope of action in the Investments for the Future Programme. The Agency is involved in work in low-carbon energies, green chemistry, the future of vehicles and mobility, smart grids and the circular economy. Its aims are equally far-ranging. ADEME is responsible for backing experiments during the pre-manufacturing phase, demonstrators and industrial innovations designed to ramp up the energy and ecological transition. “The innovations are ambitious”, confirms Benjamin Stremsdoerfer, Deputy Director of Investments for the Future Directorate. “Each project represents an investment in the tens of millions of euros. With 602 applications submitted and 146 selected projects, the programme has demonstrated its ability to attract companies from forward-looking sectors.” In fact, 85% of the funding has been awarded to companies, with over 50% going to micro-businesses, SMEs and midcaps. ADEME’s role goes beyond financial backing – the Agency issues calls for expressions of interest guided by strategic roadmaps.

“These programmes cover about 20 key areas central to the energy and ecological transition,” adds Jean-Guillaume Péladan, Director of Investments for the Future Directorate. Ten of these areas fall under the “Demonstrators and technological platforms for renewable and low-carbon energies and green chemistry” programme, which has been allocated €1.125 billion in funding. Out of this total figure, €950 million have been invested in promoting the development of innovative, sustainable technologies and solutions for land and sea transport. €210 million have been earmarked for the circular economy, which covers aspects of waste (from collection to recycling or recovery) and industrial ecology, as well as remediation of sites, soil and sediment. The remaining budget of €165 million is reserved for smart grids The initial results confirm that Investments for the Future is indeed stimulating innovation. Across all the project areas, the initiative has had a particularly critical impact on emerging industries such as concentrating solar power, hydrogen-based storage solutions, marine energy, new recycling methods and pioneering mobility services.

Investments for the Future is also providing a boost to industries in the building phase, with established players, such as upstream and downstream photovoltaic power, geothermal power, electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure. In all these areas, the programme is serving as a catalyst for the structural development already underway. It is also driving the market shift in fast-changing industries like vehicle hybridisation and upstream energy management. The programme’s impact on slower-moving fields – ships of the future, rail, building refurbishment and energy management – will be measured over the long term.
Not only is the Investments for the Future Programme stimulating innovation in a major way, it also represents an important lever for economic and social development. Over 10,000 direct jobs are set to be created by 2020 in the first participating companies, and the revenue generated by research within the programme is already estimated at more than €10 billion. /

Go further


ADEME is backing several international projects as part of the Investments for the Future Programme. Two of these initiatives, the MICROSOL and CROME projects, are developing micro-scale solar centres for rural electrification and battery charging technology to promote electric mobility, respectively. The programme is also supporting several solutions that should find a market outside France, including the range of solar trackers developed by Exosun and McPhyEnergy’s technology for storing hydrogen in solid form.

Microsol (in French only)

CROME (in French only)

Exosun (in French only)

McPhy Energy (in French only)