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Shaping France as one of the most competitive, innovative healthtech hubs

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Guest Author
June 15, 2021

By French Healthcare

French HealthTech, an innovative, dynamic and internationally recognized ecosystem

More than 2,000 businesses, including 750 biotechs, 1,100 medtechs and 200 digital health startups make theFrench HealthTech ecosystem a solid, dynamic and internationally recognized sector. Healthtech firms in France accounted for nearly 50,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2020, mostly highly qualified jobs.

French Healthcare is also growing in maturity and economic value. Over the past five years, the sector has doubled its revenues and increased the number of business creations. Even very small businesses have global aspirations. International partnerships represent one-third of collaborations for French businesses!

At the heart of this revolution is R&D. France is a great environment for startup creation and for conducting R&D, thanks to innovation clusters, grants, funding, tax incentives, labor and social security cost reductions. Healthtech firms are mostly spin-offs from public research. More than half of their spending is on R&D and they have filed more than 30,000 patents making France among the leading patent holders in the world.

French businesses are developing over 4,000 medical innovations in drugs, medical devices, digital health solutions.

Whilst biotech and medtech represent the majority of firms, digital health and bioinformatics are experiencing strong growth.

Thanks to French healthtech, France is fully playing its role in the technological shift and aims to be the first European nation to innovate in healthcare.


France, a leading nation for industry and innovation in healthcare

The healthcare industry is one of the most innovative sectors, with significant investments in R&D. France has set the ambition of becoming the leading nation for industry and innovation in healthcare and pursues an ambitious policy to boost its attractiveness for innovation, becoming a country that produces and adopts the innovations of the future. The French Healthcare ecosystem is committed and determined to make France the leading sovereign nation in Europe in terms of health innovation.

Several key initiatives have already been taken: the measures adopted by the 2018 Strategic Council for the Healthcare Industries (CSIS) have been implemented, with significant reductions in the time taken to grant clinical trial authorization, for the French National Authority for Health (HAS) to review medicinal products and for the French Economic Committee for Health Products (CEPS) to negotiate prices. France has adopted the reform of early access to drugs (the "ATU" or temporary authorization for use reform), a procedure which needed to be simplified if it was to be effective. A framework agreement with the CEPS should lead to further progress in recognizing both the therapeutic value of a drug and also the industrial value that it has the potential to create.

This ambitious policy targets rapid access to innovation for patients while also contributing to France's industrial policy.

To strengthen its position as a global hub for healthtech and to become the leading European nation for healthcare, France, which already has a strong export industry, wants to attract foreign talent to support the challenges raised by the rapid growth of HealthTech and to welcome foreign businesses.

France has developed an active policy to attract them. The aim is to reinforce the growth of a positive healthcare ecosystem and, in so doing, dynamize the development of each of its stakeholders.

France, the most attractive country in Europe for foreign investors

For the second year in a row, the 2021 EY Attractiveness Survey for France, published in June 2021 by EY, confirms France’s position as European leader for incoming foreign investment in 2020.

For the second year running, it was ahead of the United Kingdom and Germany.

This achievement demonstrates the robust fundamentals of the French economy, strengthened by the proactive reforms the Government has implemented over the last four years.

French Healthcare




French Healthcare is an innovative initiative aimed at bringing together French businesses, researchers and healthcare professionals to jointly promote their activities, expertise and technologies internationally. It helps promote the French vision for global health, based on a humanist approach to care and equitable and fair access to healthcare products and services. Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, in partnership with the French Healthcare Association and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is responsible for promoting the brand, which aims to coordinate a team approach to stimulate international cooperation and the influence of France’s key strengths. 

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This piece was submitted as part of the Global Marketplace at BIO Digital 2021. The NEW Global Marketplace at BIO Digital is designed to be the destination to showcase any region’s biotech strength and elevate its leading companies via high-energy, fast-paced presentations, coupled with live face-to face networking. Learn more here.