The maritime economy

Since 2012, Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique has benefited from the BRONZE Label awarded by the European Commission as part of the European Cluster Excellence Initiative. The label reflects the PMBA’s commitment to excellent management practice and to showcasing its European ambitions.  

The PMBA cluster provides SMEs with the support needed to export their products and know-how. It strives to enhance its international collaborative initiatives and its capacity to act at a European level for the benefit of its members. The cluster therefore encourages the development of transnational collaborative projects. At 11 million km 2, France’s Economic Exclusion Zone is the second largest in the world and represents an outstanding asset for all its maritime players,

A leader in the European maritime community

All European activities conducted by the PMBA cluster are designed to benefit its members, who see the potential for collaboration with other European clusters around common themes. These activities also provide an opportunity to respond jointly to European calls for projects, particularly as part of the Horizon 2020 programme.

The PMBA cluster is increasingly taking a lead in the European maritime community: identifying partners, participating in European programmes, engaging in interclustering activities and lobbying European bodies.


Guidance and support


Croissance Europe - A regional initiative with European dimensions

Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique, in association with the clusters Images & Réseaux, Valorial and Atlanpole Biotherapies, is overseeing the Croissance Europe initiative, designed to stimulate growth at a European level. Having successfully secured funding from the French Ministry of Economic and Financial Affairs, this initiative is aimed at helping SME cluster members bid for project funding under the H2020 Research and Development programme.

To achieve this, Croissance Europe brings together four clusters in Brittany and the Loire region – Technopôle Brest-Iroise, Technopôle Quimper-Cornouaille, Atlanpole and Laval Mayenne Technopôle.

The services offered include monitoring and circulating targeted intelligence to members relating to H2020 calls for projects, conducting diagnostic surveys for PMEs and providing support and guidance in putting together European projects.

This partnership of clusters and technopoles cannot fail to pay dividends and is showing positive indicators at the midway stage: 300 businesses now fully aware of the initiative, 59 businesses diagnosed, 14 businesses supported with European project submissions and 6 businesses already receiving European funding.

Launched in June 2016 for a period of 24 months, this initiative is still going strong. Anyone keen to develop a project and increase its chances of success or seeking a European partner or more information about this initiative just needs to get in touch.



Engagement and expertise


The PMBA cluster is expanding its role at the forefront of the European maritime community: identifying partners, participating in European programmes, engaging in interclustering activities, lobbying European bodies, etc.

DG Mare expertise

The European Commission and DG Mare are actively working on the skills and training required for the future of the blue economy.

A group of experts has been assembled to devise a strategy for this fast-changing sector with the aim of ensuring effective cooperation between training establishments and industry. Its task is to identify at-risk sectors of the maritime economy – economic aspects, ageing workforce, etc. – and to understand the maritime industry’s lack of attractiveness. A set of recommendations will be drawn up and submitted to the Commission over the next three years.

Philippe Monbet, Deputy Director of Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique, has been selected as an expert on blue economy skills and career development. Philippe’s vision and experience will serve the Commission in its work and, at the same time, he will represent the needs of cluster members in his dealings with European bodies.



JPI Oceans - A member of the national mirror group France

The Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans) is a platform for coordinating and integrating initiatives. Open to all European Union Member States and Associated Countries, it is devoted to the sustainable development of marine and maritime activities.

The role of JPI Oceans is to ensure that national research budgets, which account for 88% of European research funding, are used more effectively.  One objective is to develop joint research programmes in which countries can voluntarily participate at different levels and in different ways. 

Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique is part of the French national mirror group.

Contact:Stéphane Alain Riou - and Philippe Monbet -


COLUMBUS Project – Member of the External Advisory Board

Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique was appointed expert member of the committee monitoring the European COLUMBUS Project.

This project brings together 26 scientific organisations and clusters, mostly located on the Baltic Sea, North Sea and Atlantic. The objectives are to prioritise the future challenges facing the maritime sector and the associated research needs, and to transfer scientific knowledge and techniques to businesses and society.

The project’s ambition is to make European citizens aware of the impact of marine and maritime research on their daily lives in the future.

Contact:Stéphane-Alain Riou -


H2020 – Member of the Advisory Group for Societal Challenge 2: Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture, Marine and Maritime Research and the Bioeconomy

As member of the Advisory Group for Societal Challenge 2 - Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture, Marine and Maritime Research and the Bioeconomy, Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique plays a part in drawing up strategic plans for future Horizon 2020 calls for proposals. Among other things, this involvement enables the priorities of cluster members contained in the strategic road map to be moved up the European agenda.

Contact:Stéphane-Alain Riou -




Through its interclustering activities and participation in European projects, Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique is boosting its expertise relating to its members’ innovation needs and positioning on emerging markets: MRE, management of coastal and estuarine waters, satellite services, etc.

The cluster’s dynamic European role is reflected in its current involvement in 8 European projects for an overall budget of almost 1 million euros.

2017 was a particularly fruitful year for the cluster which secured three European projects – EBB, SAFER and IFADO – submitted as part of the Interreg Atlantique, and two further projects – INvertebrateIT and Entropi – in response to the Easme Blue Technology call for projects.

This success is the culmination of several years of work undertaken by PMBA, now recognised as a major player in European blue growth and its members enjoying the resulting benefits of promising themes for the future – multi-use offshore platforms, biological databases, fishing and aquaculture, etc.



Projects in progress




  • Interreg France (Channel) England
  • ICE







  • Blue BRIDGE


Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique is partner in the BlueBRIDGE project funded as part of Horizon 2020 and managed by CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche), Italy’s national research council.

This project is working on developing collaborative tools with specific functionalities – models, data integration, big data management, etc. – in the form of virtual research environments (VREs) for the fishing, aquaculture and environmental sectors.

The cluster’s role is to promote the tools within its network and, more generally, among targeted stakeholders interested in the functionalities offered by BlueBRIDGE. It is also responsible for circulating the results and organising workshops and training.

Contact: Philippe Monbet - and Anaïs Turpault –  


Completed projects  


European Marine Science Applications Consortium

Ensuring appropriate research efforts to develop economic markets associated with managing coastal and estuarine waters  

Consortium: Marine South East, Portsmouth City Council, University of Southampton, Pole Mer Mediterrannée, University of Bretagne Occidentale, Bretagne Développement Innovation, University of Gothenburg, University of Holdingbolaget vid Göteborgs and Västra Götalandsregionen


Programme: FP7 - Region of Knowledge



Marine Energy in Far Peripheral and Island Communities  

Consortium: Cornwall Council, Conseil Général du Finistère, Parc Naturel Marin d'Iroise, Technopôle Brest Iroise, Ifremer, Bretagne Développement Innovation, University of Exeter, University of Plymouth, Cornwall Marine Network

Programme: INTERREG IVa France - Channel - England



Towards a Joint European Research Infrastructure Network for Coastal Observatories 

Consortium: 27 European partners including Ifremer, NIVA, NIOZ, CEFAS, HMRC and Tecnalia

Programme: FP7 - Integrating Activities (IA)


  • DORIS_Net

Downstream Observatory Organised by Regions Active in Space _ Network 

Consortium: Ceon Gmbh, University of Leicester, Cerema, Capital High Tech, Secretaria Regional da Ciência, Tecnologia E Equipamentos, Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche, Tecnologie Per Le Osservazioni Della Terra Ed I Rischi Naturali, Research In Brussels Asbl, Fundacion Adeuropa, Asociacion Madrid Plataforma Aeronautica Y Del Espacio, Mpae, Forum Luft- Und Raumfahrt Baden-Württemberg E.V. and Guyane Technopole

Programme: FP7 - SPACE - Fostering downstream activities and links with regions (SPA)


  • Channel MOR

Facilitating SME integration into emerging marine renewable energy markets  

Consortium: Bretagne Développement Innovation, Technopole Brest Iroise, University of Le Havre, Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Dieppe, Region Haute Normandie, Maison de l'Emploi et de La Formation Professionnelle du Pays de Brest, Technopôle Cherbourg Normandie, Cornwall Marine Network, Southampton City Council, University of Chichester and University of Portsmouth

Programme: INTERREG IVa France - (Channel) - England