Artificial Intelligence: Virtual reality, concrete ambitions

Apr 24, 2023 | Invest in France

With its capability of driving productivity and economic development, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already having a huge impact on our daily lives. In 2018, France was one of the first countries worldwide to have a formalized plan for AI. With a budget of nearly €1.5 billion for the period 2018-2022, its objective was simple: to make France a world leader in the sector.

A booming market full of opportunities

This strategy sets France as a world pioneer of the sector and allowed the ecosystem to grow significantly:

  • The current market employs 13,500 people and generate 70,000 indirect jobs.
  • France Digitale counts 590 AI startups in 2023, a net increase of 24% compared to 2021.
  • Fundraising is getting bigger: in 2022, AI startups doubled the amount of funds raised compared to 2021, to a total amount of €3.2 billion.
  • 81 is the number of AI research laboratories in France in 2021. This is the highest number among European countries.

However, worldwide market is also moving fast. Estimated economic results expected from AI technologies as early as 2025 are around €90 billion, compared to 7 billion in 2020. Following this trend, a new phase of the national strategy for AI was launched in November 2021, as part of the France 2030 Plan: public funding up to €1.5 billion will be spend by 2025 to accelerate France’s position on the market.


AI’s future in France: innovation at the service of ambition

The strategy’s primary objective of this new phase is to target 15% of the worldwide market by 2025. The starting point for France to be competitive is to focus on talent. France has set itself the goal of training and financing at least 2,000 additional graduate students, to accelerate the potential of research and development into economic success.

With the generative AI boom since the public release of ChatGPT, use cases are multiplying in all sectors and technologies are therefore emerging as a way to tackle societal challenges. 15% of AI start-ups are for instance dedicated to health sector only. This is why the government also plan to support 500 SMEs and ETIs by 2025 in the adoption and use of AI solutions, to accelerate their modernization.

But despite this huge support, a lot of challenges remain for the industry. Cooperation between countries appears to be a solution for dealing with them.

AI as a vector of synergy between Nordic countries and France 

As France, the Nordic countries have been very active in the field of artificial intelligence and many initiatives between the two areas have been developed:  

  • In 2017, a strategic partnership for innovation, digitalisation and green solutions was signed between France and Sweden to meet challenges by building on each other’s strengths and working together.  
  • In November 2021, 6 Swedish starts-ups have been selected to access the French market in AI and digital health. For 12 months, they received tailored support from EIT Health experts to accelerate the development of their solution on the French market. The main objective of this partnership was to overcome barriers to innovation to improve healthcare delivery in Europe.  
  • More recently, a call for project was launched in 2022 by BPI France and Business Finland. It aimed to promote and financially support innovation partnerships between French and Finnish companies with a special focus on Artificial Intelligence 

As such, the artificial intelligence sector now occupies a central place in companies’ thinking, and its potential applications are exponential. Mobility, cybersecurity and even justice are examples of areas to be explored. France, a country of innovation and excellence stands as a strategic choice to support your ambitions and your development. 

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Simon Milon
Intern Invest
Simon Milon
Intern Invest