What is French Innovation?

french tech

Did you know that France is a leader in startups and innovative companies?

France is Innovative

  • France is ranked 2nd in Europe and 6th in the world for the number of international patents filed (WIPO, December 2015).
  • Thomson Reuters’ Top 100 Global Innovators 2016: France ranks again 3rd with 10 of the most innovative companies or research centers in the world. Ahead of Germany, Switzerland and South Korea, France is ranked 3rd behind only the USA (39) and Japan (34).
  • In Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA; France again dominated the rankings with the most entries for the fifth consecutive year with 94 companies, followed by the United Kingdom and Netherlands.
  • France is first in Europe for the number of new companies created +28,940 (Eurostat 2016) which represents 554,031 companies created in 2016.
  • Paris is home to 4,000+ tech startups and will soon have the largest incubator in the world, Station F, with more than 1,000 startups.

  • With 9.87 researchers per thousand workers in 2014, France ranks among the leading countries in the world (OECD, 2014).

  • France is the 3rd leading recipient in Europe of foreign R&D investments (EY,2016).
    – There are 19 foreign investment decisions per week in France.

  • France is the 7th heading countries in world to receive foreign investments.

    La French Tech

  • A major initiative to stimulate French and foreign startups growth. €200 million have been invested in private-sector initiatives (accelerator programs).
  • A very strong presence at SXSW in Austin, 2016. For the third year in a row, France was the most represented country at the CES in Las Vegas 2016 (largest number of companies, 30% of the world presence).
  • 3 French Tech Hubs in the US: New York, Boston and San Francisco.
  • Foreign startups are eligible for €25,000 of funding with the “French Tech Ticket” program.


A Startup friendly environment

  • The largest R&D tax credit in Europe, which covers 30% of all R&D costs up to €100 million, and 5% above this threshold. Innovation expenses incurred by SMEs are eligible for a 20% R&D tax credit (up to €400,000 per year).
  • France is one of the simplest countries in which to create a company: barely five administrative procedures and four days are required, compared with an OECD average of 4.8 procedures and 9.2 days. (World Bank, Doing Business, 2015).
  • France ranks 1st in Europe for early-stage venture capital investments for startups with US$408 million (Eurostat 2015) and has the second largest VC ecosystem in Europe (US$1.2 billion in 2015).
  • Young Entrepreneurs Initiative (YEI) is the French-American accelerator for innovative American startups looking to explore opportunities in France.
  • A $57 billion National Investment Program aims to underline the competitiveness of the French economy by increasing growth potential. $4.5 billion are planned to stimulate the creation and development of French digital companies in France and abroad.
    – A further €12 billion will be spent on research and the energy transition, future industries, aerospace, the digital sector, healthcare, technological excellence, and education/training.
  • 71 innovation clusters, inspired by the American model, bring together universities, private companies and research centers, as well as new technology research institutions benefiting from public/private joint investments. These clusters attract international partnerships, and 17 cooperation projects with American partners are already in place.
  • French and Foreign Digital startups raised 1.8 Billion in France in 2015 (EY), this has more than doubled on one year to the next.

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