Focus industries

Paris Region is unique among the world’s major cities for its highly diversified economic landscape. Sectors of excellence that have emerged in recent years – including biotechnology, nanotechnology, wireless services, 3D animation – thrive alongside more traditional specialisms such as aerospace and the automotive industry. Find out more about your industry in Paris with information on the following sectors.

Aerospace and defense 

Paris Region – at the forefront of the aerospace & defense industry

In the aerospace & defense sector, Paris Region is renowned for its specialist focus on R&T, for its vast network of skills centers and for a manufacturing capability with particular strength in aircraft engine and navigation equipment production.

Presence of major global leaders in aircraft and equipment manufacturing

  • 35% of the sector’s direct employees work for four large companies: Airbus Group (14 sites), Dassault (4 sites), Safran (10 sites) and Thales (11 sites)

- Major production facilities
- Airbus Defence and Space: prime contractor on major space programs
- Dassault Aviation: military aircraft fuselages and primary components
- Safran: jet engines and components
- Airbus Helicopters: design and production of helicopter rotor blades
- Leading systems and equipment manufacturers: Zodiac, Lisi Aerospace, UTC, etc.

A wide range of aerospace education and training opportunities

Paris Region is also a center of excellence for training tomorrow’s technicians, engineers and researchers. The region’s higher education institutions currently offer 128 courses in this field – 45 university courses, 54 in engineering schools and 43 in other types of organization.


Paris: beauty capital of the world

Paris Region is clearly the outstanding center of excellence for building a business in the beauty sector: the region boasts an unparalleled concentration of global corporations, R&D centers, production sites, and the distribution networks of the world’s leading players in this field. Everything happens here – design, development, testing, packaging, product launches, distribution, exports, marketing. And every year Paris hosts the international exhibition Beyond Beauty which brings together the entire industry.

The beauty profession converges on Paris for a host of other events, too – including In-Cosmetics (ingredients for cosmetics and beauty products), Beauté Sélection (hair and beauty products), Mondial Spa et Beauté, Make Up in Paris and many more.

Strategic hub for the entire industry

  • All the big names have located their strategic operations – R&D, production, logistics, design and packaging – in Paris Region: including L’Oréal, LVMH, Guerlain, Clarins, Hermès, Chanel, Paco Rabane, Lancaster, Bourjois, etc.
  • As have leading international brands including Johnson&Johnson, Shiseido, DHC, and Natura
  • And cosmetic ingredients suppliers including Danisco, Firmenich, Givaudan, IFF and Takasago. 

World-class training

A key advantage for Paris Region’s beauty industry is the highly-qualified workforce at its disposal: outstanding specialist training is provided by institutions such as ISIPCA, which has been training fragrance, cosmetics and food flavoring professionals since 1970.

Eco-technology leader

Having set itself the goal of being Europe’s premier eco-region, Paris Region is driving forward a large number of projects in the fields of eco-technology, eco-construction and eco-mobility – specialisms in which the region’s businesses, from major corporations to SMEs, are especially strong.

The quest for environmental excellence

  • More than 300 public- and private-sector research facilities
  • 12,055 researchers (full-time equivalents)
  • More than 2,300 employees working for major corporations, engineering/consultancy SMEs, SMIs and innovative start-ups. 

Trialing cutting-edge solutions

  • Issy Grid – a district-level smart grid: construction and new technologies were combined in the installation of this smart grid for optimizing energy usage across specific urban districts of Issy-les-Moulineaux (in the department of Hauts-de-Seine
  • Cluster Descartes : a network of research centers, higher education institutes and high-tech companies that aims to become the global hub for sustainable urban development design, realization and management.


Hosting major eco-technology events

  • Pollutec Horizons: international exhibition of eco-technologies, energy and sustainable development.
  • Interclima + Elec + Ideo Bain + Batimat: the no.1 global event for construction and building energy efficiency.
  • INNOV’ECO – Cleantech Innovation Hub: a regular forum for information and discussion covering the key aspects of the green economy and a meeting place for all cleantech suppliers and their clients.

A global financial center

The French financial industry has a number of key strengths – the presence of leading international players in banking, insurance and asset management; the region’s world-renowned excellence in mathematics; and a proven track record as a driver for innovation.

Global leaders headquartered in Paris Region

  • BNP Paribas: no.3 in Europe, no.11 in the world
  • 3 of Europe’s 5 biggest investment banks are in Paris Region
  • 17 of the world’s 20 biggest banks are already present in the region

Europe’s leading region for asset management

  • 600 asset management companies – including 400 entrepreneurial companies
  • No.1 fund management center in Europe, no.2 in the world
  • 4 French groups in the global top 20
  • Funds under management exceed €2,900 billion 

The world’s 4th-largest insurance industry

  • Gross premium income of €200 billion in 2010 (no.2 in Europe)
  • More than 460 insurance companies

A payment industry innovator

  • Paris Region’s own payment sector companies – highly innovative in their field – have been joined by many international industry players
    - A national market of 65 million consumers
    - Head offices of major banks, retailers and telecoms operators
    - Cutting-edge R&D in ICT and cryptography
    - The Finance Innovation competitiveness cluster

Information Technology

Paris Region is ideally configured to offer outstanding growth opportunities in ICT, hosting Europe’s highest concentration of the sector’s 500 leading international groups alongside a vibrant network of highly innovative SMEs and start-ups. Paris Region is Europe’s no.1 region for R&D, boasting the highest concentration of specialist ICT workers within the EU.

Paris Region: a comprehensive ecosystem – spanning the full range of Information and Communication Technologies

  • Nearly 70,000 companies
  • The sector with the biggest workforce in Europe: 358,000 employees
  • All the key players across the value chain 

An ICT industry that’s seen exponential growth since 2008

  • 3,700 start-ups created
  • 309 FDI projects (29% of all FDI projects in Paris Region)
  • 7,600 new jobs created by FDI projects 

Paris Region: Europe’s leader for ICT Research & Development

  • Nearly 10,000 public-sector and private-sector researchers and engineers:
    - Private laboratories run by major industry players: Orange Labs, Technicolor, Thales, Bell Labs, Google, Microsoft, Huawei, Swissvoice, Comelit Immotec, etc.
    - Globally renowned state-funded research bodies including CEA (the alternative energies and atomic energy commission), INRIA (the national institute for research in computer science and control), LIP6 (laboratory of computer sciences, Paris 6), CNRS (the national center for scientific research) and IRCAM (institute for research and coordination in acoustics and music).
  • 70 higher education institutions training more than 20,000 ICT students every year. These world-class schools include elite competitive-entry “Grandes Écoles” such as Supélec, École Centrale Paris and ENS Cachan, the Institut Électronique Fondamentale (Institute of Fundamental Electronics), etc.

Creative, Marketing & Media

Paris Region, hosting 90% of all French film and audio-visual production, offers a global center of excellence comprising more than 260,000 people working for 11,000 organizations, including animation, special effects and video games studios that are renowned worldwide for their creativity and technical expertise.

The most famous of these companies are Mac Guff (which animated the film Despicable Me), Mikros Image (which won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film with Logorama in 2010) and Buf Compagnie (Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard). Paris Region is France’s leading platform for video games, too – the birthplace of major industry names including Ubisoft, Gameloft, Mimesis Republic and Neko-Entertainment. All of these companies chose Paris or its surrounding region for its vibrant industry culture and its outstanding pool of professional talent. These headline names are surrounded by a host of VSEs working at the cutting edge of technological progress.

The “French Touch” – the envy of the world

Paris Region is also the heartland of the “French Touch” – a uniquely distinctive combination of creativity, originality and technical know-how. Its world-class schools and universities train artistic directors, designers and engineers who are snapped up as soon as they graduate by top studios seeking creativity and innovative flair. Graduates of the famous Gobelins school of visual communication are to be found at Pixar and Dreamworks. ISART DIGITAL is unique in France in offering specialist training focused on the 3D animation industry. 

Supporting innovation

Paris Region has 3,800 researchers working in the image industry. The government has put special measures in place to support the animation and special effects sector and the video games industry (International Tax Credit, Video Games Tax Credit and Video Games Support Fund).

Healthcare and life sciences: leading the way in Europe

Paris Region stands out as Europe’s pre-eminent life sciences region, hosting a multitude of international corporations and pharmaceuticals laboratories, including Pfizer, GSK, Novartis, Astra Zeneca and Roche, alongside key French industry players like Sanofi, Pierre Fabre, Servier, Ipsen Guerbet and others.

  • More than 1,000 life sciences organizations
  • Pharmaceuticals industry: more than 300 companies
    including Sanofi, Servier, Ipsen, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Biotechnologies: more than 200 companies
    including Sanofi’s biotherapeutic platform, Genzime, Cellectis
  • Medical technologies: more than 360 companies
    including GE Medical Systems research center, Siemens, Philips, Sorin Medical, Guerbet

Healthcare and life sciences: world-class research

  • 300 public and private research centers
  • 11,800 life sciences researchers
  • Globally renowned institutions including the Pasteur Institute (Institut Pasteur), Curie Institute (Institut Curie), the Gustave Roussy cancer center (Institut Gustave Roussy), INSERM (French institute of health and medical research), CEA (French alternative energies and atomic energy commission), etc.
  • Top-tier higher education: 9 universities, 20 “Grandes Écoles” (competitive-entry elite universities)

Europe’s leading region for clinical trials

  • Europe’s no.1 biomedical research center: 865 clinical trials every year involving 20,000 patients; 2,800 ongoing research projects 

Fostering innovation

  • Incubators and bioparks for innovative start-ups: Genopole, Paris Biotech, Agoranov, Paris Biopark, Biocitech, Villejuif Biopark, etc.
  • Leading venture capital operations including Truffle Capital, Edmond de Rothschild, Investment Partners, CMC-CIC, Auriga Partners and Sofinnova.

Transport & Logistics

Paris Region sits at the crossroads of Europe – where northern, southern and eastern Europe meet. Outstanding transport and telecommunications infrastructures connect the French capital to all the world’s major economic regions.

Exceptional transport infrastructure

  • 3 international airports: 
    - Paris-Charles de Gaulle – an international hub and a major freight platform with a 740-acre freight zone and 6 freight stations handling 2.1 million tonnes of freight and post annually
    - Paris-Orly: 150-acre freight zone, 2 freight terminals
    - Paris-Le Bourget: Europe’s leading business airport
  • Radiating network of rail links
    - 7 TGV stations for high-speed rail links to London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and other major cities
    - 102 freight stations
  • Europe’s leading river port
    - 310 miles of navigable routes  
    - 70 ports
    - 10 multimodal platforms
    - 4 container terminals in operation
  • Europe’s no.1 motorway hub
    - 370 mile motorway network
    - 6400 mile km road network
    making this a key location for the global leaders in logistics: including Air France Cargo, FedEx, UPS, DHL, Hay Logistics, Prologis, TNT and others. 

No.1 logistics platform in France

  • 312 million sq.ft of warehousing facilities
  • 4770,000 sq.ft of warehousing space offered for rent in 2012 (spaces  > 50,000 sq.ft)
  • Premium rental values below €5 / sq.ft / year (2013)