France Tech Insight: February 2016

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Dear Friends,

Welcome to the February issue of France Tech Insight !
After a mild start to our winter, the City of Boston is feeling the cold once again. For Valentine’s day, extreme cold caused traffic delays throughout New England, and Boston broke a 1934 record when the temperature dipped to negative nine degrees Fahrenheit.
Here at the Consulate we just wrapped up our French American Innovation Day. Joining us was the Ambassador of France to the U.S. and French and American heads of industry and innovation for this exciting annual conference. In other news, our application process for NETVA will open up again very soon. Coming up we have some exciting events with the French American Chamber of Commerce in New England (FACCNE). As always, you will find below our news round up, upcoming events, and job offers.

February 9, 10, 2016
MIT Media Lab, 75 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA

The topic of the 2016 edition was “Precision Medicine & New Technologies: Transforming Clinical Research”. This conference was organized by the Office for Science & Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States in collaboration with MIT and the Global Care Initiative, a consortium of 5 non-profit French research Carnot Institutes.

Among the attendees: highly renowned academics, technology transfer officers, strategic alliance directors and funding/venture players in healthcare as well as government stakeholders. This high-traffic conference broadcasted innovative approaches along with disruptive ways to improve patient care based on state-of-the-art expertise in precision medicine.

Learn More Here

Conference highlights

• The two day conference offered extensive networking opportunities to identify partners that share similar insights and inspirations on the major trends of the challenging healthcare industry.
• Sessions with keynotes, case studies, interactive panel discussions featuring renowned scientists of the field.
• Mini showcase of 2 to 3 minutes overviews of different French or American institutions, companies and start-ups determined to make a difference in advancing precision medicine

Speakers Included:

**Yves Agid
Founder, Scientific Advisor, ICM

Gérard Araud
His Excellency Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States

Stéphane Bancel
CEO, Moderna Therapeutics

Christian Bréchot
President, Institut Pasteur

Johannes Fruehauf
Co-founder, President, LabCentral

Christopher Larkin
CTO, GE Healthcare

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

French Startup “Studapart” Helps Ease the Apartment Search For Student
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Founded by a group of young entrepreneurs in France, this new startup just closed its initial funding round with 700,000 euros. The company hopes to use this money to expand its service, hire more computer engineers, and increase its user base throughout Europe.

Mobile Payment App, Lydia, Expands Services in France
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This French mobile payment app is trying to remove the need to have a wallet in France. By providing numerous services from peer-to-peer payments or payments in shop, Lydia seamlessly integrates the existing French banking infrastructure for wire transferring with a wide array of new payment services.

Uber continues to come under fire in France
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After another round of cab driver protests, promises by the French finance minister to regulate the app taxi hailing industry, Uber comes under fire again this time for producing “ambiguous training videos”. While the French consumer continues to demand mobile taxi hailing applications, the French government, pressured by the powerful taxicab driver unions, struggles to regulate the industry.

France Expands its Open Data Strategy Consulting with Startup Leaders
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As the Minister of the Economy and Finance has been opening up governmental data on business and finance, he has now brought in a number of major startup heads to consult with. The hope is that businesses and innovators will be able to take advantage of this data to create creative solutions to problems.

French dating app “Happn” on track to reach 30 million users by the end of the year
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Happn, France’s answer to Tinder has just reached 10 million users and says it will reach 30 million by the end of the year. Happn is a mobile dating application that shows you matches based on people who were in the same area as you throughout your day. The app works best in large cities and is available in Paris, London, Hong Kong and New York.

French Startup “Stuart” raises 22 million euros pre-launch!
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The on-demand deliver coordinating service plans to launch in Paris, Barcelona, Brussels, London, and Berlin. Three veteran French entrepreneurs with an impressive track record of building successful startups founded the company.

French Startup “CodinGame” makes learning how to code fun!
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This French startup has just raised 1.6 million euros for this computer game that teaches you how to code. They already have over 230,000 people registered for their game that teaches 23 computer languages. They are targeting people with some coding experience but have set up gaming competitions for their most advanced coders.

Science and Research:

French Government to Triple its Investment in Biotech
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After criticism from the industry to the government’s initial investment proposal, the French government has decided to invest up to $380 million in the biotech industry. Initially the French Minister of Health announced 100 million euros, but has since upped her proposal.

Computer chips in our brains have finally arrived!
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The French pharmaceutical laboratory, Pierre Fabre, has developed technology to implant biosensors in patients’ brains to track the effects of drug trials. They are trying to get approval to conduct their first trials in schizophrenic patients.

Robotic Surgery Company expands in the U.S.
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Medtech S.A. has just announced it has raised $15 million in private equity financing. The company has already been FDA approved for its neurosurgery device and is seeking further approval for its spinal surgery robot.

French-American Business Awards (FAB Awards 2016) / Submissions Are OPEN
The French American Chamber of Commerce New England (FACCNE) is pleased to announce that submissions for the 15th Annual French-American Business Awards are open until March 4, 2016. We appreciate it, if you could share the competition announcement among your contacts and potential candidates.
• For more details about the criteria and the online participation form, please visit
• For inquiries, please email

SMART LOIRE VALLEY Fellowships Programme
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Created in 1996, inspired by the Loire Valley historical, geographical and human cultures, the objective of LE STUDIUM is to create a dynamic outwards-looking international scientific community in region Centre-Val de Loire connecting its public and private research institutions.

One of its principal missions is to attract experienced international researchers to the laboratories and industries of region Centre-Val de Loire. To date, more than 150 researchers from 40 countries have been welcomed in the region by LE STUDIUM.

GBANE 22nd Annual International Business Forum & Networking Night
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Wednesday, February 17th 2016
5:30 p.m. Registration
Morgan Lewis, One Federal St., Boston
Each year, this event attracts New England companies involved in international business. The evening features a global trade and economic outlook forum and a resource center with many international trade associations and government agencies presenting informative exhibits.

La grande soirée scientifique de la Francophonie
The big francophone scientific soirée
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Auditorium of the Cambridge Public Library
Tuesday, March 1st 2016
5:45pm to 8:30pm
Theme: Adventure
With the Swiss Explorer: Sarah Marquis
The interview with Sarah will be in English
The interview will discuss the fact that she wore a wearable device that measured her health and hormones during one of her expeditions.

Meet the Expert Breakfast Series #4
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Wednesday March 2nd 2016
7:30am to 9:00 am
FACCNE, 185 Alewife Brook Parkway,
2nd Floor, Suite 200, Cambridge MA
Are you in an early stage startups? Join us to meet with Iliana Rabago, Principal / Art Director at Solid Founder & LexCreative on how to start right from the beginning of your venture — with the professional image and marketing tools you need to: be concise, compelling and drive action without breaking the bank, all in one single comprehensive session.

“Building the foundation of your brand”

SPEAKER : Iliana Rabago, Principal / Art Director at Solid Founder & LexCreative

New England Annual Life Sciences Panorama
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Tuesday, March 15th 2016
In 2015, our region continued to play a major global role in Biotechnolgy and Life Sciences as was seen by new companies, IPOs, Mergers and Acquisitions, and finally, evolution of local real estate. On a national level, U.S. approvals for first-in-class drugs climbed last year, pushing the annual figure of new U.S. drugs to its highest level in 19 years. The rising figure reflected an industry-wide focus on drugs for rare diseases and key areas of critical unmet medical needs.