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1st call for international marine/maritime projects from Finistère

19 September 2019
by businessfrance -- last modified 20 September 2019

The NARWHAL CHALLENGE is the first call for international projects in the Finistère area (Western Brittany) in France. This call for innovative projects has been launched by a collective of 8 organisations representing the area's key economic and scientific stakeholders as well as its world-renowned research community.


Sustainably developing the local maritime economy



The NARWHAL CHALLENGE seeks to attract project leaders and maritime start-ups from all over the world. The aim is to promote innovative initiatives and to foster the growth of projects with the support of the region's established stakeholders. The wealth of local networks and the collective momentum that characterise the area make it a region ripe for business development.

When and who?

Candidates have until 4th October 2019 to apply online at with their proposal for solutions or services across the following fields:

  • Defence, safety and maritime security
  • Naval industry and sailing
  • Maritime energy and mining resources
  • Marine biological resources
  • Environment and coastal development
  • Maritime ports, logistics and transportation
  • Tourism

Networking, visibility and ecosystem discovery


The NARWHAL CHALLENGE winners will benefit from a full week of customised immersion in the region. Their programmes will be planned based on their activity and on the necessary expertise required to develop their projects.

The week will consist of various workshops to:

  • Meet the region's networks of potential clients, partners and investors
  • Share experiences and best practice as well as knowledge and skills in target fields
  • Discover Brittany's maritime economy and quality of life

It doesn't end here!

The next phase of the project will be launched over the course of 2020 and will allow project leaders and start-ups convinced of the region's potential (scientific resources, testing platforms, first local opportunities and more) to benefit from an acceleration programme lasting several months.

Dates for the diary

Dates for the diary

The Finistère in numbers

The Finistère in numbersIts maritime economy

  • 40,400 maritime sector jobs
  • Top European port for seaweed offloading
  • 98 acres dedicated to renewable marine energy

Its scientific community

  • A high-level university centre: 1600 students, 730 researchers, the University of Bretagne Occidentale is 12th globally in the the field of oceanography (Shanghai index).

Its allure

  • 1391 kilometers of coastline – France's top maritime area
  • 19,000 international residents in the Finistère
  • Home to internationally renowned institutions

'Setting up your business in Brittany, and especially in the Finistère, is a guarantee of having the advice and help your project requires.' Franck Zal co-founder of Hemarina(A biotechnology firm that has developed a technique of universal oxygen transportation from sea worms)

'The exceptional abundance of expertises and scientists here affords the Finistère a unique status in France and in the world.' Yann Guichoux - President of Eodyn (An innovative company specialised in the space sector and in maritime traffic)

The project's partners

The Village by CA Finistère, innovative project accelerator and member of France's top start-up support network, and the Campus mondial de la mer created the concept for this call for projects.

Le VillageLocated in Brest, Brittany's second largest metropolitan area, the Village by CA Finistère supports innovation of all kinds. It seeks to bring together local actors: potential collaborators, start-ups, SMEs, major companies, students, researchers and more. Together, they innovate and create new business opportunities based around 4 domains of excellence: the sea, cybersecurity, health/ageing, and agriculture/agribusiness. The Village by CA Finistère is a catalyst for the region's innovation and transformation: a place for accelerating innovative projects, stimulating creativity, showcasing existing projects and developing new business opportunities.

Campus mondial de la merThe Campus mondial de la mer is a project focused on developing a sustainable maritime economy (blue growth). This effort, spearheaded by the Brest Metropolitan Area, has been jointly developed by federative structures of the marine technology and science communities in Western Brittany: Europôle Mer, Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique and Technopôle Brest-Iroise. It brings together specialist universities, businesses, national research institutes and regional and local authorities.

Its main ambition is to make Brittany THE foremost region for research and promotion of oceans and seas. Through coordinated action promoting research, collaboration between laboratories & businesses, and supporting the development & internationalisation of SMEs, the "Campus mondial de la mer" seeks to conquer high-potential markets.

Contact: Marlène Le Pennec - Communications Manager / - +33 6 45 74 56 71
Julien Gras - Communications Manager / - +33 2 98 05 63 14 – +33 7 60 40 83 05
Follow us: Facebook: @LeVillageByCAFinistere Twitter: @VillageCABrest LinkedIn: Le Village by CA Finistère

Business France is the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for fostering export growth by French businesses, as well as promoting and facilitating international investment in France.

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Business France is the French national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for facilitating the development of French companies in foreign markets, as well as promoting international investments in France.

Business France also promotes the creativity and innovation of French companies, demonstrating how French talent extends beyond borders and throughout the world.

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