As drivers of innovation, growth and employment, the digital economy and green growth are at the heart of France's industrial and technological ambitions.
Fully committed in the digital economy
The digital economy accounts for 3.7% of GDP (€72 billion), rising to 5.5% by 2015,and is responsible for one-quarter of economic growth and 1.15 million jobs. It has already enabled the net creation of 700,000 jobs in France and will lead to the creation of a further 450,000 by 2015. (Source: 2011 McKinsey report – Impact of the internet on the French economy).
With 73 foreign investment decisions in 2012
, “software and IT services” was the leading sector for job-creating foreign investment in France. (Source: IFA, 2012 Report
On February 28, 2013, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault presented the French government’s “Digital Roadmap” which envisages, amongst other things, €450 million of funding to encourage the distribution of digital technology in the French economy. €300 million is being made available to SMEs to “introduce more digital technology in their products and their production processes”, while €150 million will support “corporate investment in five strategic technologies”.
€20 billion will be provided over the next 10 years for very-high-speed internet, and will bring together the private sector and the public sector. Major government investment will ensure 100% very-high-speed coverage to all French residents and regions, with the vast majority of connections based on fiber optics for all subscribers.
France’s telecommunications networks are among the best in the world
, with investments in cloud computing, steady annual growth in e-commerce (32.6 million internet users made purchases online in the first quarter of 2013) and five dedicated innovation clusters
, Images and Networks
) supporting development in this area.
Major Digital Districts
To enhance France’s attractiveness to international investors in the field of digital technology, local digital districts will be indentified and created. In Paris these digital district will bring together various activities on a single site: higher education, research, business incubators for innovative new companies and SMEs, innovation centers for large companies, shared workspaces, event spaces, decentralized manufacturing platforms, design agencies, venture-capital funds, etc.
Transitioning toward green energy
Legal and regulatory framework
The “Energy and Climate Package
” adopted by the European Union in 2008 calls for a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, along with a 20% increase
in energy efficiency, and to achieve a 20% share of renewable energies in EU final energy consumption.
France has set itself a more ambitious target of achieving a 23% share of renewable energy in domestic final energy consumption by 2020.
Through the “Environmental Conference” launched in September 2012, France has kicked off a national consultation process focusing, in particular, on managing the energy transition and protecting biodiversity. An Energy Transition Planning Act will be submitted to parliament.
An attractive market
A growing, innovative market for renewable energies, low-carbon vehicles, smart grids, or sustainable transport and infrastructure. Seven innovation clusters dedicated to green technologies and nine innovation clusters dedicated to energy.
Specific feed-in tariffs for electricity generated from renewable sources; interest-free “ecoloans”
to finance thermal renovation work and tax deductibility for certain types of energy efficiency work
(reduced-rate VAT and/or a specific tax credit); SMEs and mid-size companies that have been operating in France for at least three years are eligible for subsidized green loans granted by BPI France
Under the new phase of the “National Investment Program
”, €2.3 billion allocated to investment in energy transition, thermal renovation and future urbanism
Dedicated structures and incentives to encourage partnerships between industry and the research sector
Ten “world-class institutions for low-carbon energy” to support long-term partnerships between higher education and research institutions and companies.
and the CNRS
(French National Center for Scientific Research) PROMES
laboratory on thermodynamic solar energy in Perpignan.
Development of electric and hybrid vehicles
, supported by the “Automotive Plan
” launched by the French Government in July 2012.