Maritime Expert: Portrait of Francis Vallat

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Maritime Expert: Portrait of Francis Vallat

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April 26, 2024

At the “Financing Maritime Innovation and Infrastructure for Climate and Ocean” initiative organized by Blumorpho in Monaco on March 21st, we were privileged to welcome Francis Vallat to open the discussion on the challenges of energy transition in the maritime sector, a highlight of this seventh Monaco Ocean Week.

In this article, we are pleased to highlight some key aspects of Mr Vallat’s career, a pioneer renowned for his commitment to protecting the oceans and boosting the French maritime economy.

Francis Vallat, a Maritime Expert from Shipping

A shipping professional for thirty years, Francis Vallat has held several positions of responsibility and a number of important titles in the maritime world. In particular, he is the founder of the Cluster Maritime Français (CMF), an organization that plays a crucial role in promoting innovation and collaboration within the French maritime ecosystem.


Created in 2005, the CMF is a benchmark organization that brings together nearly 500 players in the maritime industry, from companies to research institutions, competitiveness clusters, and the local authorities concerned. This unique and extremely active ecosystem aims to constantly stimulate innovation and sustainable growth in the maritime sector.

Francis Vallat (Cluster Maritime Français) Financing Maritime Innovation and Infrastructure for Climate and Ocean, BLUMORPHO, Monaco Ocean Week 2024 Yacht Club de Monaco

Creating an International Influence

Francis Vallat has devoted his life to creating synergies between the various maritime sectors in order to position France as a major player on the international stage.

In addition to his role at the CMF, he simultaneously created the European Network of Maritime Clusters (ENMC), a network that was born in his office and bears witness to his European influence with the 19 national maritime clusters in Europe that have become members over the years.

Francis Vallat's Commitment to the Ocean's Conservation

As a member of the Académie de la Marine, he remains very involved in the maritime world, especially through his role as Honorary Chairman of the Institut Français de la Mer, SOS Méditerranée, and of course CMF and ENMC. He is also behind Seventh Continent” (Le Septième Continent), an initiative aimed at determining and analyzing the extent of marine pollution by plastic waste through expeditions led by scientists and experts, of which he is Honorary Chairman alongside Bruno Nicolas, Chairman, and Patrick Deixonne, founder and member of the Société des Explorateurs Français.

Blumorpho Financing Maritime Innovation 197

In his career as a shipowner, Francis Vallat has always been ready to take a stand against unsafe practices, and is best known for having called for a war against “garbage ships” as early as 1990.

His commitment to maritime safety and a quality maritime sector is unwavering. He represented France for ten years on the Board of the European Maritime Safety Agency, of which he was acting Chairman in 2005 and Vice-Chairman for six years.

For Francis Vallat, knowledge and protection of the oceans are crucial to the future of humanity. “If the ocean dies, we all die”, he declared at the Financing Maritime Innovation and Infrastructure for Climate and Ocean day, underlining the vital role of the oceans in regulating the planet’s climate.


These commitments have made him join the SeaOrbiter’s team. This mission, initiated by architect Jacques Rougerie and supported by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, is an iconic vessel meant to stay at sea for extended periods, for research and exploration purposes. This will be an incredible solution to develop a better knowledge of our Ocean and its biodiversity.  Francis Vallat reminded us: “There’s no longer any choice: the ocean is under attack, poisoned and sick, and needs to be better understood if it is to be protected and then cured. Otherwise, humanity is doomed… Sentinels like SeaOrbiter are no longer a possibility, they are a necessity”.


His dedication and leadership continue to inspire future generations to work towards a sustainable maritime future.

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