OVLD to Assist North American, Asian Companies in France’s Orleans Loire Valley

October 30, 2008 | Contact Author | By: Rachel Chapman
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     The year 2005 reportedly has been a banner year for ’s Cosmetic Valley , created in 1994 to promote synergy among cosmetics and perfumery businesses. According to the group, the area is concentrated in the Orleans Loire Valley , Chartres and Tours areas, located 10 to 100 miles southwest of Paris . In July 2005, the French Government officially recognized the Cosmetic Valley as a National Competitiveness Cluster, for over 10 years having promoted the image of luxury, perfumery and cosmetics “Made in France” to the world, thus reaffirming France’s position as the world’s leading developer of perfumery and cosmetics products.

     One  month prior to achieving this national honor, the group expanded geographically and welcomed new companies, research organizations, training centers and economic development authorities to stimulate economic development and international competitiveness through joint innovation and research projects in the areas of the beauty and well-being sciences. Today the Cosmetic Valley ’s membership includes 200 companies, three universities, dozens of public and private research and training organizations, ten local government organizations and approximately 1,000 researchers.

     Driven by renowned names in luxury products such as Dior, L’Oréal, Guerlain, Hermes, Shiseido, Paco Rabanne and Yves Saint Laurent, the group’s collective savoir-faire is said to extend to every aspect of product development, from formula to finish. The activities of the companies located on its territory range from the culture of aromatic plants and plant extraction to research, formulation, plastic injection, manufacturing, packaging and logistics.

     Among the recent Cosmetic Valley group’s projects, for instance, the LVMH Group plans to create a “Skin and Well-Being Institute” centered around the worldwide production, distribution and product development of Christian Dior in Orleans . The institute’s mission reportedly is to develop new molecules and put in place a system of quality control.

The partners of the project include the Institute of Organic and Analytical Chemistry and the Center of Molecular Biophysics at the University of Orleans , the Dermatology Department of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Tours , the Orleans and Tours hospitals as well as the Christian Dior Laboratory and other private research and clinical development companies. The various players will work together to study skin cells and prove the effectiveness and non-toxicity of the new cosmetics products.

     The Alban Muller Group, producer of herbal extracts and natural ingredients, leads another project entitled “Herboretum.” The Herboretum is a 23-acre beauty and health garden near Orleans dedicated to medicinal, tinctorial and aromatic plants and plants for perfumes, a greenhouse with exotic plants, an arboretum, an orchard of rare fruit trees and a vegetable garden planted with forgotten species. The Herboretum’s primary mission is to become a forum where botanists, biochemists and pharmacists can collaborate in research. Another goal of the project is to become a think-tank for botanical and cosmetic, pharmaceutical and health-food applications of natural ingredients.

     The Cosmetic Valley also has made efforts to reinvent itself and create a new structure and new projects to ensure that the cluster’s economic development and global leadership are maintained. Twelve joint research and innovation projects with a budget of 30 million Euros in total reportedly are already being implemented.

     The target projects of the renewed Cosmetic Valley group are said to naturally attract the interest of pharmaceutical, medical, packaging, agricultural, waste management and biotechnology companies, which are keen on contributing to scientific developments in the beauty industry. Newcomers value the region’s location one hour from Paris , relatively low operating costs and proximity to a large number of cosmetics, perfumery, pharmaceutical and other manufacturers in the area. Many of these companies are in need of technical, financial or human resources assistance to manage their new activities and development.

     The non-profit economic development organization Orleans Loire Valley Development (OVLD), an active member of the Cosmetic Valley , has been instrumental in helping such companies find office locations and human resources, facilitate setup and technology transfer, and obtain financial incentives, among other services. In 2005, OVLD helped Caudalie, a producer of skin-care products based on grape seed polyphenols, prepare the set up of the company’s European packaging and distribution center in Orleans.

     OVLD has also been assisting Bottlemate, a cosmetics packaging manufacturer from , with opening an office in Orleans ; and Hydropole, a young sanitary risk management firm, with identifying locations for their site construction.

     In partnership with a large number of new members including small and medium-sized companies, universities, research institutes, training organizations, and regional economic development agencies like Orleans Loire Valley Development, the Cosmetic Valley set three medium-term goals for itself:

  • To encourage joint research projects for new beauty products as well as support the set-up of new companies, innovative start-ups & research units in the Cosmetic Valley.
  • To facilitate across-the-line cooperation and further development of complementary sectors such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, packaging, plastics transformation, medical imaging, agriculture, waste management and warehousing and distribution.
  • To create 4,000 to 5,000 jobs.

     Orleans Loire Valley Development (OVLD) announced it has set up an office in the to assist North American and Asian companies interested in having a presence in ’s Orleans Loire Valley . OVLD participates regularly in industry trade shows and 2006 plans include MD&M West, WestPack, Interphex, Cosmoprof North America, Cosmeeting Paris, PackExpo International and Emballage Paris.

     For more information on the Cosmetic Valley or Orleans Loire Valley Development, contact Mirka Cecet at IMEX Management Inc. at Tel: +1-704-365-0041; Fax: +1-704-365-8426; eimail: mirkac@imexmgt.com; or on the Web at: www.investinorleans.com.