Fostering research excellence
in EU Outermost Regions
Martinique is located between Dominica in the north and Saint Lucia in the south.
With a surface area of 1,128 km², Martinique stands out for its small size and high population density (364,354 inhabitants in 2019). It extends over a length of 60 km and a width of 30 km, with a total marine protected area of 48 900 km². Of volcanic origin, the island is characterized by a varied and uneven relief which makes of it a land of contrast combining the shades of the tropical forest in the North with the aridity of the South of the island.
Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Caribbean Sea to the west, Martinique lies 7,000 km from France, 3,150 km from New York, 1,470 km from Guyana, and 120 km from Guadeloupe. Martinique has 48 islets, fragile ecosystems and reservoirs of plant species, which are veritable natural observatories of fauna and flora. The topographic contrasts are at the origin of microclimates favoring a great variety of vegetation.
The tropical climate, hot and humid, is tempered by the trade winds that flow from east to west.
Martinique, which until now was a mono-county region, became in January 2016 a Unique Territorial Collectivity (CTU). In other words, a local authority that will exercise, within its territory, the powers devolved to the region and the department. The Collectivité Territoriale de Martinique (CTM) is a separate administrative structure from the State administration, which has for mission to promote the economic, social, health, cultural and scientific development of Martinique. As well as, the development of its territory, the preservation of its identity and regional cooperation.
Also, Martinique has shown a desire for regional inclusion since the late 1990s. Martinique is a member of Caribbean organizations including the ACS (Association of Caribbean States) and the OECS (Organization of Caribbean States of the East Caribbean).
In 2018, the population of Martinique is estimated at 368,640 inhabitants. One of the smallest French community in terms of area. However Martinique has a density of 344 inhabitants per km² in 2016, which makes it the fourth most densely populated region after the Ile de France, Mayotte and Reunion.
This figure has been declining steadily since 2007, due to a negative migratory balance whose deficit is accelerating.
(Source IEDOM 2018)
Martinique presents the characteristics of a modern economy and strongly turned towards the tertiary sector. Thus, in 2015 services account for 82.6% of the wealth produced in Martinique (78.4% for France hexagonal). The share of non-commercial services is particularly important, in relation to the weight of public services in the local economy. It represents 33.2% of the value added (compared to 22.4% at the national level).
Commercial services represent 49.4% of GDP (56.0% in France) in 2015, an evolution of +0.4 point over 10 years) – (Source INSEE)
The predominance of the tertiary sector and a high level of unemployment (17.7% in 2018) characterize the labour market in Martinique.
Agriculture is a key sector of Martinique: it occupies a little over 20% of the surface of the island and concerns 7% of the labour force. It represents a major pillar of the socio-economic context of the island and structures its landscapes.
Martinique agriculture focuses on two production and export sectors, namely banana and sugar cane (production of rum). Other productions are growing aromatic, perfume, medicinal and condiment plants, citrus fruits and other fruits. “Niche” productions stand out as coffee and cocoa that have potential for development.
Martinique, however, is largely dependent on imports of agricultural products to satisfy the local market.
(Source RITA Martinique)
The intrinsic characteristics of Martinique produce a very particular context for the development of innovations. The regional R & D and innovation ecosystem is small and under construction.
It is characterized by a low density of actors (companies, research, actors of the technologic transfer) compared to many other European regions. There is only one research institution with 8 research and higher education laboratories, 8 research organizations. The number of researchers remains modest, though progressing in recent years with interesting areas of specialization.
At the entrepreneurial level, the productive base remains rather weak in a context of competitiveness largely penalized by insularity and a history of massive economic flows from mainland France.
As for, traditional innovation indicators the values recorded are very low, such as the number of patents, the number of companies coming under the statutes and labels for innovative activities (JEI, CIR applicant, members of competitive clusters, various national competitions, involvement in European programs). There are still few innovations or more or less visible.
In Martinique, the essence of innovation is incremental innovation, creative and judicious adaptation of existing products or services.