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Innovation and R&D

Focus on three promising projects selected for the “Worldwide Innovation Challenge”

Posted by Invest in France Agency in Events, France's image, Innovation and R&D, Investment in France, Sectors of excellence; April 15, 2014

On March 20, 2014, the French Prime Minister announced the first 58 preliminary stage-winners of the “Worldwide Innovation Challenge” that will each receive initial state funding of up to €200,000 for their project.

                Here we focus on three innovative French projects that were among those selected.

Among the seven strategic fields defined by the French government for this competition, the “big data” field has proven to be the most successful to date, with 15 projects selected from nearly 190 propositions. One of these is “Smart Search”, an employment search engine created by Simon Bouchez and Jérémy Gresser, which uses government employment data (from INSEE, the National Employment Office, Etalab) to match job offers to promising job-seekers. As such, it seeks to use data processing to create a more efficient and customized labor market for recruiters, candidates and decision-makers alike. The “Smart Search” project was presented by a French start-up, Multiposting, founded in 2008 that develops online software solutions for the human resources industry. Thanks to its selection in the “Worldwide Innovation Challenge” and the subsequent award of €200,000, this project will enable the company “to strengthen its positioning as a leading player in the e‑recruitment market, both in France and internationally”.

Another innovative project from another sector is “Instent” in the “personalized medicine” field. Involving teams of students and practitioners from the École Polytechnique, the École National Supérieure Cachan and the Georges Pompidou Hospital, the aim of this project is to create an intelligent stent. This device, inserted into the arteries of heart disease patients to prevent heart attacks, will now also be able to communicate data on the state of the blood vessels being treated, and may help to save and improve lives by indicating whether a further operation is required. It also promises to lower treatment costs in the French healthcare system and avoid unnecessary surgery.

The “Move2Chm” project, presented by Veolia Environnement in partnership with SAS PIVERT and Sofiprotéol, was selected in the “plant proteins and plant chemistry” field. Its project leader is Anne-Sophie Lepeuple, head of the “Agronomy & Biotechnology” research group at Veolia Environnement. “Move2Chem” is a renewable energies sector project that reuses waste from the agri-food industry. The idea is to transform the waste into “chemical molecules to create new materials and products (dyes, solvents, polymers, etc.).”  This ingenious method not only avoids depleting fossil resources but also reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

These three projects, along with the other preliminary stage-winners already selected, are just a small reflection of the buoyancy of the innovation sector in France.

For further information, please visit:

An overview of the “Worldwide Innovation Challenge” and key dates (in English)

A list of the first 58 projects selected during the start-up phase of the competition (in French)

The “Worldwide Innovation Challenge” press pack (in French)

France lays the foundations of the future with the “Innovation 2030” program (in English)

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France lays the foundations of the future with the “Innovation 2030” program

Posted by Invest in France Agency in Events, France's image, Innovation and R&D, Investment in France; April 11, 2014

“Creating a business can be a long process, subject to uncertainty and involving no little risk-taking, but I hope nevertheless that the French government will be a long-term partner for these inventors, by stimulating their creative energies and giving them the chance to bring their project to fruition.” Jean-Marc Ayrault.

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The first 58 preliminary stage-winners of the “Worldwide Innovation Challenge”, launched by the French government in December 2013, have been selected by the “Innovation 2030” Commission chaired by Anne Lauvergeon, the former head of French nuclear giant Areva.

The challenge, open to entrepreneurs of any nationality making investments in France, has already received 625 preliminary-stage applications. Fifty-eight of these projects with a strong innovation potential were pre-selected and rewarded at a ceremony on March 20, 2014, attended by former Prime Minister Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Ms. Geneviève Fioraso, formerly Minister Delegate for Higher Education and Research, Ms. Fleur Pellerin, formerly Minister Delegate for SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy, and Mr. Arnaud Montebourg, formerly Minister for Industrial Renewal, as well as the 20 members of the “Innovation 2030” Commission chaired by Ms. Lauvergeon.

To get their project underway, preliminary stage winners will receive initial state funding of up to €200,000. A total of €300 million has been made available by the French government to support and encourage entrepreneurial creativity through this competition, underpinning France’s buoyant innovation economy by stimulating the development of promising projects for the French economy between now and 2030.

Candidates for the second selection wave of the preliminary phase have until May 15, 2014 to apply on the Worldwide Innovation Challenge” website, when the number of projects selected will reach 100. Ms. Lauvergeon has assured that there will be a higher number of winners from foreign countries.

The aim of the challenge is “to foster talent and bring out future champions of the French economy. It will accomplish this by identifying and providing support to both French and foreign entrepreneurs whose innovation projects have significant prospects for the French economy”. This initiative promises to offer more than just state support, and to be a springboard for many promising companies based in France. The challenge is based on seven dynamic fields seen as major opportunities for France’s future economic development. They are:

1. Energy storage

2. Recycling of metals

3. Development of marine resources

4. Plant proteins and plant chemistry

5. Personalized medicine

6. The silver economy: innovation in the service of longevity

7. Big data

In Ms. Lauvergeon’s view, these sectors “will respond to the needs of tomorrow’s society and generate greater value added and employment in France”.

For further information, please visit:

An overview of the “Worldwide Innovation Challenge” and key dates (in English)

The “Worldwide Innovation Challenge” press pack (in French)

Video extracts of Jean-Marc Ayrault’s speech (in French)

“La French Tech”: an ambitious French initiative

Posted by Invest in France Agency in Events, France's image, Innovation and R&D, Investment in France, La French Tech, Reforms, Sectors of excellence; March 10, 2014

Since May 2012, the French President Mr. François Hollande and his government have made supporting innovation and start-ups in France a priority. “We want to make use of digital technology to promote growth, employment and regional equality”, said Prime Minister Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault at the government’s first digital seminar on February 28, 2013.

The French government’s first digital seminar on February 28, 2013

The French government’s first digital seminar on February 28, 2013. Photo: Yves Malenfer/Matignon

As such, a series of initiatives has been introduced to respond to issues relating to financing and services available to the digital ecosystem in France.

A new deal for innovation in France

In November 2012, the “National Pact for Competitiveness, Growth and Employment” laid the foundations for this new approach by introducing an innovation tax credit and establishing a state innovation fund. An entrepreneurship round table, the “Assises de l’entrepreneuriat, which brought together 300 key figures from the business world, went on to confirm these resolutions: among 44 tangible proposals put forward, it was decided that entrepreneurs whose businesses had failed should be given a second chance and that the process of developing start-ups with “innovative new company” status (jeune entreprise innovante – JEI) should be simplified.

Numerous reforms have been made to further open up France’s ecosystems to foreign talent. For example, the “Talent Passport” will make it easier for qualified professionals to come and work in France. Simplified procedures will enable them to obtain a work permit and gain access to the resources needed to establish themselves in France. The “Talent Passport” is aimed at socio-professional categories in line with the needs of France’s economy, including highly qualified employees, investors, recent graduates and researchers. The government hopes to issue 10,000 “Talent Passports” every year.

French tech logoThe “La French Tech” initiative 

In the same vein as the “Worldwide Innovation Challenge” (Concours Mondial de l’Innovation), the “La French Tech” initiative, backed by Ms. Fleur Pellerin, Minister Delegate with responsibility for SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy, forms part of this range of measures to promote innovation and France’s digital ecosystem.

The goal of “La French Tech” is to put France firmly on the world map of leading digital nations as “the Start-Up Republic”. The aim is to foster the emergence of global champions that can grow from a handful of employees to a workforce of thousands in just a few years. France needs to back this collective dynamic to promote the development of ecosystems for digital start-ups and high-growth digital companies.

The “La French Tech” initiative brings together France’s most dynamic digital ecosystems and includes an “acceleration” component of €200 million to foster start-up growth.

The founding step of “La French Tech” will involve issuing “French Tech Digital Cities” accreditation to form a “French national team” representing the highest level of potential growth and international investment attractiveness. The goal then is to stimulate growth in these ecosystems both in France and abroad.

Fleur Pellerin launching the call for proposals for “accredited digital cities” on January, 29th 2014.

Fleur Pellerin launching the call for proposals for “accredited digital cities” on January 29, 2014.

To this end, “La French Tech” will open its first two hubs in 2014 in the United States (in San Francisco and Boston). The San Francisco hub has already made waves by offering a great image of this new collective dynamic: the French President’s embrace with Mr. Carlos Diaz, one of the leaders of the “Pigeons” movement of eager young entrepreneurs, who declared He said exactly what needed to be said and what we wanted to hear!”

The French President’s embrace with Mr. Carlos Diaz

The French President’s embrace with Mr. Carlos Diaz

Moreover, “La French Tech” has enjoyed a high profile both in France and internationally since the end of 2013 thanks to its strong presence at key events in the sector. For example, in the last few weeks, Ms. Pellerin has promoted the initiative’s aims at the Le Web’13 conference in Paris (December 2013), the CES in Las Vegas (January 2014) and, more recently, the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona – all key exhibitions in the digital field. The “La French Tech” evenings held at these events were an opportunity to present the latest in French innovation, and enable talented French and foreign individuals to meet, chat and think about new partnerships.

Fleur Pellerin supporting La French Tech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 2014

Fleur Pellerin supporting “La French Tech” at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 2014

In 2014, “La French Tech” is attending SXSW in Austin in March and will partner with TR35 France (for French innovators under 35 years old) organized by the MIT Technology Review and the Hello Tomorrow Challenge.

The “La French Tech” quest to promote innovation à la française can look forward to a bright future!

French Tech Fleur Pellerin

France makes waves at CES 2014 in Las Vegas

Posted by Invest in France Agency in Country focus, Events, France's image, Innovation and R&D, La French Tech, Sectors of excellence; January 22, 2014

France made a big impression at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas from January 7-10, 2014. Participants included the Invest in France Agency (IFA), represented by its Chairman & CEO Mr. David Appia, UBIFRANCE (the French government agency for international business development), the Minalogic innovation cluster, and more than 70 French companies, as well as political and business leaders, including Ms. Fleur Pellerin, Minister Delegate for SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy, and Mr. Pierre Gattaz, President of the French Business Confederation (MEDEF).

France at CES 2014 Fleur Pellerin

“La French Tech” evening

An evening devoted to the government’s new “La French Tech” initiative, held on the opening night, was a huge success, attracting more than 250 guests. The Minister presented her new projects to promote innovation in France and attract foreign investors to the country she has now dubbed “The Start-up Republic”.

France at CES 2014 Fleur Pellerin

An impressive number of French start-ups at CES 2014

An impressive number of French start-ups attending the exhibition, including several specializing in connected devices such as Withings, Sen.se, Netatmo and Kolibree, demonstrated the strength in depth of France’s digital technology ecosystem to the American media, and provided numerous success stories for Ms. Pellerin to highlight during an interview with CNN.

Fleur Pellerin CES 2014 France

France meeting with American companies

The minister also spoke to various American firms, including Netflix and Good Technology, and paid a visit to the facilities of Zappos, an e-commerce giant with a huge set of operations in Las Vegas. During this visit, she suggested that her American contact should “come and see what Vente-Privée is doing in Paris”.

France at CES 2014 Pierre Gattaz MEDEF

IFA representatives were also able to talk with American companies already doing business in France, such as Microsoft and Cisco, and to promote France to others thinking about setting up in the country.

All in all, the event was a great success for “La French Tech” and all those promoting innovation in France!

Fleur Pellerin with French startups at CES 2014

December 12, 2013 – LeWeb’13 Dinner with France’s Digital Economy Minister

Posted by Invest in France Agency in Events, France's image, Innovation and R&D, Investment in France, La French Tech, Sectors of excellence; January 9, 2014

To mark the LeWeb’13 Paris exhibition held on December 10-12, 2013, Ms. Fleur Pellerin, Minister Delegate with responsibility for SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy, and the event organizers hosted a dinner, supported by the IFA, at the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance on December 10, 2013 bringing together key internet stakeholders, including speakers at LeWeb’13, French and foreign start-ups, such as Criteo, OpenClassRooms, Withings, YMagis and Facebook, among other big names.  The principal aim of the dinner was for the 200 participants to meet the teams running the government’s “La French Tech” initiative, but also to discuss the digital environment in France.

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Ms. Pellerin opened the evening by providing an overview of “La French Tech” and its work that will begin in 2014 to promote France’s key strengths in the digital economy. La French Tech will carry our ambition to come together to foster growth and raise the international profile of digital start-ups in France.”

Ms. Fleur Pellerin, Minister Delegate with responsibility for SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy

Ms. Fleur Pellerin, Minister Delegate with responsibility for SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy

During the meal, several speeches highlighted a number of French success stories in the digital sector. Ms. Marion Carette, who founded Zilok and Ouicar, talked about the achievements of these companies in France. According to the founder of Withings, Mr. Eric Carreel, there is “a new wave of energy about the sector in France”, heralding a step-change that deserved to be acted upon, while the founder of Criteo, Mr. Jean-Baptiste Rudelle, looked ahead to forthcoming developments for his company on the international stage.

Ms. Marion Carette, who founded Zilok and Ouicar

Ms. Marion Carette, who founded Zilok and Ouicar

The dinner was also a chance to extend dialogue and demonstrate the vibrancy of new technologies and the digital sector in France, which is reflected by the genuine interest it holds for key digital economy players.

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The evening ended on a laid-back note as a photography session was held with the Minister and her guests.

Jean-Baptiste Rudelle and Fleur Pellerin

Jean-Baptiste Rudelle and Fleur Pellerin

>> View the pictures of this event on Pinterest

Le Web’13 in Paris: three days to define “the next 10 years”

Posted by Invest in France Agency in Events, France's image, Innovation and R&D, Investment in France, La French Tech, Sectors of excellence; January 9, 2014

For the third year in a row, the Invest in France Agency (IFA) was among the sponsors of the Le Web’ exhibition, which took place in Paris on December 10-12, 2013.

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Like every year, Loïc and Géraldine Le Meur opened the conference by announcing its underlying theme: “The next 10 years”. The event’s various speakers attempted to predict what the future holds in terms of technological innovation and to anticipate how our lifestyles will have evolved in a world that will shatter our current frames of reference.

Future will be social and mobile

According to venture capitalist Fred Wilson, the future will be marked by a general “dismantling”. Our current media channels and the methods we have employed for years, or even centuries, will have to be scrapped. For instance, he believes that Twitter will soon replace newspapers and that most teaching will take place online (eliminating the need for physical premises) and on tablet computers (eliminating the need for printed books).

David Marcus, President of PayPal

David Marcus, President of PayPal

David Marcus, President of PayPal, spoke about the changes that will affect payment methods and declared that “the world will reinvent money”. We will make more and more payments not only online but also on the move, because “money is becoming mobile”, a trend that the company is keen to lead.

Others highlighted the importance of the social dimension over the coming years. According to Jeremiah Owyjang, founder of Crowd Companies, “People are empowered: the crowd becomes the new company!

The IFA team at the PREDA stand

The IFA team at the PREDA stand

Funding must go where talent is

Others believe that we simply cannot predict the future: “If we look at the past, it’s clearly impossible!” pointed out Guy Kawazaki. He encourages European start-ups to put forward innovative ideas that break away from those imagined in America’s Silicon Valley: “People in France have better ideas, so don’t restrict yourselves to what the United States has done in the past… You no longer need to go to Silicon Valley to become successful”. Funding must gravitate towards talent, something that was later reiterated by Michael Sippey, Product VP at Twitter, who believes that France shows great promise: “Twitter has been incredibly successful in France.”

Michael Sippey, Product VP at Twitter

Michael Sippey, Product VP at Twitter

LeWeb’ is also the scene of the now traditional contest between start-ups to showcase the talents and trends of tomorrow. During this edition, many were inspired by the theme of “responsible innovation”. It is worth noting that three French start-ups took part in the contest: meludia, Fidbaks and ubleam.

Start-ups in competitions @ LeWeb'13

Start-ups in competitions @ LeWeb’13

“France, Europe’s leading start-up nation”

When it comes to innovation, the French can hold their heads high: LeWeb’13 was the chance to present innovative new projects such as SmartCity2025, launched by France Télévisions in association with SNCF and Gares & Connexions, and “NextTwo”, an autonomous connected car created by Renault and Orange that will hit the market in 2018. On the third day, Mr. Arnaud Montebourg, Minister for Industrial Renewal, and Ms. Fleur Pellerin, Minister Delegate for SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy, spoke about French innovation and took part in a debate with web entrepreneurs. Ms. Pellerin took this opportunity to reassert the aims of the La French Tech initiative and the goal of “making France Europe’s leading start-up nation”. To conclude her speech, the Minister handed the Start-up of the Year Award to IntelClinic, a Polish start-up that has invented a sleeping-aid mask that can measure brain waves.

Ms. Fleur Pellerin, Minister Delegate for SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy  © La Tribune

Ms. Fleur Pellerin, Minister Delegate for SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy © La Tribune

All told, this year’s edition was a resounding success. What remains to be seen is whether the predictions made over these three days will come true by 2023!

The inaugural “Investment Attractiveness Breakfast”, December 12, 2013

Posted by Invest in France Agency in Country focus, Events, France's image, Innovation and R&D, Reforms, Sectors of excellence; December 20, 2013

The prestigious Hôtel Bristol was chosen by the Invest in France Agency (IFA) and its key partner, and IFA Partners Network member, Deloitte – represented, respectively, by Mr. David Appia, Chairman and CEO of the IFA and Ambassador for International Investment, and Mr. David Dupont-Noël, Partner and member of Deloitte France’s executive committee – as the venue for the inaugural “Investment Attractiveness Breakfast” on December 12, 2013.

Thirty-five participants, including economic advisors and trade representatives from around twenty foreign embassies, attended to listen and speak to Mr. Jean-Paul Betbèze, a renowned economist and member of the French National Economic Commission, the Robert Schumann Foundation Scientific Committee, and the French Academy of Commercial Sciences.

France: new measures and economic strenghts

For this inaugural working breakfast, Mr. Betbèze chose to broach the topic of the global economic crisis and the strategy consequently implemented by France. The participants discussed the economic difficulties being experienced in developed countries, focusing in particular on Europe and France (government debt in EU Member States, problems arising from high labor costs, monetary policy, etc.), before analyzing France’s strategy to beat the crisis, the reforms it has initiated and the economic strengths it can build upon.

Mr. Betbèze’s view is that in a nervy global economy France must embrace reform to emerge from the crisis, overhauling its tax system, reducing public spending and easing its debt burden. A number of measures have already been launched to boost the French economy over the longer term. These include the renewal and extension of France’s research tax credit, the launch of a competitiveness and employment tax credit (CICE) due to save companies €20 billion in 2014, the enactment of a new Employment Act to boost competitiveness and make the job market more reactive, as well as a “simplification drive” to reduce the complexity of French administrative formalities. These are just some of the arguments illustrating France’s investment attractiveness.

France: a pro-active country in innovation

Beyond this willingness to reform, it is important to note another crucial pillar, which is the emphasis placed on innovation. France is one of the most pro-active countries in Europe in this area, as can be seen by its research tax credit and the €5 billion worth of support France offers to R&D. France is the only European nation to have set up such a framework of support, from which 2,000 foreign companies benefit every year. More recently, a host of ambitious programs have been launched: a set of 34 sector-based initiatives to foster a French industrial renaissance, which includes support to help devise future technologies, as well as the “Worldwide Innovation Challenge” launched as part of the Innovation 2030 Commission initiative, led by Ms. Anne Lauvergeon.

While France today faces some very real difficulties, it can nevertheless draw upon numerous key strengths: this was the underlying message the IFA and Deloitte were keen to pass on. In this respect, the quality of the discussions and the enthousiasm of the participants ensured the success of this inaugural “Investment Attractiveness Breakfast”. The tone has already been set for the next working breakfast, due to take place in the first three months of 2014.

The 8th IP Summit in Paris: December 9-11, 2013

Posted by Invest in France Agency in Innovation and R&D, Sectors of excellence; December 13, 2013

The 8th IP Summit opened on December 9, 2013 in the magnificent surroundings of the Paris Chamber of Commerce (CCIP), Hôtel Potocki, on Avenue de Friedland. This event was organized by the think-tank Premier Cercle with the support of the Invest in France Agency (IFA), the French Patent and Trademark Office (INPI), and the French Institute of Patent and Trademark Attorneys (CNCPI).

IP-Summit-Paris 2013

Paris was not chosen to host this event by chance: the French capital is soon due to become the main seat of the European Unified Patent Court, which will also have two sections in London and Munich. In accordance with the decision made on June 28-29, 2013 at the meeting of the European Council in Brussels, the court will specialize in chemistry and pharmaceuticals in London, mechanical engineering in Munich and physics in Paris.

IP Summit Paris 2013

The unified institution should provide improved legal certainty, consistency in patent litigation, a reduction in the cost of patent proceedings and improved efficiency in combating patent infringement. The new system – due to enter into force on January 1, 2014 – will provide automatic protection in the 25 participating member countries.

During the three-day event, leading figures from the public and private sectors, along with experts on patents and intellectual property issues took the floor to discuss changes and developments in their fields. The first two days focused on patents, while the third day focused on trademark applications.

Joaquin Almunia, Competition Commissioner at the European Commission at the IP Summit 2013 in Paris

Joaquin Almunia, Competition Commissioner at the European Commission at the IP Summit 2013 in Paris

The conference was opened on December 9, 2013 by Mr. Joaquin Almunia, Competition Commissioner at the European Commission, and started by focusing on corporate intellectual property issues, including the impact on corporate strategy, the vital source of revenue it can represent, the new business models brought about by innovation, as well as the difficulties involved in legislating in this area, where it is particularly difficult to draft general rules. In the words of Mr. Brian Quinn, Director of Strategic Programs for Intel Labs Europe, “In the field of intellectual property, everyone and every scenario is different.” 

Brian Quinn, Director of Strategic Programs for Intel Labs Europe

Brian Quinn, Director of Strategic Programs for Intel Labs Europe

“In the last 15 years, there have been increasing numbers of patent applications and increasing amounts of incentives for this field”, emphasized Mr. Paul Lugard, Partner at Baker Botts and moderator of the second panel. Indeed, the European Patent Office (EPO) recorded an 8% rise in patent applications in 2012, and this is particularly true for Europe where 90% of exports are linked to intellectual property.

The subject could not therefore be more topical. Click here to see the Summit agenda.

Fifth meeting of France’s Brazilian Investors Club

Posted by Invest in France Agency in Country focus, Events, France's image, Innovation and R&D, Investment in France, Reforms, Sectors of excellence; December 12, 2013

The fifth meeting of France’s Brazilian Investors Club, organized jointly by the Invest in France Agency (IFA), the Brazilian Embassy in France and the Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in France (CCBF), took place in Paris at the IFA headquarters on December 2, 2013.

Philippe Lecourtier, CCBF President, Serge Boscher, IFA Managing Director and Almir Lima Nascimento, Commercial advisor at the Brazilian Embassy in France

Philippe Lecourtier, CCBF President, Serge Boscher, IFA Managing Director and Almir Lima Nascimento, Commercial advisor at the Brazilian Embassy in France

Some thirty Brazilian companies, employing more than 2,500 people, are currently established in France, and although more companies join them every year, they remain comparatively few in number given the potential of this great country. This is where the challenge lies for the IFA and its partners, and is what forms the rationale behind the Brazilian Investors Club.

Ms. Sophie Marinier, Senior Attorney at the law firm Lefèvre Pelletier & associés

Ms. Sophie Marinier, Senior Attorney at the law firm Lefèvre Pelletier & associés

New measures and success stories in France

This year’s meeting brought the Brazilian business community together to address two key topics: a presentation of France’s new Employment Act of June 14, 2013, on the one hand, and innovation, France’s “National Investment Program”, and technology partnerships on the other. Presentations were made by: Ms. Sophie Marinier, Senior Attorney at the law firm Lefèvre Pelletier & associés, an IFA Network partner, on the new Employment Act; Mr. Michel Juzio, Project Manager, International Division of bpifrance, France’s public investment bank, on technology partnerships and in particular the partnership between the Brazilian firm Fusion Ingrédients and French company Novolyze; the recently established Brazilian company FSMax Systems France represented by its Director Mr. Diogo Gomes. The company arrived four months ago and intend to generate dozen of employees in the next 3 years ; Ms. Anne de Kerckhove, Managing Director EMEA of the American firm Videology (see blog post); and lastly, the center of excellence formed by Le Havre Port, Europe’s fifth-largest port, with Ms. Carole Collot-Parison, CEO of the German firm Hamburg Sud, and Mr. Philippe Torres, CEO of Aliança.

Ms. Carole Collot-Parison, CEO of the German firm Hamburg Sud, and Mr. Philippe Torres, CEO of Aliança

Philippe Torres, CEO of Aliança and Carole Collot-Parison, CEO of the German firm Hamburg Sud

In addition to these scheduled speakers, Mr. Joao Morais, Technical Advisor, who was in the audience, gave a spontaneous presentation of the Roissy Eurocentre project that will create more than 2,000 jobs, a strong argument in favor of France’s investment attractiveness.

Diogo Gomes, FSMax Systems France Director

Diogo Gomes, FSMax Systems France Director

France and Brazil: two key players in the global economy

Today, France and Brazil are two key players in the global economy, with the fifth and sixth largest economies, respectively. The strong, long-standing relations between the two nations underpin bilateral trade, as seen in the joint declaration on cooperation signed by Presidents Dilma Rousseff and François Hollande on December 11, 2012, of which one part is devoted to economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries. The French and Brazilian Presidents displayed their ambition to develop cooperation with the aim of increasing trade and doubling bilateral investments by 2020.

Joao Morais, Roissy Eurocentre Technical Advisor

Joao Morais, Roissy Eurocentre Technical Advisor

This is exactly what the IFA, which set up an agency in Sao Paulo in 2010, strives to do on a daily basis. In 2014, the IFA will be increasing its presence in Brazil in 2014 with the recruitment of an extra representative, while the Brazilian business community in France can already look forward to the next meeting of the Brazilian Investors Club!

>> View the pictures of this event on Pinterest

The 2013 Indian Investors Club

Posted by Invest in France Agency in Country focus, Events, France's image, Innovation and R&D, Investment in France, Reforms, Sectors of excellence; November 28, 2013

The latest meeting of the Indian Investors Club took place on November 20, 2013 at the Invest in France Agency (IFA) headquarters. The aim of the event, which was organized in conjunction with the Indian Embassy in France and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France India (CCIFI), was to enable Indian investors with a presence in France to meet and discuss their main concerns in complete confidence.

IFA Club India

New partnerships between France and India

His Excellency Mr. Arun K. Singh, the Indian Ambassador to France, was taking part in this annual meeting for the first time. He spoke to underline the crucial role played by Indian companies in the world today. India is currently only the 21st biggest global investor, but it is steadily climbing up the rankings. The Indian government is making it easier for Indian firms to invest abroad, and a significant number of partnerships were signed last year between France and India to further collaboration between the two countries (one example is the IFA-CCIFI partnership agreement signed during the Club’s previous meeting in 2012).

IFA Club India His Excellency Mr. Arun K. Singh, the Indian Ambassador to France

His Excellency Mr. Arun K. Singh, the Indian Ambassador to France

France was the recipient of nine new Indian investments in 2012, including the acquisition of French firm Alti by Tata Consulting Services (TCS), which received strong backing from Mr. Arnaud Montebourg, the French Minister for Industrial Renewal, and Ms. Fleur Pellerin, the Minister for SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy. Today, more than 40 Indian companies are doing business in France, employing 5,500 people in a wide range of sectors, including agri-food, software and IT services, pharmaceuticals and biotechnologies. Tata Steel and Titagarh Wagon AFR have been particularly successful since arriving in the country. Mr. Dominique Chiesura, Export Director of Tata Steel, and Mr. Pascal Varin, CEO of Titagarh Wagon AFR, were in attendance at the meeting and were happy to explain the factors of this success. Both firms chose to invest in French companies for their unique expertise and highly qualified workforces.

IFA Club India

Mr. Pascal Varin, CEO of Titagarh Wagon AFR

France offers many advantages for Indian companies

France offers various advantages to foreign companies looking to expand internationally. According to the Investing in France – Opportunities and insights for Indian companies” survey commissioned by the Indian Embassy in France and published by consulting firm PwC in 2012, France is a strategic gateway to Africa (especially its French-speaking nations) and Latin America. France is also perceived as being at the cutting edge of new technologies and a fertile environment for R&D.

IFA Club India

Ms. Valérie Blandeau, Lawyer-Partner with Wragge & Co.

R&D is in fact a major attraction for Indian companies. During his speech, Mr. Dan Oiknine, President of the CCIFI, highlighted the importance of France’s 71 innovation clusters. These clusters, which are much more commonplace in France than in India, provide firms with access to the very best technology and talent, thanks to their partnerships with local universities. It is also worth reiterating that France provides many companies with financial support for research not only in the form of its Research Tax Credit, but also its Competitiveness and Employment Tax Credit (CICE), as Mr. Yves-Charles Zimmermann, Lawyer-Partner with Mazars, demonstrated in his presentation. France also founded a public investment bank, bpifrance, in 2012, which was showcased by Ms. Isabelle Lebo, International Project Manager at bpifrance.

Mr. Dan Oiknine, President of the CCIFI

Mr. Dan Oiknine, President of the CCIFI

Optimizing employment law

Meanwhile, France has demonstrated its keenness to optimize employment law and to simplify the visa-granting process for qualified employees. Ms. Valérie Blandeau, Lawyer-Partner with Wragge & Co., also provided an update on the Act of June 14, 2013, which stemmed from an agreement between employer federations and trade unions that offers greater leeway to companies and employees, while helping to secure jobs and employee career paths. Ms. Christelle Caporali-Petit, an official from the Economic Immigration Office at the Ministry of the Interior, reminded participants of the key role played by the French Immigration and Citizenship Office (OFII) as the single point of contact for individuals seeking resident and work permits in eight French départements (Haute-Garonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Isère, Nord, Paris, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône and Yvelines).

IFA Club India

Ms. Christelle Caporali-Petit, an official from the Economic Immigration Office at the Ministry of the Interior

 At the end of this rich and fruitful work session, the Indian business leaders in attendance were able to pursue their discussions with IFA team members and the IFA’s partners during the event’s traditional cocktail reception.

IFA Club India

Say oui to France innovation

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