The state unveils a multi-billion-euro plan for research and innovation

After the French failure to quickly discover a vaccine against the Covid virus, Emmanuel Macron announced, Tuesday, June 29, an investment plan of about 8 billion euros in health innovation to make France a European leader by 2030.

“On the research side, I can’t do a huge kokuriku”, admit to submitting this plan. “We have a system that is, in general, less efficient than it should be: underinvestment, too many divisions, too slow and collectivization”, the French head of state announced in a speech at the Elysee Palace. The presidential plan is the product of the work of the Strategic Council for Health Industries (CSIS), which was installed in January to draw lessons from the epidemic linked to the coronavirus, which exposed the shortcomings of the French health system.

“That’s an additional 4 billion for the research law that we’re mobilizing obviously at least the same amount from the private sector: 4 billion in public funding, plus LPPR. [la loi de programmation pluriannuelle de la recherche]4 billion from the private sector, so it’s a huge strategy to accelerate public research.”said the head of state. and this is “Also a change in philosophy, organization and creation of ecosystems that respond particularly to the lessons of the crisis”, he added.

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Improving cooperation between different actors

These four billion in public funds include €400 million for priority research programs, and €600 million for the creation of “conglomerates”.And the Sites that integrate research, sponsorship, private players and industrial development of discoveries. One of them, focused on cancer, will be linked to the Institut Gustave Roussy (IGR), in collaboration with Polytechnic, Saclay, Sanofi and Inserem, in the Fort La Redout, former buildings of the Ministry of the Interior. AFP, IGR Director General Professor Jean-Charles Soria. In addition, 300 million will go to research infrastructures (databases, cohorts, etc.).

The state will also fund several tens of millions to allow future talents to set up their own research lab in France, with 3 to 5 million each, in addition to 800 million for biotherapeutics (complemented by 2 billion in private money), and 650 million for digital health (and 1.5 billion Special Fund) and 750 million for emerging and infectious diseases, according to the Elysee.

In addition, €2 billion has been allocated to health startups, through BPI France (1 billion for grants and loans, 1 billion for investment funds). Finally, 1.5 billion euros will support European manufacturing projects.

This plan responds to the analysis made by the experts appointed by the CSIS, at the request of the Head of State, who formulated 200 proposals to make France a healthy innovative nation. They regretted the obstacles to research, in particular the lack of cooperation between institutions. “We’ve come a rather sad journey in a world of lack of cooperation and even mistrust”Agnès Audier, one of the experts, launched her findings and presented her findings to Emmanuel Macron.

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Le Monde with Agence France-Presse and Reuters

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