Industry: French innovation at the forefront despite the crisis

France is the second most innovative country in Europe. This is what emerges from the 2021 ranking of the European Patent Office, published on Tuesday April 5.

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Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, French innovation remained dynamic last year with the filing of 10,500 patent applications. France thus retains its second place behind Germany, which filed nearly 26,000 applications. Switzerland ranks third on the podium with some 8,400 patent applications.

Transport remains the most advanced branch. Next come medical, digital and audiovisual technologies. Point of honour: while we continue to deplore the crisis in the production of electronic components, semiconductors are an area in which France shines thanks to the CEA. The Atomic Energy Commission is indeed the only European player in the Top 5 of the sector according to the European Patent Office. The French research organization ranks precisely fourth behind the Korean Samsung, the American Intel and the Taiwanese TSMC.

The aircraft and rocket engine manufacturer Safran is the clear winner. It ranks first among French innovators with 540 patent applications (+27% over one year), the CEA is second, the automotive supplier Valeo third. Next: Sanofi (5th); Thales (6th), Renault (7th) and Michelin (9th).

Île-de-France remains at the top of the ranking, it is second at European level behind Bavaria. Then comes the Rhône-Alpes region. Note the great return of Occitania which dethrones Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur and takes third place. This resilience of French innovation in Europe despite the crisis, but competition is increasingly strong, especially from Asians.

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