Pepite Champagne-Ardenne supported by Caisse des Dépôts

The Pepite Champagne-Ardenne agreement between Caisse des Dépôts and Carinna innovation agency was signed on 30 January in the presence of more than 60 players from the public-private student entrepreneurship sector, in the premises of Champagne-Ardenne Regional Council.

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Carinna, the innovation agency in Champagne-Ardenne, working with University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne and Technopole de l’Aube en Champagne , was identified as a Student pole for innovation, transfer and entrepreneurship (French acronym: Pepite ) in March 2014. The regional authorities of Champagne-Ardenne, and notably the Regional Council, Greater Troyes and Metropolitan Reims, are also supporting this project. The Champagne-Ardenne Pepite is building on the successful experience of two Student entrepreneur poles (PEE) in Champagne Region, resulting from the first call for projects in 2009: PEE Potentiel promoted by University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne and PEE Young Entrepreneur Centre promoted by Technopole de l’Aube.

The Pepite brings together the players of the regional ecosystem for student entrepreneurship (universities and higher educational institutions, associations, communities) around the objective of encouraging entrepreneurial actions by students in Champagne Region, developing the spirit of innovation and supporting business creation projects.

Looking ahead to 2017, the challenge is to build a common policy across the territory, around a shared appraisal and as part of a common governance that includes approximately 40 partners, including University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Technopole de l’Aube en Champagne, Technological University of Troyes, ESC Troyes group, Neoma Business School and Innovact. The aim is to diversify the initiatives, to extend the scope of activity and to open up to a broader ecosystem. Champagne-Ardenne Pepite has many advantages: the set-up of work placements for entrepreneurial students, the involvement of private partners and local authorities, as well as the implementation of cross-functional communications.

The Pepite structures are contributing to the growing spread of entrepreneurial training and innovation on all post-secondary levels, and in all training sectors. Involving universities, major institutes, economic players and association networks, they are intended to offer a pooled and complete system to raise awareness for supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of students and young graduates, which includes mobilising the existing financial possibilities (bursaries for project promoters, seed funds and interest-free loans). Since 15 September 2014, they have also been supporting the set-up of the national student entrepreneur status.

Nationally, Caisse des Dépôts is a partner of the MENESR and of the MEIN. Alongside the State, it is financing the 29 labelled clusters, in the amount of €1mn for a total of €4.6mn.

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