The socialist president, whose 2014 national budget next month will focus on curbing spending, vowed to turn back what he called a lost decade of conservative rule in which some 700,000 jobs fled domestic industries.
But the scheme will rely heavily on private investment and the government will act mostly as a coordinator to spur growth in 34 priority areas, from driverless cars to electric planes and a new generation of high-speed trains.
“France is a nation of inventors, pioneers and producers,” Hollande said, citing France’s role in previous centuries and decades in developing technologies from the steam engine to hot-air balloons and rechargeable batteries.
“We have a duty to remain so,” he added, nonetheless insisting the plan was not a return to the so-called “dirigiste” state-directed industrial policies of the 1960s and 1970s.
France’s new Public Investment Bank will be on hand to offer credit for innovation – no amount was specified – but officials said they hoped to match every euro of public money invested with 10 euros raised from private investors. State-appointed “industrial officers” will press firms to work together and develop successors to French projects of the past such as the supersonic Concorde or high-speed TGV train – both fruits of state-funded research plans.