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"Paris will strengthen as a global Life Sciences hub" - Interview with Thomas WALD

02.07.2015

"Paris will strengthen as a global Life Sciences hub" - Interview with Thomas WALD, Business Development Director Life Sciences for Paris&Co, by Nextep.

Source: Nextep

Nextep : What is the specific positioning of the City of Paris towards Life Sciences ?

Paris considers the Healthcare sector, as strategic. Paris is gaining visibility as the world leading capital in terms of innovation and intellectual property, as PWC underlined in the Cities of Opportunity report in 2014 . We want to foster that dynamics, especially in Life Sciences.
This is why Paris Region Lab, now Paris&Co, the first incubator in Europe in terms of capacity with 200 startups, launched in 2014 a specific program dedicated to E-health, in which young innovative companies of the connected health area work.

And this initiative is working ! Our E-health incubator has been selected to welcome 3 Canadian startups, in the context of the Federal Program CTA – Canadian Technology Accelerator. These 3 startups have been followed by our team in order to accelerate their development in Europe and in France.
Another example would be the implementation of Alexion in Paris in January ! This American company, one of the most innovative company in the World according to Forbes, chose Paris  to implement its first R&D center outside of the US. This is a great example of the attractiveness of Paris in that area.

 

Nextep : What is the ambition of Paris and Paris&Co ?

Paris will play its role as a leading global city, especially in Life Sciences and Healthcare, and the ambition is:

  • to attract headquarters, R&D centers and young innovative companies. In that perspective Paris has many decisive assets : a highly qualified workforce, a world renowned medical expertise, and the whole Healthcare sector is located in Paris : startups, hospitals – AP-HP, first hospital group in Europe with 7M patients/year – research Institutes universities, business and engineering schools, etc.. And innovative companies located in France can benefit from our Research Tax Credit… which is the best tax incentive in Europe for R&D ! This is why 2000 foreign companies already benefit from it.
  • To make our ecosystem more international. Paris will strengthen as a global Life Sciences hub. And Paris&Co, as the economic development and innovation agency of Paris will serve that ambition.

 

Nextep : what are the main projects in Paris in that area ?

To achieve our goal of an international ecosystem, Paris&Co launched in 2015 a soft landing program for international companies : the Paris Landing Pack. This is a great tool that facilitates the implementation of international companies in Paris. This package is a one stop shop, helping companies in their administrative and logistic formalities. It includes a desk or an office in one of our incubators, an easy way to find housing in Paris, dedicated services and access to networking events. This enables companies to test the market, meet potential partners and clients, etc.. it’s never been so easy to do business in Paris  !

We also launched last week the call for applications for the Paris French Tech Ticket, a national initiative. This is a package for international entrepreneurs including a visa, a prize (12,500euros), an office, and services helping them create their business in Paris.
Finally, we are all year round prospecting projects abroad. Paris&Co is doing around 30 missions per year. In the Life Sciences area, we are focusing on North America, source of 50% of foreign direct investments.  .

 

Nextep : How is Paris&Co working with other actors, such as Medicen, the HealthCare cluster in Paris ?

We are working hand in hand with Medicen, but also with our regional and national partners. Medicen has an essential role in the structuring of the Healthcare sector in Paris. And this is very valuable for us, as we are promoting the attractiveness of Paris in that field. We are also working together during specific events, such as the BIO Spring convention held in Paris in March 2015. And finally, every company willing to enter our ecosystem should be in touch with Medicen. So we connect them as much as we can.
Business France, with its many locations abroad, is also a great partner for us. And we work closely with our regional partner Paris Region Entreprises to jointly promote Paris.
Paris is ready to welcome entrepreneurs from all over the world thanks to the Paris French Tech Ticket and the Paris Landing Pack. Paris&Co, with 10 incubation sites, will widely open their doors and will be an ideal gateway for the foreign companies in the healthcare sector to access a unique ecosystem.