Rupture Technologies: The 5 assets in France

Of the ten major technological transformations identified by McKinsey, France is not doing too badly. According to the cabinet, France is more favorably placed on five of them.

Biotechnologies may be those where the country has more advantages. Next to Germany and the UK, France is in the top trio of European hubs. “The three countries alone have 50% of biotech companies on the continent,” the study said. A sign of good health in the sector, the number of blue-white-red biotechs that have achieved funding increased from 12% in the period 2015-2017 to 16% in the period 2018-2020. Very active for ten years in this sector, BPIFRANCE aims to finance 500 health start-ups per year against 200 today.

With more than 80 laboratories and 500 start-ups, France is also the first European investor in artificial intelligence (AI). From the start of his mandate, Emmanuel Macron launched a national strategy for AI today, equipped with 1.9 billion euros (300 million more than the Germans), aimed at capturing 15% of the world market ’embedded IA (ability to assess its own operations) By 2025. A market that, according to another McKinsey study, would likely add 10 trillion euros to world GDP by 2030.

Second revolution. Also in quantum, France has a card to play after the announcement in January 2021 of a plan of 1.8 billion euros over five years. France climbed to the second European step behind Germany, which will put 2.6 billion euros in its program. An amount that remains a far cry from the $10 billion announced by China for its national quantum laboratory. It is also less than in the United States, where the federal administration promised to lock in $1.2 billion between 2018 and 2023, but where Google, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon abound in billions of search efforts. But France can also rely on companies like Thales, which “aim to be a world leader in the second quantum revolution, by investing massively in quantum sensors, quantum communication and postquantic cryptography”, emphasizes McKinsey.

France is also prolix in terms of scientific publications related to 5G, occupying the tenth global position and the fifth European position. An eight patent filed in Europe on this technology is of French origin. Unfortunately, France disappears from radars as soon as it is a matter of going global. In fact, no Tricolor Company is among the world leaders in terms of triadic patents, these patents filed with three of the most important offices, which are the European Patent Office (OEB), the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The Internet of Things (IoT) is another sector where France is quite well placed. Before the crisis, it was in the third position in European countries behind Germany and the United Kingdom to have filed the most patents in this area (3100) and the eighth worldwide.

Finally Cleantech. “While Europe has the highest share of renewable energy in its installed electrical capacity (50% in 2020, compared to 41% in China and 25% in the US), France has the third fleet of renewable energy sources in the zone,” recalls McKinsey. According to the barometer in Cleantech funds from France Invest, Tricolor Companies raised 1.2 billion euros in 2019 in France, against only 263 million euros in 2010. Hexagon is thus in the third rank behind ‘Germany and the United Kingdom in terms of private and spending on public capital allocated to the energy transition. The challenge for practice is now to take advantage of these five pillars to compensate for the lag accumulated in terms of new technologies in the last ten years.

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