“We must create a Robotic Valley”, ambitions Geneviève Darrieussecq

Geneviève Darrieussecq is a candidate for regional elections in Nouvelle-Aquitaine – UGO AMEZ / SIPA

  • The Minister of Veterans Affairs Geneviève Darrieussecq is a candidate for the MoDem and LREM in the regional elections in New Aquitaine, on June 20 and 27.
  • La Landaise wants to make the economy a lever for regional planning.
  • For this, it wishes to develop future campuses in each department.

Candidate for the Modem and LREM, the Minister in charge of Veterans Geneviève Darrieussecq makes the economy one of her priorities for the regional elections on June 20 and 27. Regional councilor from 2004 to 2015, mayor of Mont-de-Marsan from 2008 to 2017, the Landaise wants in particular to make Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the region of reference for robotics.

After the health crisis, there is a risk of an economic crisis. What will you do to support businesses if you are elected to head the regional council?

The first intention that I would have at the head of this region is the implementation of the Recovery plan, which is to develop over the next three years. The world of tourism is in full doubt, because of recruitment difficulties, concerns about the ability to honor its debt after having taken out loans. The construction sector, for its part, has full order books, but it is limited in human resources and is experiencing difficulties in the supply of materials … The region must be very attentive to all these sectors, and release an emergency fund. 20 or 30 million euros, especially for those whose recovery would not be at the expected level.

There is also the aeronautics sector, hard hit by the crisis, and which is very present in the region?

We are very focused on defense aeronautics in the region, and we are therefore much less affected than in Toulouse, because the defense budget has increased since 2017, and the orders are there. For civil aeronautics, there is great support from the State, with the ambition that these industries move towards aeronautics that is resilient in relation to environmental issues, thanks to new energies.

There are new industrial sectors to explore, which ones do you think?

We need a strategy of sovereignty in certain key sectors, I am thinking in particular of health and robotics, which is a major issue of tomorrow, but we are lagging behind in France. New Aquitaine must seize it, to become the French region of robotics. We already have companies, like Shark Robotics in La Rochelle, but the sector is not structured. We have done
Aerospace Valley with Occitanie, we must create a Robotic Valley.

Why is robotics essential?

It will be essential in agriculture to reduce the arduousness of certain tasks, to be more efficient in weeding. The industry of the future is also revolving around robotics, just like the health sector, where unfortunately almost all surgical robots come from abroad.

Doesn’t robotics pose a risk to employment?

On the contrary, this field will provide new jobs, and not only for engineers. You have to see this as an opportunity. This is even why I also want to create a robotics high school, teach robotics in all establishments, create real training courses between BTS, IUT, engineering schools and continuing education.

And in the environmental sector?

It is essential, of course. Nouvelle-Aquitaine must become a leader in the recovery of waste and the reuse of materials. Building waste must be treated efficiently in all departments, which must have management centers. I hope that we will put an end to illegal dumping and especially that we work on how to transform these materials. It lacks a federator, and a training base, around all this. This is why I want future campuses in each department.

That is to say ?

I want to offer training to go towards these trades in all departments, because the needs in Corrèze or Creuse are not the same as those in Gironde or Landes. We must put the economy at the service of regional planning, to find employment in each department.

And won’t it go digital?

Of course, but we are very late in New Aquitaine on the deployment of digital. Yet this is what will attract businesses to our territories, which will allow us to develop effective telemedicine, and which will help telework. We must speed up.

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