With a seemingly unstoppable globalisation and the fierce competition from all corners of the planet, France is facing increasingly rapid economic changes, to which it has efficiently adapted. The reinforcement of its many competitiveness clusters, is testament to the country’s commitment to research and reflects a creative way of thinking about the economy. Words Rémi Dévé
France is a champion in multiplying its innovation nodes. Clusters such as Imaginov et Eurobiomed contain within them multiple sub-groups showing a true sense of innovation all around.
Paris Convention Center, a highly anticipated venue
When it opens this month, Paris Convention Center will be able to accommodate as many as 5,200 people in a highly modular hall of 25,000 sqm under an immense glassroof. Nested in Paris expo Porte de Versailles, a 220,000 sqm site known for its international events, Paris Convention Center is part of a large-scale renovation effort that will turn the complex into an open space open to everybody.
If life sciences should presumably be more fundamental, biotechnology develops applied applications based on the fundamental advances achieved within the life sciences field. France counts approximately 400 biotech companies; France-Biotech, the association of French companies in the life sciences sector, has been instrumental in putting the country on the world map, with Paris and Lyon leading a well-developed ecosystem. In this context, the fact that European Society of Cardiology (ESC) will bring its annual congress and its 33,000 healthcare professionals to Paris for the second time in August 2019 doesn’t really come as a surprise.
In Northern France, Eurasanté, the development agency dedicated to tech transfer and business development in life sciences sector, works hard at promoting the growth of the biology, health and nutrition sectors in the Hauts-de-France region. Sophia Antipolis, between Nice and Cannes, is the largest technical cluster in France and the whole of Europe, with more than 5,000 students and researchers. It is currently a hot-spot for direct jobs in the latest scientific research in ITC, multimedia, life sciences, energy, water management, risk and sustainable development.
Environment-friendly initiatives and corporate social responsibility are also high on the list of French priorities. VEGEPOLYS, located in the Loire Valley near Angers, has been recognised as the international plant cluster since July 2005: no wonder the International Hortical Congress has chosen the city for its 2022 conference, with an expected 3,500 delegates. In Nantes, the Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) industry is stepping up a gear, with industry players and public and private research facilities working together to give birth to major projects. As a matter of fact, the city just hosted the Ocean Energy Europe Conference, the largest network of ocean energy professionals in the world, last October.
Digital innovation and ICT also play a definite role in France’s competitiveness. The country has the third-largest ICT sector in Europe and in the last five years a quarter of France’s economic growth was attributed to digital development. The French digital economy is boosted by five innovation clusters, such as Cap Digital in the Paris region for the creation and distribution of digital content, Route des Lasers, a competitive cluster for photonics and laser technology companies based in Bordeaux, or Images et réseaux in Brittany and the Loire Valley destinations for communications networks. The 27th International WWW Conference, which will take place in Lyon in 2018 for the second time, will showcase the best of the world’s of the region’s technology, as well as its true commitment to research and innovation.
More info on France as an association destination: www.meeting.france.fr