On the Second International Meeting on Biomedical Research of Mr. French President Nicolas Sarkozy
On 4 June 2010, Mr. French President Nicolas Sarkozy addressed the country’s scientific leaders, including National Centre for Scientific Research Mr. President Alain Fuchs, General Administrator of the Commissionership for Atomic Energy Mr. Bernard Bigot, and the pharmaceutical industry LEEM patrons, regarding biomedical research and development. A year earlier, he had implored pharmaceutical companies and laboratories to further develop health industries and allow France to better compete with other countries. The meeting was organised by the Alliance of Life Sciences and Health, headed by Mr. President. André Syrota.
Mr. Sarkozy explained that the work involved to reach aforementioned goal would be divided amongst various institutions. The Alliance will be responsible for strategy, financing will be provided by the National Research Agency, evaluations will be made by the Research Evaluation Agency, and the research itself will be carried out by the universities.
Since 1974, France has sacrificed investments in research and development. Mr. Sarkozy therefore called for a new wave of investments in order to bounce back from the recent global economic crisis. The result is a mobilisation of a $42 billion national loan. A total of $72 billion from the public and private sectors will be invested for in five domains: higher education and training, research, industry and SMBs, digital, and sustainable development.
Mr. Sarkozy has allocated $24 billion over five years to fund higher education. The Campus operation was launched in 2007 to build more modern classrooms, better student residences, and more accessible libraries. The objective is simple: to create a dozen universities better adapted to international competition. To achieve this goal, a $9.5 billion national loan has been put aside in addition to the $6 billion reserved for the Campus plan. Of the $9.5 billion, $2.9 billion will be reserved for health and biotechnological research. Select universities, such as Saclay, will also receive $1.2 billion a piece. Finally, one million euros will be allocated to the development of hospital-university institutes, a project the French president is particularly fond of.
France is the European Union’s leading producer of medicines, but to keep this status, the country must invest more in research and development. Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, in his address to the members of the French scientific industry, explained the importance of all the aforementioned investments. “The investments we have decided upon are investments for the next 20 or 30 years,” he explained. It is his goal for France to work with the world’s greatest pharmaceutical laboratories and in turn make the French health industries a major asset to France in terms of global competition.