10 February 2021
Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of the economy, finance and renewal, visited the plant in Saint-Pierre-Montlimart and met with the on-site teams on 9th February. His visit focused on relocalising French industry, jobs in electronics and the many stakes of the factory of the future. Along with the LACROIX Group teams, he then went to Beaupréau to lay the founding stone of SYMBIOSE, which was symbolically represented by the first oak tree on the plant’s property.
Electronics is one of the five priority sectors affected by relocalisation in the government’s renewal plan. The aim? Confront the challenges ahead and maintain a high level of ambition to support the industry, which is a key link in the chain of France’s economic sovereignty.
SYMBIOSE, the project involving the French electronics factory of the future, was singled out as one of the “champions of France” and the “new conquerors of the economy”. Indeed, the factory is a model for French industrial renewal and the ambition to move toward digital transition and the industry of tomorrow.
Established a century ago, the Saint-Pierre-Montlimart plant, which will be relocated to Beaupréau as part of the SYMBIOSE project, was the first electronics site in France to earn the title of ‘showcase of the industry of tomorrow’. It provides electronics and equipment for a large number of critical functions of French industry, says Vincent Bedouin, President & CEO LACROIX Group.
“I firmly believe that we can re-industrialise our country. That is the goal of our renewal plan, which finances localisation of new productions in France. France Relance is already in progress, not least thanks to our talented manufacturers. LACROIX Electronics, which is building a new 4.0 plant in Maine-Et-Loire, is evidence of this. The stakes are to build true chains of added value which will create jobs in our region.”
Symbiose embodies the desire of many industry players, including LACROIX Group, to (re)localise their operations in order to reduce our dependence on foreign manufacturing for certain key components such as printed circuit boards. This involves creating champions of a significant size in France and Europe, while at the same time working in ecosystems and consortia – through the Technocampus électronique d’Angers, for example. The open ecosystem of LACROIX Group is one of its major strengths, thanks in particular to the inter-sector work carried out by the CSFs (Comités Stratégiques de Filière [Sector Strategy Committees]) in recent years.
‘The electronics sector is creating jobs. It is essential to build on skills, to invest in people – and particularly young people – in an area where digitisation is disrupting the way we will operate tomorrow. Today there are 400,000 jobs in electronics. In the future, this industry will expand to meet our major environmental and social challenges”. Vincent Bedouin
If the factory of the future implies a technological revolution, thus highlighting many digital innovations, it also brings to the forefront the challenges of the ‘Smart World’, including environmental and human aspects. In choosing to plant the first tree rather than laying the first stone, LACROIX Group is highlighting that the site is first and foremost a place to live before being a production site.
”Beyond the industrial performance we serve, respecting our ecosystem, both natural and human, is essential. That is what is symbolised by this tree, which will be sent to a tree nursery before coming to the SYMBIOSE property”, Vincent Bedouin, CEO of LACROIX Group.
SYMBIOSE represents the current transition of electronics (industrial, social and environmental) which is meeting the challenges of national sovereignty as well as those of accelerated digitisation through IoT and electronic functionalities.