Cover of higher education & research in France, facts and figures

📄 Sources:MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
ACOSS-URSSAF.

 Coverage:Whole of France.

The data presented here are estimates based on the annual survey on resources devoted to R&D by businesses in 2012. The list of YICs was provided by the ACOSS.

The status of young innovative company (YIC) was established in the 2004 Finance Law. Businesses must fulfil 5 criteria to be granted this status: they must be an SME (i.e. employ fewer than 250 people and have turnover of less than €50 million or a balance sheet total of less than €43 million); they must have been operating for less than eight years; their R&D expenditure must account for at least 15% of their tax-deductible expenses for each financial year; they must be autonomous for tax purposes; and they must be a genuinely new business.

Businesses with YIC status enjoy various benefits, including: exemptions from employers’ social security contributions, particularly for researchers, technicians and R&D project managers; paying no corporation tax for three years and at half the normal rate for the following two years; and being totally exempt from France’s annual flat-rate tax (imposition forfaitaire annuelle – IFA) for as long as they retain their YIC status.

The scheme was reformed under the 2011 Finance Law to reduce the exemptions granted to YICs, including: a degression in tax reductions from companies’ fifth year of business; and the introduction of an upper limit on exemptions per business and another on exemptions per employee set at 4.5 times the national minimum wage (salaire minimum interprofessionnel de croissance – SMIC).

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40 young innovative companies

This page has been updated. Read 40. young innovative companies in Higher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017

‘Young innovative company’ (YIC) status was introduced to encourage people to set up and expand SMEs that carry out R&D. In 2012, their R&D expenditure totalled €730 million and was focused primarily within the service sector.

When it was first introduced in 2004, ‘young innovative company’ (YIC) status helped 1,300 businesses. According to the Central Agency for Social Security Funds (Agence centrale des organismes de sécurité sociale – ACOSS), in 2012, 2,750 businesses benefited from €91 million in exemptions under this scheme.  1 This figure fell by 29.3% in 2012 after the scheme was reformed under the 2011 Finance Law. YICs spent €730 million on R&D in 2012 and employed 9,500 full-time equivalent (FTE) R&D personnel.

Due to the nature of the status, YICs are small businesses: nine out of ten YICs employ fewer than 20 people. YICs are deemed to be distinct from businesses of an equivalent size that carry out R&D but do not have this status. On average, YICs employed 7.8 people in 2012, had a turnover of €1.2 million and spent €300,000 on R&D (table 40.01). YICs therefore devoted 24% of their turnover to intramural R&D, as compared with 12% of businesses with fewer than 20 employees that carried out R&D.

A significant proportion of the personnel employed by YICs were dedicated to R&D. In 2012, YICs devoted on average 3.8 FTE posts to R&D (covering employees with all levels of qualifications), as compared with the 2.4 FTE posts devoted by businesses with fewer than 20 employees that carried out R&D. Those employed by YICs were also more highly qualified. On average, researchers and R&D engineers accounted for 2.8 FTE posts at YICs, in comparison with 1.6 at businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

YICs were more likely to collaborate with other institutions involved in carrying out R&D: 40% of them outsourced R&D to dedicated state research institutions or other businesses, as compared with only 33% of businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

Government funding accounted for the majority of funds paid to YICs for their R&D (excluding tax incentives such as the YIC scheme or the R&D tax credit). In 2012, they received €157 million in government funding for their R&D. This accounted for 18% of their total R&D expenditure (including the procurement of R&D from other businesses or dedicated state research institutions), as compared with 11% for businesses with fewer than 20 employees (table 40.02). 84% of government funding paid to YICs took the form of incentive credits from government departments and state institutions. By contrast, both YICs and businesses with fewer than 20 employees that carried out R&D received little funding relating to defence or big technology programmes. In addition to government funding, YICs also received €13 million for their R&D activities from businesses based in France (chart 40.03). This only accounted for 1% of their total R&D expenditure (for both performing and subcontracting R&D), as compared with 7% for businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

As with all businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the R&D carried out by YICs related primarily to service activities. In 2012, the top three R&D activities of YICs were (in decreasing order of intramural expenditure): ‘professional, scientific and technical activities’, ‘computer-related and information service activities’ and ‘publishing, audiovisual and broadcasting activities’ (chart 40.04). These three areas accounted for 74% of intramural business enterprise expenditure on R&D (BERD) by YICs, as compared with 64% of that spent by businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

 Coverage:Whole of France.

1 Sources: Les exonérations de nouveau en recul en 2012 (‘Exemptions reduced again in 2012’), Acosstat No.181, November 2013, list of businesses with YIC status that are exempt from paying social security contributions, ACOSS.

How to cite this paper :

TESTAS Anna. Young innovative companies. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 49 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2015. 8th ed. Chapter 40, 90-91 [Accessed 06/19/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-139433-9. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/EESR8EN_R_40-young_innovative_companies.php

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The data presented here are estimates based on the annual survey on resources devoted to R&D by businesses in 2012. The list of YICs was provided by the ACOSS.

The status of young innovative company (YIC) was established in the 2004 Finance Law. Businesses must fulfil 5 criteria to be granted this status: they must be an SME (i.e. employ fewer than 250 people and have turnover of less than €50 million or a balance sheet total of less than €43 million); they must have been operating for less than eight years; their R&D expenditure must account for at least 15% of their tax-deductible expenses for each financial year; they must be autonomous for tax purposes; and they must be a genuinely new business.

Businesses with YIC status enjoy various benefits, including: exemptions from employers’ social security contributions, particularly for researchers, technicians and R&D project managers; paying no corporation tax for three years and at half the normal rate for the following two years; and being totally exempt from France’s annual flat-rate tax (imposition forfaitaire annuelle – IFA) for as long as they retain their YIC status.

The scheme was reformed under the 2011 Finance Law to reduce the exemptions granted to YICs, including: a degression in tax reductions from companies’ fifth year of business; and the introduction of an upper limit on exemptions per business and another on exemptions per employee set at 4.5 times the national minimum wage (salaire minimum interprofessionnel de croissance – SMIC).

 

Key figures


Amount of public funding received by young innovative companies
157 M
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "40. young innovative companies".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Number of business enterprises with the status of Young Innovative Company (YIC)
2,750
 business enterprises
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "40. young innovative companies".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Amount of social security and tax exemptions for Young Innovative Companies
91 M
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "40. young innovative companies".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Intramural R&D expenditure by Young Innovative Companies
730 M
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "40. young innovative companies".

Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
  See more key figures  
R&D staff in Young Innovative Companies (FTE)
9,500
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "40. young innovative companies".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
R&D intensity of YICs
23.9%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "40. young innovative companies".

Coverage: ratio DIRDE totale / chiffre d'affaires total
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
R&D intensity of business enterprises with under 20 employees (business enterprises with R&D activity)
11.8%
 
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "40. young innovative companies".

Coverage: ratio DIRDE totale / chiffre d'affaires total
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
Average number of staff in R&D in YICs (FTE)
3.8
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "40. young innovative companies".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES
  See one more key figure  
Average number of staff in R&D in business enterprises with under 20 employees (business enterprises with R&D activity)
2.4
 people (FTE)
2012
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "40. young innovative companies".

Coverage: full-time equivalent
Source: MENESR-DGESIP/DGRI-SIES

40.01 Attributes of companies by business category in 2012

 
YICs All businesses carrying out R&D in-house, categorised by number of employees at 31 December 2011
Fewer than 20 employees Between 20 and 249 employees 250 or more employees All
General company data Average number of employees 7.8 7.3 75.6 1774.2 210.4
Average turnover (in €M) 1.2 1.6 18.7 558.8 63.9
R&D expenditure Average intramural BERD (in €M)  1 0.3 0.2 0.8 13.1 1.7
R&D intensity (%) 2 23.9 11.8 4.1 2.3 2.7
Proportion of businesses with extramural BERD > 0 (%) 3 39.7 32.5 40.8 59.8 38.5
Average extramural BERD (in €M) 0.1 0.0 0.2 4.2 0.5
R&D personnel Average number of R&D personnel (FTE) 3.8 2.4 8.0 96.5 14.0
Average number of researchers and engineers (FTE) 2.8 1.6 5.1 60.6 8.9
 

1 Intramural business enterprise expenditure on research and development.
2 Total intramural BERD/total turnover ratio.
3 Extramural business enterprise expenditure on research and development.

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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40.02 Funding of intramural BERD by type of business in 2012

 
YICs All businesses carrying out R&D in-house, categorised by number of employees at 31 December 2012
Fewer than 20 employees Between 20 and 249 employees 250 or more employees All
Government funding received (in €M) 157 242 407 1,814 2,464
Government funding (1) received by type of funding (%)1
Defence 5.8 5.7 5.6 62.7 47.6
Big technology programmes 0.0 0.0 1.8 23.0 17.2
Incentive credits 83.9 81.4 84.0 13.2 31.6
Other civil funding 2 10.3 13.0 8.7 1.2 3.6
Government funding as a proportion of total R&D expenditure (%) 3 18.2 11.5 6.2 6.0 6.3
 

1 Excluding tax incentives such as exemptions from social security contributions and the R&D tax credit.
2 Funding from local authorities and not-for-profit institutions.
3 Total R&D expenditure includes research carried out by businesses in-house and that subcontracted to other organisations.

 Coverage: Whole of France.

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40.03 Funding received by type of business (as % and in €M)

YICs
Fewer than 20 employees
Between 20 and 249 employees
250 or more employees
All
  
Government funding
Funding from abroad
Funding from other businesses based in France
 
 
 Coverage: Whole of France.

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40.04 Breakdown of branches of activity that benefited from intramural BERD in 2012, by type of business (as % and in €M)

YICs
Fewer than 20 employees
Between 20 and 249 employees
250 or more employees
All
  
Specialised scientific and technical activities
Computer-related and information service activities
Publishing, audiovisual and broadcasting activities
Manufacture of electronic components and boards, computers and peripheral equipment
Other
Manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations
Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products
Manufacture of air and spacecraft and related machinery
Manufacture of motor vehicles
 
 
 Coverage: Whole of France.

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Related statistical publication

 Note d'information SIES 13.01 - SMEs, the overlooked research stakeholders in France - Nicolas Le Ru - February 2013
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.

Other editions

Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017
40 - young innovative companies - Camille Schweitzer
'Young innovative company’ (YIC) status was introduced to encourage people to set up and expand SMEs that carry out R&D. In 2014, their intramural R&D expenditure totalled €916 million and was focused primarily within the service sector [Consult the following page]
Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 9th edition - November 2016
41 - young innovative companies - Anna Testas
'Young innovative company’ (YIC) status was introduced to encourage people to set up and expand SMEs that carry out R&D. In 2013, their intramural R&D expenditure totalled €830 million and was focused primarily within the service sector [Consult the following page]

Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°8 - juin 2015
40 - les jeunes entreprises innovantes - Anna Testas
Le statut de jeune entreprise innovante (JEI) a été créé pour favoriser la création et le développement des PME qui conduisent des travaux de R&D. En 2012, leurs dépenses de R&D s’élèvent à 730 millions d’euros et se concentrent essentiellement dans des branches de services [Consult the following page in french]


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