In 2010, 1,400 foreign business enterprises carried out R&D in one of their subsidiaries located in France: 900 of these firms originate in the European Union, 300 in the United States.
Foreign business enterprises employ 46,700 full-time equivalent staff in France for these R&D activities. Their research teams tend to be less concentrated in the Île-de-France region than the research teams of French firms. The research intensity of French business enterprises in France seems high compared with that of German companies in Germany or British companies in the United Kingdom. This is not the case of the research intensity of foreign business enterprises: worldwide, they are less committed to R&D.
In 2011, gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) stood at €45.0 billion, up by 2.3% in volume compared with 2010. The increase in GERD was the result of significant growth in business R&D expenditure. Business enterprises contributed around 2.2 percentage points to the increase in GERD, with government contributing 0.1 points.
In 2010, there were 315,000 researchers or research engineers in France: 82,000 were women, 233,500 were men. The number of female researchers has been increasing since 2007, but less sharply than the number of men. There are more female researchers in government than in business enterprises. This is not the case among men.
The 6th edition of Higher Education and Research, Facts and Figures provides an annual overview, backed up by figures, of the French higher education and research system, with its changes, resources and outcomes. These data are provided by the statistical departments of various Ministries, for example the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the Ministry of Education and the Ministries for the Economy and Finance, but also from other organisations such as the Centre for Study and Research in Training and Education Policy, the National Observatory of Student Life, the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, the Science and Technology Observatory, and the OECD.
In 2010, 11,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) performed the equivalent of €4.0 billion of research and development (R&D) work. There work was mainly focused on engineering, programming and IT consulting, or software publishing.
In 2010, gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) stood at €43.4 billion, up by 2.8% in volume compared with 2009. The increase in GERD was the result of a sustained increase in business research and development (R&D) expenditure. Firms contributed around 1.65 percentage points to the increase in GERD, with government accounting for 1.15 points. The research intensity for the country as a whole, measured as the ratio of GERD to GDP, stood at 2.24% in 2010. This should remain stable 2.25% in 2011. Due to a slight slowdown in government expenditure, GERD is likely to increase in 2011 at a lower rate (+2.2% in volume), but this will still be a faster rate than that of GDP (+1.7% in volume). In 2010, R&D activities in business enterprises and government mobilised 393,000 full-time equivalent staff.
Germany carries out more research and development (R&D) than France. This gap is due to a difference in scale between the two countries. It is also due to a greater research intensity in Germany: expenditure on R&D amounts to 2.82% of GDP in Germany, compared to 2.26% in France. The difference can also be attributed to the economic structure of the two countries: most R&D is carried out in industry and in Germany industry plays a more significant role in the economy than in France. In addition, German industry is highly specialised in the most R&D-intensive activities. However, the research intensity in firms that do carry out R&D, although slightly greater in Germany, only accounts for a small difference in this research expenditure. In France, high technology industries allocate a greater proportion of their turnover to research than their German counterparts.
In France, the research effort of business enterprises, the main explanatory factor of the research and development (R&D) performance of industrialised countries, has not improved much since the beginning of the 2000s. It has stabilised around 1.4% of GDP. Yet the most R&D-intensive industries allocate more than one third of their value added to research, and this proportion is increasing. The decline of industry, where 80% of R&D work is concentrated, has slowed the improvement in the research effort by the private sector. Its apparent stability masks an increased research effort in many industrial and service activities. Despite the economic crisis, this improvement in business enterprise research intensity continued in 2008 and 2009.
Higher Education and Research, Facts and Figures provides an annual overview, backed up by figures, of the French higher education and research system, in order to show where the country stands internationally and to monitor changes, especially over the long term.
Funding, human resources, access to higher education, study paths, pass rates, qualifications, integration of graduates into working life, student life, research in biotechnology or nanotechnology, participation in FP7, publications, patents, etc. - all these topics are covered in the 42 fact sheets that make up the 5th edition (2011) of this work.