Skip to main content

An Innovation Powerhouse

An Innovation Powerhouse

The highest GDP and most Fortune 500 company headquarters in Europe, a buzzing startup scene and a thriving research community are a few of Paris Region’s core assets. But there is much more behind Paris Region’s unique business environment. Here is why companies choose Paris Region to grow, expand and thrive.

In addition to being Europe’s #1 economic region and business hub, Paris Region is praised for its business-friendly atmosphere. Paris Region’s extremely diverse economic landscape caters to all types of businesses, especially those which operate in the Region’s most innovative industries.

A steadfast economic growth and academic excellence are two major draws for investors in search of an operational workforce and a wide consumer base. Add to this the recent economic, labor, and fiscal reform and you will understand why France, and Paris Region in particular, are an attractive place for doing business, innovating, and investing.


Educational excellence and talents

With 5 of the Top 20 of the 2023 Financial Times European business Schools, companies will find a pool of highly skilled talents ready to grow their business. Paris Region’s innovation potential has no limits.

The Paris region is home to the best scientific universities, such as Paris-Saclay and Sorbonne university consolidating its position as a leading center of higher education.

Engineering public schools such as the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, Centrale-Supelec and the Ecole des Mines, together with many private ones such as EPITECH for computing, are committed.


The best place in Europe for R&D


research labs
20+ € billion
R&D expenditure
8.3 € billion
Total funding
Engineers and scientists
  • Paris Region is a powerhouse in research and development, characterized by a network of 1,200 cutting-edge research labs.
  • With a robust €20+ billion commitment to R&D expenditures, it champions innovation across sectors. The collaborative strength is heightened by the presence of eight regional competitiveness clusters, fostering interdisciplinary breakthroughs.
  • Backed by a total funding of €8.3 billion, this ecosystem thrives with a community of 760,000 skilled engineers and scientists, positioning Paris Region as a global leader in technological and scientific exploration, driving economic growth and pushing the boundaries of knowledge.

Financial incentives supporting R&D

Paris Region has the global ambition of becoming a megalopolis driving future innovation. Research and Development is strongly supported by the national and regional Government through various key financial incentives, and particularly the research tax credit which is one of the most generous tax benefits among OECD countries:

  • R&D Tax credit (CIR): it covers 30% of all R&D expenses up to €100 M, and 5% above this threshold. It is eligible to companies of all sizes, business sectors and nationalities.
  • CIFRE: Study research contract to hire doctoral students: Companies can get financial support to hire doctoral students conducting research with a public laboratory, leading to a defended thesis. The National Research and Technology Association (ANRT) provides an annual €14,000 subsidy for three years to companies hiring these doctoral students.
  • Innov’up: This financial regional aid applies to R&D expenses for a specific project. It goes up to a limit of € 500k in grant and € 3 M in recoverable advance

A Dynamic Landscape for Academic and Technological Research

In France, academic research is spearheaded by researchers from major institutes (CNRS, CEA, INSERM, INRIA, INRAE) and by faculty researchers from universities and engineering schools. According to Clarivate 2023 ranking, CNRS is the world #1 innovation centre, while CEA (nuclear and renewable energies) is ranked world #2. According to Scimago 2023, INSERM is the world #8 for life sciences, INRAE is #10 for agronomy and INRIA #30 for data sciences.

Ivy-league universities and science and technology teaching institutes in terms of faculty researchers include Paris-Saclay university as the world #2 for maths and #3 for physics, Sorbonne university #4 for maths, PSL university #10 for physics, and Paris-Cité university as the #3 for pharmacology.

On the technological research front, thematic institutes and R&D centers within major companies drive innovation. Additionally, joint R&D centers bring together academia and businesses. Thematic institutes oversee collaborative academic/corporate programs in Paris region, including System-X (digital transformation), Efficacity (energy transition), IPVF (photovoltaics), Vedecom (connected and decarbonized mobility), and four health institutes (genetics, neurology, cardiology, and human vision).

Paris region hosts R&D centers for both French and international corporations such as EDF, Air Liquide, Thales, SAFRAN, Renault, PSA, Sanofi, Danone, as well as Google, GE, Amazon, Siemens, Samsung, Huawei, Bayer, Novartis, among others.

Some R&D centers involve academic collaboration, such as PR[AI]RIE (INRIA institute with large corporates), the Microsoft-INRIA joint center, the Fujitsu-Polytechnique joint R&D center, and joint labs between corporates and academics.


A Wealth of Business Clusters

Paris Region is a real constellation of different types of districts, all of which have their own asset base. Paris Region’s industrial landscape makes it a unique place for businesses in search of quality infrastructure, business opportunities, and talents. Its diverse economic landscape is one of its strongest assets and stems from the rich variety of its land and territories.

Paris Region is renowned for its 8 innovation clusters: Astech for aerospace, Cap Digital for digital transformation, Cosmetic valley for cosmetics, Finance innovation for finance, Medicen for heathcare, Next Move for mobility, Polymeris for composite materials, and Systematic for deep technologies.
By bringing together large corporations, SMEs, startups, academics and researchers, Paris Region spurs remarkable collaborations and open innovation partnerships. Discover some of the biggest industry clusters and districts in Paris Region, and see where your company might fit in.  

Paris Region Business Hub Map