Europe Security News interviewed Mr. Jean-Luc Logel President of EDEN Sme´s Cluster and Mrs. Manon Moreau Executive Director EDEN Sme´s Cluster, with headquarters in Lyon, France, in 2016.
Both Mr. Logel and Mrs. Moreau were asked about the strengths of EDEN Sme´s Cluster, the foundation process, what is a Cluster, its products and services. They were also asked about citizen and public safety issues and the role of the private sector.
- What is a cluster?
Jean-Luc Logel JLL : we are a cluster which is a little bit different from other clusters. Our competitivity is important, at the early beginning it was the idea of six company owners , from six Rhone-Alpes businessmen of the region of Lyon, to create an association in order to develop the business, the business worked well, business presence in the shows and we took in common the resources, initially it was a private initiative, from the bottom and up. So what makes Eden very special? Eden is not specialized vertically, is fully integrated horizontally, supplying same product to the Navy, and to the Air Force…
- What do you mean by integrated horizontally?
JLL: it mean s we are able to supply the Navy, Air Force and other customers with the same product. So today Eden has ten thousand people employed, a consolidated turnover of one billion Euro, we have 130 SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) coming from four (4) regions in France: the Lyon Region (Rhone-Alpes), Brittany Region, Central Region and the Provence-Alpes-Cote d´Azur Region (PACA).
Manon Moreau MM: We are a National Federation of Clusters, so we are stronger when we export. We are the first Defence, Security and safety Cluster.
We develop a model for the exchange and pooling of strengths to facilitate export and access to global markets, Eden makes it easier to access Research and Technology.
– Which one is the star product or service you offer to the markets?
JLL: we have four groups of activity:
- Equipment of soldiers
- Equipment for aircrafts, ships and vehicles
- Detection, protection and survey
- Personal protection equipment, has to do with metal detection and other
Recently we added three more:
- Cyberdefense, IT Security
- Qualification and services, like putting the products according to norms, military norms
- What about citizen safety? What are you doing in the field of law enforcement?
In fact, all of these sectors met at the beginning for the Defence market, but all companies are dual, have dual activities. So the first duality step for our companies is security. We come to MILIPOL France, MILIPOL Qatar, we also organize an event called Forum for Technology Against Crime every two years, it´s a kind of DAVOS of Security, and this event is under the patronage of Interpol. The Interpol headquarters are located in Lyon, and with the support of the Ministry of Interior. The Minister of Interior came to Lyon to open the conference, and we received delegations from 60 countries.
- You said you started as a initiative of the private sector, but what about the relation with the French State?
JLL: Eden is a very good example of collaboration between the private sector and the public sector. In the public sector everybody is short in money , so in this kind of initiatives, we have a good opportunity for them, because we do thing they (public sector) can not do, because of the lack of public money. We also have a kind of think tank, to organize events, and to think about the future of security in France. We are members, so we can contribute to the reflexion.
- In the near future we are launching a new site in September, France Security News FSN , more specific for France, and we will organize the sections, and one section will be focusing on Clusters. So , if you want we are going to be in contact with you and try to follow what you are doing , sometimes we will ask you for materials, the mission of FSN is to promote the export of French products and services within the Security and Defence sectors. One of the Clusters to collaborate is the Cluster of Brittany. The idea is to have more than one Cluster involved in FSN. We are also doing a report, yesterday night a French policeman and his wife were stabbed to death by a terrorist in Paris, and we saw in the news the opinion of police officers, also the opinion of politicians, but it is always difficult to get the opinion of the private sector, how to improve public safety, how to improve citizen safety, what can the private sector do, for example in an interview with the leader of another private company, he said to me “we should be aware to sell our weapons to the good guys, not to the bad guys”, another said “ we need to improve our intelligence on the BIG DATA, by constructing a machine that can process information almost in real time and give something to improve citizen safety” So, what could be your opinion, as members of the private sector, what do you have in your heart that can be of use to improve citizen safety, what could be a good initiative to fight crime?
JLL: In this conference we organize in Lyon, every two years, we have a motto, something to think about. This year was “security of connected tools”. F.e. your alarm in your home is connected, so connection means security, but connection means also danger if anybody take the control of the connected tool , so what is good for the security can also work against them, can be dangerous if it fall in the wrong hands . this is a very critical issue for the coming years, is a big challenge to our society, because today you have your iphone you can see your home , you can see if everything is fine, but crime, organized crime can also be connected to this tools and see your home, and see what is happening there, see if you are here or not here, also the planes when they are landing and the ground which is connected to the plane and land the plane , theoretically can crime also be connected with ground and the plane, so one of the biggest challenges in the coming years is the security of connecting the tools. There is a cyber problem with the hackers, that must be solved.
- And you Manon, what is your opinion on the subject?
MM: This is a private opinion. I think one of the major issues that Eden is involved is the discussion between the private and the public sector , and one of the main differences is that the French Minister of Interior is having a lot of contracts in order to train different organizations , the French Government just signed a contract to train the Gendarmerie in Mexico , and Eden will be part of the training. The contribution of Eden in Mexico is the use of the innovative products that we have and we sell to the French Gendarmerie. And we can sell this innovative products to other Gendarmeries. Also, I think that the forces should get to know each other, and collaborate with each other, globally, working closer with the French Ministry of Interior.
- What about franchising the French Cluster experience/know how to other countries in the world?
JLL: it is a very good idea, because we in Eden created a model of franchising clusters , and we did some franchising with the Brittany Region, also some franchising with the Center Region , with Provence, so we already have the model of franchising. We already developed some partnership to develop clusters with Germany´s GSW (Gesellschaft für Sicherheit und Werkschutz), we make a exhibition together in Germany. We also have a partnership with a Brazilian organization ABIMDE. Is not through the Brazilian government, but we met in a exhibition. We have an operational agreement, and I will give you an example of what we can do together, you know the French Attack Barracuda Submarines, some of the suppliers to the Barracuda want to supply the Brazilian Government , so we need a local counterpart, so for the French company they did not know how to approach the Brazilian market , so they have to find a partner , so what we did was to ask ABIMDE “can you help us?” and they helped by finding the right partner, having a lot of information concerning the right behavior of this company, so you do not start a relationship with somebody you do not know , you need a cushion, and they understand how business is conducted in France.
MM: We also help companies to find the right partners in Europe, like we did with H2020. We organize one year meetings for small companies with few resources. We also have a platform in which we can find all the contacts , all European defense and security clusters , which is quiet good initiative for an organization like ours.