Research and Innovation in French Polynesia has gradually expanded and developed, and today it has modern infrastructures and a qualified workforce with the presence of highly qualified researchers.
In order to preserve French Polynesia’s natural and exceptional environment as well as its population, Research and Innovation defined in 2014 a “Master Plan for Research and Innovation in French Polynesia 2015-2025” (SDRI). It is dedicated to a few key areas including:
Coral reefs and marine ecosystems that provide services and goods to island human populations;
Polynesian societies, by studying both the traditional foundations of Oceania and the meeting of societies and cultures as well as more contemporary elements of society such as governance, common goods;
The health of populations, by consolidating the expertise acquired on emerging infectious diseases as well as on non-communicable diseases related to food;
Natural hazards and climate change;
New energies, especially renewable ones, new natural and mining resources, both on land and in the sea, as well as new digital tools.
In French Polynesia, the “Research-Innovation ecosystem” includes several national research and training organizations that have established themselves: the Louis Malardé Institute (ILM), the Research Institute for Development (IRD), the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER), the Center for Island Research and Environmental Observatory (Criobe) based on the island of Moorea which manages the CORAIL Laboratories of Excellence (LABEX) which brings together 9 overseas institutions and 4 universities (PSL University of Paris, Practical Schools of Higher Studies, CNRS and the University of Perpignan via DOMITIA), the Geophysical Laboratory (LDG), the Geological and Mining Research Office (BRGM), the Environmental Study and Monitoring Laboratory (LESE), the University of French Polynesia (UPF).
And, the Gump research station, a branch of the University of Berkeley in California but also of UCSB, UCLA, UC San Diego and CSUN, is also present and established in Moorea.
The Tahiti Fa’ahotu association is the 1st Polynesian innovation cluster created in August 2009 and recognized as a “business cluster” in May 2010. It brings together Polynesian companies and local research and training organizations around a common goal: innovation for the development of natural resources. Its goal is to provide support and assistance to its members wishing to develop innovative projects around the exploitation of natural marine and land resources; biodiversity, biomolecules of interest and biotechnologies; renewable energies and the sustainable preservation of environments. The Mer Bretagne and Mer Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur competitiveness clusters have formalized their collaboration by signing a tripartite agreement with Tahiti Fa’ahotu.