Positive financial signals also shown by grant and subsidy increases during a challenging economic period
Biocitech, the Paris technology park devoted to life sciences presented its 2013 financial statement. The technology park company residents recorded good results in specific areas last year, including a significant increase in turnover for service companies. The resident companies which performed well include Biodoxis, Chem-X-Infinity, Mitologics and OCT Sante, with year-on-year turnover increasing by over 30 per cent.
There has been a positive 250 per cent funding upswing in the total amount of grant allocations received by all park residents since 2012. They received EUR 950,000 in grants and subsidies in 2013, compared to just under EUR 370,000 the year before. This funding has opened up new prospects for development and offers residents some margin for maneuver. The grants mainly came via the French public investment bank, BPI France.
However, while the service companies have achieved positive results, other Biocitech residents experienced significant cash-flow challenges. Some saw their turnover fall sharply, with the level of funding contributions (from venture capital and the like) also decreasing.
“We are delighted to see good results for some resident companies. Service companies have fared well despite the economic difficulties,” said Jean-Francois Boussard, Chairman of Biocitech. “We offered businesses individually-tailored support and tools specifically designed to help them weather the economic crisis. In addition, by investing in time and support for young enterprises coming out of the Bond’Innov incubator, we have seen the emergence of three biotechnology companies which will now continue their development at Biocitech. We will continue to build on this success and further enhance our offering to residents in 2014.”
Milestones in 2013
There were a number of highlights for Biocitech in 2013. As both a technology park and a think tank for life sciences in France, the site regularly organizes events that bring stakeholders together. In 2013, for the third edition of Industry Week, the site organized a meeting with Jean Daubigny, the French state’s representative in the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France. This visit provided an opportunity to highlight businesses’ capital funding requirements and led to further meetings with the French public procurement ombudsman and BPI France. Residents now await concrete proposal updates.
A further highlight of 2013 was the signature on December 9 by the Caisse des Depots (the French Deposits and Consignments Fund) of a protocol agreement relating to their takeover of the Biocitech site. Caisse des Depots was represented by Jean-Pierre Jouyet, CEO and Stephane Keita, VP for Territorial and Network Development. Sanofi was represented by general secretary Philippe Peyre. Claude Bartolone – the chairman of France’s National Assembly also attended the event.
Challenges for 2014
In 2014, Biocitech plans to work closely with residents to enhance the appeal of the park and increase the visibility of residents in the eyes of investors and potential partners. Biocitech also intends to develop and raise awareness of the technology platform businesses operated by some of the residents.
“We are aware that many challenges lie ahead for us in 2014 and the years to come. By working together, we will achieve increased business for some resident companies and contribute to the growth and consolidation of every company on the park,” said Jean-Francois Boussard. “We want to send a strong signal to the life sciences ecosystem by maintaining and building on the momentum generated last year, through working with our full network of partners.”