Route des Lasers and Elopsys merge to form photonics-microwave-digital cluster

The new organization, ALPHA-RLH, aims to expand growth in the Aquitaine region and to help SMEs drive exports.

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Route des Lasers (Bordeaux, France), a competitiveness cluster for photonics and laser technology companies, and Elopsys (Limoges, France), a competitiveness cluster for photonics, microwave, and digital technologies, will merge to become ALPHA-RLH. The primary objectives of the new organization will be to make the Aquitaine region more attractive to industrial firms by setting up inter-sector development projects, and to help SMEs drive exports and grow to medium-sized companies, all within a secure economic environment.

The new cross-disciplinary technology cluster ALPHA-RLH inherits 250 members, including many major global organizations: Thales Group, Dassault Aviation, Airbus Safran Launchers, and Safran Helicopters, as well as CEA, a microelectronic and nanotechnology research center. Cluster members have contributed to economic growth and development in the Aquitaine region by directly generating close to 6,500 highly skilled jobs and indirectly creating a further 20,000. ALPHA-RLH sees strong potential to increase membership by 20–30% by 2018; it has already identified more than 250 eligible firms that could benefit from the cluster’s expansion, greater efficiency of scale, and synergy.

Jean-Pierre Giannini, director of CEA/Cesta and former director of Route des Lasers, will serve as president of ALPHA-RLH. Hervé Floch, former director of Route des Lasers, has been appointed general director of ALPHA-RLH. And Thomas Colombeau, former director of Elopsys, will serve as deputy director of ALPHA-RLH.

“With our combined expertise and deep understanding of photonics, lasers, microwave, and digital technologies that are deployed by most industrial firms, ALPHA-RLH has a major competitive advantage. We are now in a stronger position to accompany the rise and structural growth of the cutting-edge photonics sector at regional and national levels,” said Hervé Floch.

In the next two years, ALPHA-RLH expects to attract at least half a dozen companies from other regions in France and abroad. Internationally, it plans to engage a representative in Japan in addition to the ones currently operating in China and the U.S. The cluster will continue driving efforts to encourage members to participate in key international trade events such as BIOS, Photonics West or EUMW (European Microwave Week), as well as join networks, such as la French Tech.

Source: Route des Lasers

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