Support for Research and Innovation
Innovation Comes First
The presence of highly qualified researchers, the availability of expertise and a very conducive research environment have convinced more than 300 foreign companies to invest in new R&D centers in France since 2001, with more than 100 of these investments coming in the last three years.
● €35 billion to increase growth potential by stimulating both public-sector and public-private partnership research, and by fostering investment in cutting-edge fields and world-class industrial sectors.
● Five priorities: higher education and training, scientific and technological research, world-class industrial sectors and innovative SMEs, green technologies and the digital economy.
● Assessment of candidate projects by international panels, managed by the General Investment Commission (Commissariat général à l’investissement – CGI) a body that falls under the authority of the Prime Minister and has, since June 2012, been headed by former EADS Chairman Louis Gallois.
● A total of 933 projects have been selected via 91 calls for projects, involving more than 2,000 companies. A total of €26.9 billion had been allocated by summer 2012. (Source: CGI – 2011-2012 Report on the implementation of the “National Investment Program”)
● Covers 30% of all R&D costs up to €100 million, and 5% above this threshold. Eligibility extended from 2013 to encompass innovation spending by SMEs (20% rate up to €400,000).
● A powerful incentive to carry out public-private partnership research, as R&D expenditure contracted out to public-sector bodies is double-counted, thereby effectively doubling the tax credit (up to a maximum of €12 million).
● To date, 17,700 companies have benefited from France’s research tax credit, 2,000 of which are foreign companies established in France. In 2010, the total tax benefit to companies amounted to €5 billion.(Source: French Ministry for Higher Education and Research, 2012)
Universities and research institutions open to partnerships with companies
● French universities can enter into partnerships with companies, access funding through university foundations and set up commercial subsidiaries to manage patent portfolios.
● “Excellence initiatives” will lead to the creation of five to 10 world-class multidisciplinary higher education and research centers. These projects will receive €6.35 billion in funding from the “National Investment Program".
● Twenty-three “research and higher education hubs” are being set up, involving nearly 60 universities, hospitals, higher education institutions and research establishments (ENSAM Engineering School, Institut de Physique de Grenoble, Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, etc.).
● “Technology research institutions” bring together manufacturing expertise and public-sector research in a public/private joint investment framework. Public funding for these institutions amounts to €2 billion.
France is ranked second in Europe and fourth in the world for the number of patents filed. 7,664 international patents in 2011. (Source: WIPO, 2012)
Single European Patent
Starting in 2014, inventors will be able to request a single patent from the European Patent Office (EPO) to provide legal protection in 25 European Union Member States, thereby leading to reduced costs. Patent applications may be written in French. Paris has been chosen as the main location for the new Unified Patent Court’s central division.
"The Saclay area is attractive because the
investment in France in a major R&D center
allows us to work closely with the university and
allows us to work closely with external
companies and technologies that we may not
have internally. " Chuck Davis, R&D Vice-President Kraft Food Europe