Following the adoption of the strategy of the Brittany region on economic development, innovation and internationalisation in 2013, and then exchanges with a diversity of economic actors, local authorities and organisations from the civil society, Brest Métropole (France) launched in 2015 a Metropolitan Strategy for the economic development of its territory. This strategy aims at contributing to the aforementioned regional policy.

The fifth objective of this strategy is of interest as a good practice because it aims at connecting knowledge to the economy of Brest Métropole by contributing to the Brittany region economic strategy. Indeed, Brest Métropole seeks to reinforce higher education and research and to multiply bridges between universities, “grandes écoles” and research centres from one side, and enterprises from the other.

The goal is as well to strengthen training and skills for the citizens and especially the young, in order to provide value to local and regional enterprises and facilitate their growth and economic sustainability.

Image: Blue landscape in Brest © Frédéric Le Mouillour

Brest Métropole, as an internationally recognised territory for its leadership in maritime excellence, will help consolidate and transform the sector in a pool for new activities and jobs, and response to challenges such as blue growth, climate change, sustainable development, health, food, etc. The other main sectors of the Brest territory are also targeted, such as: agriculture, agribusiness, industry, defence, tourism and insurance-bank.

More than 400 people, including political representatives and technical, universities, citizens, networks of enterprises from Brest, its Metropole and the Brittany region, were involved in the design of this strategy.

The digital ecosystem mobilising all relevant stakeholders of its territory for supporting start-ups in Brest Métropole is being strengthened with this strategy.

Brest Métropole implemented a development plan in the framework of “La French Tech”. This is an initiative from the French State to help start-ups grow at international level and to create local networks of start-ups. 54 start-ups of the west of the Brittany are currently supported under the “La French Tech Brest” label.

Launched at the end of 2013, the 2014-2020 strategy of Brittany on economic development, innovation and internationalisation paved the way for the emergence of the Metropolitan strategy of Brest. Indeed, Brest strategy was made possible thanks to the framework set up by the regional policy, which is based on building an innovative blue and green economy creating jobs.

As a territorial marketing initiative, “La French Tech” has proven successful by being implemented in 13 different French metropolises and has thus shown obvious potential for transfer.

Also reinforced in the context of the Metropolitan strategy, the city branding initiative “Brest Life” aiming at promoting the perks of living in Brest, as well as the assets of the territory in order to attract investments, knowledge and students, and to create projects. The objective is to develop the local, metropolitan and regional economy.

Image: Cable car in Brest Métropole © Guillaume Team Brest