Edouard Philippe speaking at the WEF
30 October 2017

Édouard Philippe at the World Electronics Forum: "Angers has succeeded in creating an ecosystem like no other in the field of electronics"

During his visit to Angers, where the 22nd World Electronics Forum was held on 27 October, the Prime Minister praised the region’s dynamism in the field of electronics and connected devices, while reiterating the actions the Government intends to take to help businesses in the sector to flourish.
 
The Prime Minister began by applauding the organisers of the 22nd "Davos of Electronics”, that was being held by France for the first time.
 
 
The region of Angers was particularly well chosen to host the event: Édouard Philippe praised its high-performance ecosystem, based on:
 
  • An industrial fabric which, alongside companies such as Bull, Thomson, Packard Bell and Thalès, has participated in the first revolution in electronics.
  • Structuring a sector around global champions including two, Eolane and Lacroix Electronics, that are located in the Pays de la Loire amidst a plethora of innovative companies and large educational institutions (for example, the École Supérieure d’Électronique de l’Ouest (Higher Education School for Electronics in Angers), which, notably, trained Michel Hugon, father of the smart card with processor).
  • A private-public co-financing logic, which the Cité de l’Objet Connecté (a hub supporting innovation in connected devices) has benefited from in particular, with funding from the State, the Pays de la Loire Region, the Angers agglomeration and local businesses, alongside 18 private investors.
  • Cross-fertilisation with other sectors of excellence in the region: agriculture, energy, mobility and clothing.

France: a nation that promotes agility, innovation and daring

From within this favourable environment, Édouard Philippe reiterated the State’s willingness to "slip into the shoes of an investor or project leader" to enable France to "become a nation that promotes agility, innovation and daring". 
 
He went on to detail the strategy, which has been developed with Mounir Mahjoubi, to achieve this objective:
 
  1. Provide structure and give visibility to French stakeholders and expertise through:
  • La French Tech and La French Fab (launched on 2 October), two initiatives aiming in particular to create synergies between highly innovative small businesses and large corporations and between cutting-edge technologies and traditional trades, as well as to involve public partners, provide certification and speak with one voice beyond the country’s borders.
  • Station F, the world’s largest incubator.
  • The French Tech visa, thanks to which foreign entrepreneurs are able to get themselves set up very quickly and easily in France to develop their projects.
  • Coherent strategies centred around a few industrial priorities, such as connected devices, Big Data and artificial intelligence: on 8 September, the Government appointed the MP and mathematician Cédric Villani to carry out a review on this subject.
  1. Encourage investment through:
  • A public fund of 10 billion euros, from which revenue will be used to finance innovation. The guidelines set out in the Big Investment Plan, which will mobilise nearly €57 billion, 13 billion of which will be directly allocated to competitiveness and innovation, were presented last September.
  • Boosting private investment: the abolition of the ISF (French wealth tax), a gradual reduction of corporate tax down to 25% by the end of the five-year term and the creation of a "flat tax" on income from financial savings.
  • A sector review of start-ups, undertaken by the Minister of State for the Digital Sector, to identify, sector by sector, the obstacles that start-ups can still face to their development.
Finally, the Prime Minister reiterated that other major Government actions must enable the ecosystem to be developed: the modernisation of the labour market, digital transition (including broadband access for all by 2020 and the digitisation of all administrative procedures by the end of the five-year term) and also ecological transition (France has set itself the target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, in particular through having a cutting-edge electronics industry and sectors of excellence in all areas of sustainable development).