TotalEnergies Regional Development at the Geodays 2021
- Among its missions to support companies, TDR helps them to leverage economic growth and the creation of employment in France through international development.
- TDR draws on the many TotalEnergies affiliates abroad and mobilizes their networks to provide them with a more in-depth knowledge of the target markets and their environment, of consumer habits and local business customs.
- The Geodays organized in Pau on the topics of business export and innovation are an opportunity to meet startups and companies that could benefit from TDR’s support.
TotalEnergies and in particular its teams in Pau, have a robust and long-standing relationship with Avenia, the only competitiveness cluster for subsurface industries in France. The historic links forged in R&D innovation sectors have branched out to other international topics, led in close liaison with TDR. The TDR team is therefore present at the Geodays, which are described by the organizer of this international occasion as “a unique opportunity to develop your company, to meet future partners and give life to new projects.” TotalEnergies sponsors the annual event which usually takes place in Pau, and this year, due to the health crisis, the Geodays on June 22-24 were all digital.
The Geodays are organized as a series of conferences and workshops focused in particular on business export and innovation. And that’s precisely one of TDR’s missions - to support French SME and mid-cap companies that want to develop internationally. TDR supports collective prospection missions and proposes to host VIEs* or employees from different companies in the different TotalEnergies affiliates abroad, i.e. in over 130 countries worldwide! TDR mobilizes the affiliates and their associated networks to help companies prospect for new markets and branch out internationally.
Knowing and understanding our contacts
“For us, being able to meet directly with companies who have international projects is both important and interesting. On the one hand, because in over 20 years, we have acquired a real know-how to support them and, on the other hand, because the technical activity sectors are very varied, meaning we are able to put forward a customized solution for each company. We're always on the lookout for something that sets us apart from the rest because innovation is a great selling point on the international market” explains Céline Braconnier, International Delegate. She adds that human relations are at the heart of her mission to create the best possible synergies among the players involved. “More than just a sponsor, we want to be a partner able to provide a real added value. In countries that French exporters are less familiar with, such as Tanzania and Kenya, we - together with Business France - offer participants a comprehensive preparatory phase with a “pitch” workshop in English, training on intercultural negotiation and of course, a follow-up with contacts after the mission. The better we know the person we are working with and are determined to understand their issues, the easier it is to find appropriate solutions. The Geodays belong to the kind of events that provide us with such opportunities. We’re also delighted to meet up again with companies we’ve already helped conquer new markets abroad. Their success is a real encouragement for us. International development leverages growth and contributes to job creation, which is TDR’s main mission.”
The health crisis had a considerable impact on TDR’s international support activities, owing to border closures and the cancellation of most of the major professional trade fairs. But the team succeeded in finding new ways of working, through virtual missions and by actively participating in the digital events programed by the France Export Team.
A Geodays delegation visits the PERL
The Geodays are also an opportunity to attend conferences given by highly qualified speakers, recognized as experts in their specialist subjects. Gabrielle Gauthey, Senior Vice President, Carbon Neutrality Businesses at TotalEnergies and a member of the Executive Committee for the Gas, Renewables & Power branch, an experienced leader in investment and innovation in France and internationally, was one such conference speaker. Taking advantage of being in South West France, she visited the Platform for Experimental Research in Lacq (PERL) (in the center of the picture) in the presence of Michèle Boisvert, Delegate General of Quebec, the country given pride of place at the Geodays this year. The visit focused on the issues of CCUS and water resources management. The guests discovered the different pilots and were able to discuss the PERL’s involvement in TotalEnergies’ R&D strategy.
* VIE: International Volunteering – established in France in the year 2000 following the suspension of mandatory national military service, and to replace the national service in cooperation – is an international volunteering experience, i.e. outside the country in which they live, undertaken by young French people.