With approximately €6.7 billion invested in R&D each year in the health sector, France keeps on attracting international researches of the field. Moreover, as part of the Big Investment Plan 2018-2022, €4.9 billion is dedicated to accelerate the digitalisation of the health system.
Health and AI
France is thus following an AI strategy in which the health sector is highly prioritised. Indeed, AI could represent a true progress for the medical field in many different areas like diagnosing, surgery, etc. and the country is determined to take a leading role in AI in the medical field. The importance of AI in health was highlighted again during the official visit of Cédric Villani in Gothenburg last April. Cédric Villani, is the field medallist and French deputy who has defined the French AI strategy. He strongly believes that France and Sweden are perfect partners to advance the research of AI in the health sector as they both have key actors and a strong expertise. Just like Sweden, France is seeing its start-up ecosystem flourishing in the health sector.
French start-ups in health & AI sector (source: bpifrance)
To support the R&D in the health sectors, the government has decided to launch “The Health Data Hub”. This ambitious project aims at making the access to medical data from various actors (i.e. insurance, clinics etc) easier to increase the applicable use of data for researches, medical teams’ support and patient follow up. Additionally, to support the effort of R&D, the government has introduced the research tax credit (CIR). Any company may beneficiate from the CIR. There are currently 23 000 beneficiaries of this tax which grants a 30% tax credit on R&D, up to €100 million, and 5% on further R&D spending.
Read more: Keep an AI on France: key sectors
Nordic investors trusting France
France’s health sector was already valued by foreign investors and these new measures are making France even more attractive for R&D. Many Nordic companies of the health sectors have already settled in France, like Novo Nordisk, AstraZeneca, Capio or Recipharm. Recipharm made its first step towards internationalization in France in 2007. Thomas Eldered, the CEO of Recipharm explains that France is a good destination, thanks to its niche technology and skilled workforce in the health sector. He also believes that “the industrial culture, at least in the pharmaceutical industry, is actually very similar to what we see in Sweden”. AstraZeneca is another good example as the company invested €135 M for the extension of their production centre located in Northern France, in Dunkirk, which was inaugurated in January.