According to the French National Research and Technology Association (ANRT), "thanks to its research tax credit system (CIR), France is becoming one of the leading world centres for industrial research". In a study published in October 2016, it estimated that, throughout the world, France is the country in which the share of employment from the active population working in the research departments of companies grew the most between 2008 and 2013. In the year 2000, France averaged 3.1 company employees in research per 1,000 workers, which at the time was the same as in the UK. In 2014, according to the ANRT's calculations-based on figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)-there were 5.7 company researchers per 1,000 workers in France, compared with 3.1 on the other side of the channel and 4.7 in Germany.
The ANRT also looked at the cost of research in different countries, using data from 16 companies operating in France and throughout the world-including Nokia, Renault, EDF, Airbus, Thales, etc. In all they employ 81,000 people in R&D around the globe. If we put the cost of an R&D engineer in France at 100 in 2016, without taking into account the CIR and other tax advantages, the cost falls by a quarter, to 75, once the CIR and other systems for helping R&D are taken into account. According to the research the equivalent cost of a researcher in the USA would be 133, compared with 98 in the UK and 91 in Germany.
In 2013, France spent 0.37% of its GDP to support R&D in the private sector, compared with 0.26% in the USA, 0.16% in the UK and 0.08% in Germany.
Source: Les Echos (in French)
Photo:@Benh LIEU SONG