NORTH AMERICA ANNUAL REPORT
NORTH AMERICA ANNUAL REPORT
Arnaud Leretour Directeur UBIFRANCE AmĂŠrique du Nord
UBIFRANCE North America offers French companies, especially small and medium-sized organizations, a full range of services to help them establish and develop their business in the United States and Canada: collective operations (French pavilions, meetings with buyers, product presentations, etc.); series of individually tailored actions and networking with high value added, assistance in identifying agents, distributors and partners; online communication services; International Volunteers in Business (VIE) programs. As experts in their industry, our 62 operational specialists are attentive to the needs of North American companies and are strategically located in nine U.S. and Canadian cities (New York , Chicago , Detroit, Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco, Montreal , Toronto and Vancouver). Our teams can equally provide coverage for the North American continent. We are proud of our strong and solid 2013 results. Over the course of the year, we organized more than 1,600 meetings in North America for 1,100 different companies. 54% of these companies 1 have successfully signed or are in the process of finalizing a business contract. We also organized 72 collective promotional operations and more than 30 events and business information services (workshops in France, regulatory overviews, industryrelated issues ...). In addition, we helped recruit more than 1,100 International Volunteers in Business (VIE) for hundreds of companies all over North America. Going forward we will achieve even better results by continually adapting our products and services and deliver an even richer range of annual events in North America for our most dynamic and innovative sectors: food, industry, fashion, home dĂŠcor, cosmetics, health, biotechnology, new technologies and services. We also wish to strive to significantly increase the number of VIE to allow the most promising French companies to build strong relationships with their North American partners.
Source: IPSOS Loyalty
Axel Baroux Directeur adjoint UBIFRANCE AmĂŠrique du Nord
From HR and communication to contact and information, our solutions meet the needs of French companies in their development in North America. Our processes and procedures are demanding due to our quality management system, which obtained the ISO 9001 certification. Our partner Bpifrance 1 now offers customized business support and offers simplified and improved funding options to companies seeking aid. Our merger with IFA (Investment in France Agency) has been announced and will be implemented quickly. Our key objective is to provide conclusive results to our partners in North America. The strong and solid results we have achieved in 2013 are primarily due to the number of French companies offering excellence and innovation across all their respective sectors (healthcare, scientific and technological innovations, manufacturing, green technologies, cutting edge technologies, ICT, digital economy, cosmetics, smart fabrics, food supplements, animal geneticsâ€Ś). Our results were made possible by the natural synergy between French companies and their North American partners. They were also made possible because, despite the clichĂŠs, French and North American companies speak the same business language. Canadian, American and French companies have a history of successful collaboration, with France being one of the first countries to welcome Canadian and American investments, and North America cultivating a rich and diverse French community. These results translate into the many "success stories" we record every year. This report will help you judge in further detail the nature of our actions and the impact they have on the French companies wishing to export as well as the impact on the American and Canadian companies seeking new partners and suppliers that complement their needs. Since our mission is to form win-win relationships, this report will offer views of the people behind these partnerships and local businesses who have entrusted us to assist in advancing their businesses.
Bpifrance is a public bank whose mission is to provide assistance and financial support to the most promising French companies
C ontents Who We Are
Our Network in France
Our Network in North America
The AGROTECH department is in charge of all activities related to the Wine, Spirits & Beverages, Food and Agricultural Equipment including Oenological, Agricultural and Food Processing Equipment industries.
Infrastructure Transportation Industry
The Infrastructure, Transport, Industrial Equipment department deals with sectors related to such activities as Aeronautics; Automotive and Commercial Vehicle; Environment; Nuclear, Electric, Oil and Gas Energies; Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Works; and Industrial Equipment.
Fashion Home Cosmetics
The Fashion, Home DĂŠcor and Cosmetics department is all about consumer goods: Home Decor, Building Materials and Tourism; Beauty, Well-Being and Leisure; and Fashion, Luxury and Arts.
New Technologies, Innovation and Services
The New Technologies, Innovation and Services department is dedicated to innovation and services, including Technology, Innovation and Communication; Distribution and Services.
Healthcare The Health department manages the Biotechnologies and Medical Equipment industries.
W ho W e A re Under the aegis of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, UBIFRANCEâ€™s mission is to accelerate the development of French companies internationally by providing advice, access to market information and business leads to clients. Its priorities reflect the will of the French government to promote French businesses by making available to them the tools and support they need to succeed in the North American market. With 80 offices in 70 countries, UBIFRANCE offers a comprehensive range of products and services aimed at advancing companiesâ€™ export plans. From business information to promotional operations, French firms more confidently execute their export strategies and pursue partnerships with companies overseas knowing they can count on the support of a local UBIFRANCE office. Our strength lies in fostering partnerships between North American
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companies and French entrepreneurs, creating added value for both sides. Our priority is to support the evolution of North American companies in areas where French companies are innovative. French companies can bring a lot to the table as a business partner when it comes to high-quality manual labor and top-notch research and expertise in the technology field. Entrepreneurship is strongly rooted in French culture with entrepreneurs more than willing to expand their businesses outside of France. This shared appetite for risk-taking in the pursuit of growth is one commonality demonstrating that French and North American businesses are on the same wavelength. Because we deliver the best services to our clients, we gladly adhere to and meet the standard requirements of the Bureau Veritas IS0 9001/2008 which attests to the high quality of our management, performance and competitiveness.
French companies were assisted by UBIFRANCE North America in 2013
of the companies we assisted in North America in 2013 have signed, or are in the process of entering into business partnerships
B2B events were organized by our agency in 30 cities
O ur N etwork in F rance With roughly 500 employees at its headquarters in Paris and in Marseille, UBIFRANCE also includes 24 regional directors and delegates to ensure constant contact with SOHO and SMEs wishing to develop their export activities and 26 international business managers working directly with Bpifrance to provide high value-added services to intermediate-sized enterprises and growing SMEs. In 2013, UBIFRANCE approached and secured a relationship with Bpifrance, a public bank whose mission is to help the most promising companies grow by providing financing tailored to their needs and their growth potential. In order to carry out this objective, Bpifrance monitors the entrepreneurial field and detects the most innovative or highest growth potential companies throughout France. The agreement with Bpifrance has already led to the creation of a new network of 26 (40 at term) UBIFRANCE international business managers based in various regions. They work hand-in-hand with the regional branches of Bpifrance to assist strong and prepared companies that have a defined development strategy in their export activities.
collaborators in Paris and Marseille offices
Regional Directors and Delegates
international business managers
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O ur N etwork
N orth A mer
UBIFRANCE’s North American network is composed of seven offices: Atlanta, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver; and two branches: Detroit and Houston, with real synergies operating among the offices. With their knowledge of both the French and North American market, our agents have the expertise to deliver the best advice and services. Based in strategic North American cities they are close to key markets and thus to their clients’ needs and expectations. UBIFRANCE’s activities are grounded on an industry-based organization. All our offices are proficient in sectors that include a wide range of activities. The UBIFRANCE North-American team is open-minded and skillful. We are attentive to our clients because we want both North American and French companies to succeed.
Locations in North America
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rica UBIFRANCE North America relies on a multicultural team that includes no less than 14 nationalities: American, French, Canadian and also Polish, Croatian, Lebanese, Malagasy, Filipino, Romanian, Pakistani, Belgian, Haitian, Mauritianâ€Ś This diversity is a strength that enables our employees to assess and understand the particularities of different countries such as the USA, Canada or France. This also gives us a remarkable flexibility to adapt and better respond to the various needs and demands of our clients or local partners. Equality is of the utmost importance; and we are very proud that more than 50% of our team members are women with the same earnings and responsibilities as their male colleagues.
Tiffany Thiburce, administrative assistant in Toronto As a French citizen, I had been working for a Canadian company for two years before I joined the team in December 2013. When I arrived at the UBIFRANCE Toronto office, I was utterly surprised to see how diverse our network is. I was definitely expecting predominantly Americans and Canadians, especially in a French-English speaking environment, but I discovered people with such diverse backgrounds. UBIFRANCE undoubtedly provides a great multicultural environment to work in, and having the opportunity to work with people coming from all walks of life certainly encourages everyone to embrace multiculturalism.
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2O13: Milestones February
Alstom signed with RTG
Alstom will provide 34 light rail vehicles and 30 years of maintenance services to the Rideau Transit Group (RTG) consortium that was selected to create the first line of the Ottawa Light Rapid Transit (OLRT).
B2B meetings were organized with ten French companies at the ASTD in Dallas and Montreal, the premier event for workplace learning and development professionals.
Visit of Fleur Pellerin, France’s former digital economy minister Fleur Pellerin attended the French Tech Tour in San Francisco in order to support French innovation.
New contract for Total
Total acquired a 39.2% interest in the Fort Hills oil sands mining project in Alberta ($ 13,5 billion of investments) in partnership with Suncor Energy and Teck Resources. 8 - UBIFRANCE North America 2013 Report
World Wine Meetings America
B2B meetings were organized between wine importers and European winemakers in Chicago, including many French wine estates.
Bollore group wins contract in Indianapolis
The City of Indianapolis announced that it will be home to a fleet of 500 electric cars and 1200 charging stations provided by the French group Bollore.
August NY NOW
18 companies of high quality Home and Gift product lines took part in the New York Now show on August 17th-21st.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was signed by Canada and the European Union. This historical free trade agreement will remove over 99% of tariffs between the two economies.
BIO International Convention
More than 100 French companies, competitive clusters and partners attended the global event for biotechnology in Chicago.
French Tech Tour
Organized by UBIFRANCE ICT division, the French Tech Tour in San Francisco kick started business for 16 of France’s most promising hi-tech companies by introducing them to established American industry powerhouses.
French IT Connection
8 hi-tech companies were selected to take part in the French IT Connection in Toronto, where they were introduced to big-name potential partners in Canada.
“Art de vivre à la française” exhibition
22 companies renowned for their savoir-faire in home decor and design exhibited their products at Greystone Mansion in Los Angeles.
A grotech Aude Guivarch is a Canadian and French citizen specialized in international business development. After six years in Germany, she moved to Canada and worked for the Toronto section of the French Chamber of Commerce. She joined UBIFRANCE’s team in 2007 as a trade advisor, and then became the Head of the Agrotech Department in North America. Today Aude assists French companies from the food, wine and agricultural sectors in their business development projects. She is also member of the Board of the International Wine Trade Council of Canada.
In your industries, how does the French product or service offering meet the needs of the North American market? In Agribusiness, France has a unique, high quality and innovative offer. From the wine industry to the packaging of food products, France has shown its “savoir-faire” and its capacity to bring new trends on the North American market. In all sectors of Agribusiness, including food, wine, beer, spirits but also equipment for the agriculture and the food industry, UBIFRANCE, through its presence in all regions of France, can match the needs criteria with the adequate suppliers. What do North American professionals who contact you usually look for? French companies are famous for their ability to offer “terroir” but also extremely innovative products, such as flavored rillettes or healthy but tasty prepared meals. North American importers and distributors are looking for high quality but also innovative and unique products. The innovation can be found in the product itself but also in its packaging. Competitive pricing remains however very important.
labeling sectors. This is the largest development since they are behind their European counterparts. French Suppliers have decades of Private Labeling experience. Within the same chain in France, you can find two or three Private Labels for each strategic product. It is a real opportunity for North American distributors, although undervalued or even unknown today. What are the biggest trends for 2013-2014? Some of the Leading Trends are the Gourmet and “Pleasure” food, as well as healthy and ethnic food, including organic, ecodesign and fair trade. In the healthy food sector, gluten free, palm oil free, low sodium products are very strong. Easy to handle and time-saving convenient food also remain very popular. Do you see potential partnerships solidifying between France and North America in the near future? In 2012 and 2013, we have developed strong relationships with larger North American distributors who are trusting us in our capacity to source the right products for them. We will continue to offer this service and to be the agency they would turn to for sourcing new French products.
Do you believe that there are still undervalued or hidden gems in France that could be put to use in North America? We believe Private Labeling will continue to be a hot trend in 2014. North American distributors are developing their private
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Focus: Savoir-faire in Private Labeling
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Shoppers are less price sensitive in France than anywhere in Europe where National Brands (NB) are still driving value sales growth in almost every category. There may be a retail price war going on but for many French consumers buying decisions are dictated more by health and wellness considerations. Also, they are concerned about the origin and the quality of the ingredients. Of course, retailers still need high-profile NBs which effectively act as category ‘sponsors’ to tempt shoppers into store and into the category. One way to grow sales of PL and NB is for retailers and manufacturers to work more closely together to track and analyze shopper behavior. They must also be braver and more innovative when it comes to new product development and packaging. It can be tempting to rein in R&D investment in a recession but creativity and new value is a powerful sales driver and differentiator especially in such a long economic slump. France’s retail distribution network is diverse and sophisticated. Therefore, French manufacturers are strongly experienced to offer under NB or develop for PL high-performing, trend driving and premium quality products and a multitude of solutions for importers around the world.
Charlotte, Felix, how did you meet? C.Courcier: We used to develop the North American market from France. We decided to open a branch in New York in 2012 to be more available and reactive to our customers. My contacts at UBIFRANCE invited me to participate in The French Food Connection they were putting together, and I thought it was a great opportunity for me to make new contacts in North America. I wanted to get in touch with new chains I was unable to reach at the time. F.Gershgorin: As for me, it was the first time I participated in a UBIFRANCE event. After meeting such a great manufacturer last year, I am very interested in knowing more about the events you are organizing in the near future.
Cémoi is the leading chocolate manufacturer in France, producing 200 000 tons of end products each year and the third biggest manufacturer in Europe. Charlotte Courcier is the head of Cémoi’s new branch in North America, and Felix Gershgorin is a distributor based in Toronto who started a collaboration with Cémoi in 2013.
The chocolate industry is pretty competitive, brands are numerous. How does Cémoi stand out? F.Gershgorin: The perks of working with Cémoi are numerous. I already knew the brand prior to the French Food Connection, but when we first talked, I realized they matched all the expectations I have when I look for a new manufacturer. They offer high-quality products and their savoir-faire is well appreciated; people usually know French chocolate is the fruit of years of tradition. Their prices are very competitive too, and the company showed a lot of professionalism, which is very important for us. When we introduce a new product on the market, we need reliable partners to work with, and Cémoi has proven very reactive. A very good match, indeed. Charlotte, how come is Cémoi so reactive? C.Courcier: The size of our company allows us to provide a good administrative service; we have an export department with an expert for each country. Cémoi is known to control the cocoa process from bean to bar; from our factories in the Ivory Coast to the production sites in France. That enables us to adapt completely to any kind of requirement: fair trade, organic, UTZ label, new products, alterations… Apart from our own range, we also work with lots of major grocery stores for their Private Label. What are your most popular products? C.Courcier: Our best-selling products in Canada
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are chocolate-covered marshmallows, chocolate truffles and chocolate bars. We invested in R&D to create a new version of our marshmallows – that have been a classic in France for years – and adapted it to the market. We made it slightly bigger – bigger is better – and added some new flavors, like coconut and hazelnut! We also designed a new packaging to appeal better to the Canadian customer. Adaptability is crucial to succeed in North America, and this is one of our strengths. In the US, chains are very different on the East and West coasts.It is necessary to adopt different approaches to reach each type of customer. Felix, are those products also the ones you sold the most? F.Gershgorin: Not exactly. We first ordered truffles and chocolate assortments for 2013 Easter and Christmas seasons. Both of them were distributed in grocery stores. We have tried different chocolate assortments to match the demand as much as possible, and we are pretty satisfied with the sales. We already placed a new order for this year and we are convinced that it will be a great success!
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What is it about bubbly drinks that creates a sense of decadence? Especially when they have a little something extra, namely, alcohol. Production and consumption of hard cider, craft and imported beers have been booming in recent years in the States and Canada; North Americans are also opening their minds to the fact that high-quality sparking wines can come from any variety of regions, along with learning that Champagne from small, independent growers is a reality - and a delicious one at that. France’s advantage in the arena of fermented beverages with natural carbonation - bubbly drinks, if you will - is its diversity of styles, grapes, yeasts and ecosystems, along with its heritage and mastery of production. Pair this with a new generation of makers dedicated to best expressing what the earth can offer, and a North American population in search of delicious diversity and authenticity, and France provides the ultimate winning formula.
How did you meet each other? P.Glavier: We have been exporting our champagne in Asia and Europe for years, but we really wanted to probe out to a new market where people would appreciate a gourmet product such as ours. We knew the US market was getting more and more savvy and that was challenge for us. When UBIFRANCE contacted us to participate in a wine and food tasting called Autour de la Table on the East coast, we signed up right away. C.Eckert: I met Champagne Glavier in March during this tasting event. You could say I had plenty of luck as this was the first time I ever attended an event by UBIFRANCE, which resulted in Champagne Glavier becoming the first out of the three French Growers I added to my portfolio. What makes Champagne Glavier so special ? V.Glavier: Our product is a high-quality “Grand Cru” Côte des Blancs Chardonnay. We are a niche market product and we produce only in limited quantities. As a result, we are not adapted to a broader market. Our champagne appeals to wine enthusiasts in search for fine, delicate notes. C.Eckert: Indeed, the first feature of Champagne Glavier is its quality. My clients have very high expectations; I provide wine to luxurious hotels and upscale restaurants and retailers in New York. I am always on the lookout for the rarest and best wines to surprise them with. I had been looking for “grower Champaign” for years in the region of Côte des Blancs Chardonnay that is a high-quality product but at
Champagne Glavier is a small family grower producing a very rare, high-quality Côte des Blancs champagne. Véronique and Philippe Glavier work together on the vineyard in line with the French Champenois tradition. Their wine caught the attention of Kurt Eckert, a New York-based importer who specializes in wine and works with high-rated independent restaurants.
a reasonable price and Glavier was the perfect match. Do French wine producers show different qualities than American ones ? C.Eckert: To be honest, 90% of my portfolio is made of French wines, out of 140 references. French people’s approach is more mature, they have been producing wine for centuries. Their technique, approach, and terroir point of view correspond better to my needs and those of my clients. Who did you sell the wine to, once you added it to your selection ? C.Eckert: The first orders I got were from some of my most consistent clients, some prestigious restaurants in New York such as Le Bernardin, David Bouley and Rucola. Le Bernardin’s sommelier, Aldo Sohm, quickly recognized and described it as a refined champagne. It was exactly in the circle of what he was looking for. Most of my clients are also seduced by the scarcity of the wines I bring to them; their customers are always charmed by the idea of tasting and savoring a very rare product they could not find anywhere else.
connoisseurs have been looking for the best wines to taste for years! Although they tend to be concentrated in more mature markets, big cities like San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, or New York. V. Glavier: One thing is for sure: The French Market is still interested in our kind of Champagne, customers know their Champagne and what they get with ours. But we still have to share them with our competitors. What the North American Market has been teaching us in the past year is that there is a very strong appetite for our wine, and we can really thrive there.
A great success at first, then ? C.Eckert: Not only! Some clients have already reordered bottles! Do you think there’s a new kind of American consumers that appreciate smaller and independent growers? C.Eckert: Indeed, there is a customer for specialty Champagne in America. I am not sure we can still talk about a “new” customer, wine UBIFRANCE North America 2013 Report - 11
Infrastructure Transportation Industry Pierric Bonnard is a multilingual mechanical engineer and international trade specialist who spent the last 20 years both in France and abroad (Finland, UK, USA) providing market expansion services to allow French companies to successfully engage, accelerate and grow their business internationally. He has been based in Chicago since 2009, and his division supports every year over 200 industrial companies in their international expansion with a focus on business development in the USA and Canada. In your industries, how does the French product or service offering meet the needs of the North American market? The French know-how on such a competitive and demanding market as the North American one can be successfully marketed only if the services associated with the proposed products are comparable to those offered by companies operating locally. When it comes to supplying industrial customers in North America, the French company must keep in mind that the North American market has to be approached from the inside, preferably through a local subsidiary with dedicated technical staff and sales team. Would you say French innovation matches the North American economic expectations? Economic expectations of the North American market can be summed up in two words: efficiency and profitability. If the French entrepreneur is able to convince his American counterpart that thanks to the innovative product he offers his future client’s company will increase its efficiency and improve its profitability, the deal is almost done. However, he will also have to demonstrate that his product is reliable and that the related services are flawless. In what industries do French companies prove to be the most innovative? French companies have the ability to be innovative in most industries, however their skills in terms of innovation are particularly recognized in North America in the field of urban mobility, new vehicle engines, aircraft equipment, exploration and production of offshore energy, nuclear power, water treatment, civil engineering.
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Do you think European trends – French in particular – often correspond to similar ones in North America? In terms of industrial equipment we definitely live in a globalized world where trends and fashions have no borders. However, when offering products that will be directly used by local consumers, especially for mobility, the question of trends makes sense. In the automotive sector, for example, it is well known that French cars are considered too small for the American consumer, and the range of electric vehicles is an issue to which the American driver is more sensitive than its European counterpart. We also observe that innovation in urban transportation systems and high-speed rail takes time to hit the market in North America. Finally, the perception of consumers regarding environmental issues and energy efficiency varies greatly between Europe and North America. Have you observed an increase in long-term collaborations between French and North American companies lately? Indeed, in recent years economic factors have encouraged the French companies to consider their long-term strategy for the U.S. market, in particular by investing in a subsidiary company or acquiring an existing business. The main reasons for these investments over the long term are notably due to a historically low cost of energy, lower labor costs and a dollar euro parity favorable towards investment. This long-term approach is also explained by a market logic (production in the dollar zone in aeronautics or close to the OEM’s in the automotive industry), but also by the comeback of a steady growth in North American industry.
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France has a unique position when it comes to the electric vehicle market. It leads the way in Europe with sales of 14,807 pure electric vehicles, ahead of Denmark and Germany. With 90% of its electricity coming from nuclear energy or hydro-electricity, it makes sense for France to develop this mode of transportation. In 2013, the RenaultNissan alliance sold 66,809 electric vehicles worldwide, up 52% from the previous year. Renault was the leader in Europe, with a 38.6% market share. With a growing trend towards the electrification of vehicles, French companies are in the forefront developing innovative technologies in the fields of EV and hybrid vehicles. French companies produce revolutionary products such as Exoès rankine technologies used to recover waste heat and transform it into electricity. With the U.S. government mandate for cars and light trucks to reach an average 54.5 Mpg by 2025, the North American market is hungry for these innovative technologies. French companies such as Bolloré, Saft, Schneider Electric, IES and Exoès are introducing their new technologies and products to the North American market with great success.
Exoès is a French Manufacturer which has designed an innovative energy conversion system
for vehicles. Last year, the company embarked on a partnership with Tenneco, one of the world’s largest suppliers of clean air and ride components for the automotive industry. Their aim is to develop and commercialize their technology for the North American market. Arnaud Desrentes is the CEO of Exoès and Molly Swart is the UBIFRANCE trade advisor who helped them prepare for this market.
Arnaud Desrentes, can you please tell us more about your company? A.Desrentes: Our company was created in 2009 after two years of research. Carbon reduction has been an important topic in Europe in the past few years, and will be even more of a concern in the upcoming decades. Our original idea was to convert the energy lost in vehicles’ exhaust system into energy that can be used again. We have developed expertise and unique products for any vehicle equipped with an internal combustion engine that allow them to save fuel and reduce carbon emissions in a very efficient way. How did you get in contact with Tenneco and what convinced them to work with you? M.Swart: In 2013, Exoès took part in several automotive and commercial vehicle missions organized by UBIFFRANCE, and through the various events, met Tenneco. The company showed great interest in their technology because it was innovative and technically sound. A.Desrentes: And it went very quickly. We signed a partnership with Tenneco in November 2013, and are currently developing new solutions with them. Our latest product, the EVE system for Energy Via Exhaust, has potential to enter the global market, but we will first focus on the most promising markets for this technology: Europe and North America. Promising? Would you define the EVE system as an advanced technology? A.Desrentes: Yes, it is the most efficient and cost
effective system developed so far. Our exclusive module converts the energy lost in exhaust gas into useful power, and back into energy. Based on a Rankine principle, this disruptive product reduces the internal combustion engine consumption up to 15%, and thanks to its small size, it does not require any modification to the original factory engine. The EVE system is adaptable to any engine equipped with a thermic motor – farm engines, trains or even aeronautic engines in the future – and works with any type of fuel: gas, oil or biofuel. M.Swart: Definitely. As the U.S. government rules concerning fuel consumption become more and more stringent, automakers are turning to hybrid and full electric vehicle solutions. The EVE system works with hybrid systems, and also complements other fuel saving technologies on the market like the Start-Stop solutions offered by Valeo. Its adaptability to multiple powertrains makes it attractive – not only to the North American automakers, but also those operating in different markets.
clients are equipment suppliers and the biggest companies in the field are to be found in the US. Do you take advantage of carbon reduction policies? A.Desrentes: Yes we do. The Environmental Protection Agency announced new policies to reduce carbon pollution, and new standards will be applied in 2016. All the truck manufacturers and drivers will have to reduce sharply their fuel consumption. M.Swart: The Exoès technology is coming onto the market at the right time and is poised perfectly to help automakers achieve better fuel consumption.
With that said, why are you particularly interested in the North American market, more than the Asian ones? A.Desrentes: We wanted to confront our technology to a mature market where it could impact the performance of vehicles. The main segment on this market is that of heavy trucks. Average speed and fuel consumption for these trucks are higher in the US; that represents a lot of fuel… Our solution should help customers to reduce their consumption. Besides, our main UBIFRANCE North America 2013 Report - 13
Focus: Oil & Gas
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The United States will become a net exporter of natural gas before 2018 according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). As a matter of fact, natural gas will overtake coal by 2035 to become the first resource of electricity production to represent 35% of the energy mix. Canada owns the third largest oil reserve of the world and is also the fourth world producer of natural gas. Driven by the growing oil sands extraction, the O&G national production should reach 6,6Mb per day by 2035. Both countries need in the short term innovative solutions in risk mitigation and safety, as well as environmental technologies allowing a reduction of the GHG footprint and a better wastewater management. France has the second largest oil services market in the world (in exports) behind the United States. Only 400 companies represent the sector but most of them are making 90% of their turnover in foreign markets. France is well known in the industry for its deep offshore technologies and from the presence of major groups such as Total or GDF Suez all around the world. French companies offer innovative solutions and represent great partners for the Canadian and American O&G sector when it comes to drilling, extraction or handling, waste and water management,
How did you meet each other? P.Fauret: We have known each other for five years. It is interesting because we were working on a call for bids at the time, and we met through a client. On this project, POSEIDON could only provide the dissolved air unit, but we couldn’t deal with the implementation. Our client decided to put us in contact with CTP environnement, a company that provides implementation services. It was our luck! We decided to start a partnership with them, and we developed a more complete service combining both our technologies and experience through AEROMOBIL®. How did you come to develop this innovative technology? P.Barre: In the past few years, we created a wide range of on-site mobile solutions to cost-effectively treat problematic effluents incompatible with discharge standards or to bypass existing water treatment plants during maintenance or emergency shutdown. Our main customers are the refineries, petro-chemical industry, paper mills, etc… When collaborating with POSEIDON, we had the idea of developing a new type of mobile unit for water treatment. P.Fauret: Our engineers worked hand in hand to integrate the POSEIDON’s dissolved air flotation technology into a new type of mobile water treatment unit called AEROMOBIL®. These mobile units are some of the most advanced on
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Philippe BARRE is the CEO of , a French company specializing in chemical cleaning services and providing mobile water treatment units. Patrick FAURET is the president of POSEIDON; a Canadian company specialized in dissolved air/gas unit for the waste water treatment. Both companies decided to collaborate five years ago, combining their “savoirfaire” to provide a cutting-edge technology.
the market as they show more flexibility and efficiency on industrial sites.
enterprise culture is based on intervention, which was an advantage for us.
P.Barre: Our engineers faced a new challenge: build, develop and control a new mobile unit, in which they had to integrate a part of the one built by POSEIDON. In addition, CTP comes with a new business model based on rental. We offer this mobile water treatment service for a high flowrate up to 4400 usgpm.
Do you see a high demand on the global market for this technology? P.Barre: Yes, definitely. Even before our collaboration, we had identified a need for more innovative water treatment systems. Companies don’t necessarily want to build and maintain costly equipments. The AEROMOBIL® is perfectly adapted to the need of these companies because of its treatment capacity and mobility. We already have three branches in Europe and Asia, and we are about to open a new one in Brazil. UBIFRANCE helped us to identify new clients in Canada. With so many new clients, CTP also felt the need to open a new office in Quebec this year.
This looks like a great complementarity. You met at the right time? P.Fauret: Exactly! We can really talk about a strategic partnership. POSEIDON already used the dissolved air flotation technology, but with their experience, CTP greatly contributed to develop and adapt it into a mobile version. Their
A great success for CTP. And what exactly do POSEIDON get from this partnership? P.Fauret: CTP and Poseidon will benefit from a greater visibility respectively in the North American market and European market where they have been present for several years now. This partnership will definitely contribute to the development of both companies.
Focus: Intelligent Transport Systems Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) cover the whole transport market segment. Their end-markets are widely diverse and highly competitive. Their applications improve security, efficiency, comfort and the environment, in fields such as rail, shipping, air or transit; for both people and goods. Given the growing needs in new equipment, the market forecast is excellent in all of North America. California, New England, and New York amount for close to 75% of all investments in the United States; mostly in the testing of warning and collision avoidance systems. In order to sustain the growth of ITS, the U.S. Government launched a $ 100 Million per year investment plan in R&D. ITS products and services are unevenly spread across the continent. For instance, if large cities are equipped with Passenger Information Systems, smaller towns and suburbs could be interested by technologies already developed in Europe. Many French corporations are already well established in the United States and Canada (Citilog, C-S Communication & Systems, Cofely Inéo, ATEM, etc). This market is full of opportunities for French companies, which are renowned for their expertise in the transport and ICT fields, especially in Urban Transit (Ticketing, Passenger Information System, etc.), smart vehicles in the USA, and electric cars in Canada.
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is a company specializing in the field of microwave and radio-frequency communications. They develop, produce, and implement electrical coaxial cables for the aeronautics, spatial, defense and telecommunication industries. They opened a branch in Montreal in 2013 and have started a partnership with the CRIAQ, Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aeronautics in Quebec, a major Canadian aerospace research center. Arnaud Sackda is ATEM’s CEO and Alain Aubertin is the director of the CRIAQ.
“When I bought ATEM in 2007, the company was specializing in coaxial cable assembling. We decided to create an R&D department to adapt our products and develop new solutions. Coaxial cables are usually used in civil and military radars and satellites equipment, they are very sensitive to the environment they are implemented in. We wanted to provide toprange engineering and consulting services for all types of environment and industry. Today, our client portfolio includes most of the greatest European aerospace groups! Canada is a very dynamic area for aeronautics and represented therefore a great potential for our development. UBIFRANCE introduced us to the CRIAQ, who showed a great interest in our expertise. We finalized a strategic partnership with them a few months later. In the mean time, we decided to open a branch in Montreal in March 2013 and hired a young Professional with a PhD in microwave through UBIFRANCE’s VIE program. With his training, Jonathan is one of our best assets to develop in Canada. He is able to work both on a business and research perspective. Having someone in the field was a necessity for us, and it has proven to be very useful. Montreal has a big concentration of companies and research organizations; and both the CRIAQ and the Aero Montreal cluster provide numerous opportunities to network with equipment suppliers and aeronautics companies. Jonathan makes a good use of these opportunities; he also sits on the Administration Committee and the Research Committee five times a year.”
Arnaud Sackda, CEO of ATEM
“When we first met ATEM, we were looking for partners to develop new research programs. We could have probably found another counterpart, but they corresponded exactly to the kind of company we enjoy collaborating with. Not only had Arnaud Sackda the cutting-edge expertise in microwave we were seeking, but he also had a strong will to engage in a long-term partnership. He showed interest in our work, wanted to join the consortium here in Montreal, and was ready to invest in research programs with us. The three year project we are launching will focus on avionics, the field of electronic systems used on aircraft and satellites. Our goal is to analyze signal interferences in order to improve satellite communication. We asked ATEM to join the project along with two other companies. They should help us achieve important innovations in aeronautics. Alain Aubertin, Director of CRIAQ
ATEM perfectly fits with our ecosystem. We have always been encouraging collaborative research and networking between research centers, universities, and the Aero Montreal cluster. ATEM combines the technical skills and expertise that will give a significant impulse to this research program.”
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Fashion Home Decor Cosmetics Isabelle Raux has been involved in the development of French companies abroad for more than 17 years. She dedicated her first years at UBIFRANCE as an expert in public tenders and international projects and was Private Sector Liaison Officer to the World Bank. She also trained French SMEs operating in health, environment, architecture, tourism and infrastructure to give them access to the UN agencies market. Isabelle joined UBIFRANCE North America in 2011 as Head of Fashion, Home Decor and Cosmetics with a very dedicated and knowledgeable team.
What do North American professionals usually look for, when they contact you? French designers are well known for their creativity and innovative design, which are particularly sought by North American professionals. In a very mature market, North American retailers crave niche brands in particular with which they can distinguish themselves from the rest and hope for better sales. North American distributors with whom we work on a daily basis are now aware that we can identify gems they cannot spot without our help. Gems? According to you, are there still undervalued or hidden gems in France that could be put to use in North America? Absolutely! And that is our unique French novelty aspect! We can find many of them within the prestigious and rare EPV label (Living Heritage Companies), a mark of recognition put in place by the French State to reward French firms for the excellence of their traditional and industrial skills. Many young designers are emerging, and most can benefit from the help of UBIFRANCE and its prestigious partners to grow safely in such a big and competitive market as the North American one and on a sustainable basis. What are the most popular products in your industries; do they correspond to the most dynamic ones in France? In Décor & design, French architecture studios are starting to develop their art and expertise on the North American market. French houseware and cutlery remain a reference, and very prestigious brands still have to develop in North America. In Beauty, high-end skincare products as well as spa products are
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very popular, especially in Canada. Fashion jewelry remains a strong segment and Men’s Ready-To-Wear has shown steady growth for the past two years. Have you observed an increase in long-term collaborations between French and North American companies lately? Long term collaborations have indeed increased as French companies are aware of the North American market demands: business sophistication and savviness, flexibility, adaptability and humility! Working on the North American market is a long term commitment and many of the companies we are working with do know it is not a “one shot exercise”. What would you consider as the greatest success of 2013 for your industries? Our greatest success is not a direct commercial success. It is to be found in the very strong efforts our companies made to understand the very specific business expectations here in North America. A large amount of the companies we served in 2013 listened and learned. As an example, 25 companies agreed to exhibit their products at the Greystone Mansion Designers Showcase in Beverly Hills last November along with other American designers. This was not a trade show, just a wonderful opportunity to showcase their work in a spectacular setting, and benefit from a large media coverage. Even though they would not be a priority for them in France, where they already benefit from a very high recognition, Marketing, communication, sustainability and time are now keywords well understood for these French entrepreneurs.
Focus: Living Heritage Companies
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French savoir-faire, excellence and manufacturing heritage have always been appreciated by North American connoisseurs. Among the select companies awarded with the prized government label EPV (Living Heritage Company), those in Home Décor, Gift and Tableware fields are particularly popular and in demand. The US tabletop market for example, worth $ 4.5 Billion in 2012, is growing and is expected to grow faster in 2014 and 2015 alongside the real estate economy recovery. Bolstered by rising consumer confidence and housing starts, the home furniture and bedding retailing industry is also expected to grow over the next five years to 2018. In 2012 and 2013, UBIFRANCE successfully organized specific B2B events allowing French companies in these sectors to showcase their products and find the right partners. Buyer-seller meetings were organized for French Ceramics Companies in New York and Washington at the end of 2012, for EPV label companies during the Taste of France event in Bryant Park, New York in September 2013 and the Art de Vivre à la Française was highlighted at the prestigious Beverly Hills Greystone Mansion Designers Showcase through the products of 22 French companies.
Marine Bougeard started her career in the fashion & cosmetic industry in Paris working for luxury brands such as Christian Dior, By Terry and Richemont. She joined Yves Saint Laurent for 2 years as a product manager for the men’s leather goods, before moving to Canada in 2010. Since then, she has been working in the Fashion Decor and Cosmetics division at UBIFRANCE.
Laurige is an excellent example of the companies we are glad to support
every year. From the very beginning, I knew they had great potential to succeed on the American Market with their range of products: traditionally handcrafted with a modern flair, accessible, and eye-catching – all trademarks of “modern France”. For over 50 years, they have been manufacturing leather accessories, paper book covers, handbags and fashion accessories. All of their products are made in the company’s atelier in Niort and result from the savoir-faire of 18 artisans. By combining tradition and originality, the Made in France brand has become a reference in the international top-range accessory market and was labeled "Living Heritage Company" (EPV) in 2008. Today, Laurige is distributed in more than 1600 stores in France and export in more than 80 countries. Christian Baudoin contacted me in March 2013 because he was interested in expanding to the Canadian market. He was convinced the company’s products would be as successful in this market as they already were in the Australian and Asian region. After gauging the interests of local stores, we began market research to introduce Laurige products, which received positive feedback from retailers. As a result, Christian Baudoin traveled to Canada shortly after to meet potential clients and encountered great success among paper stores, leather shops, chains and retail stores. A few orders were placed right after his visit, and their products are now sold in over 20 stores in Vancouver and Toronto! I followed up with Christian Baudoin in January 2014 and he informed me that all of his clients have already reordered - and based on sales and client feedback, he knows Laurige has greater potential in the territory. He now intends to open a branch in Canada. Laurige’s manufacturing in France doesn’t necessarily mean that their products are very expensive. By eliminating the middle man and limiting their collection to a few items in several colors, their workshop is able to produce quality accessories at very affordable prices. I think that is what made their success in Canada: the local market is craving for original, stylish and prestigious accessories. Laurige’s items are well crafted and available in twelve bright, appealing colors. This match was bound to happen!” UBIFRANCE North America 2013 Report - 17
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The North American beauty market represented $ 78 billion in 2013. We have been witnessing a phenomenon of premiumisation of this mature market. Sales of high-end and luxury products are constantly increasing which is good news for the established French brands distributed in the traditional department stores. In addition, e-commerce, the most dynamic US distribution channel for this sector, makes it possible for Americans to discover niche brands. These consumers, always attracted to novelty, appreciate the ease of access to different and unique brands. As a result, many French brands are now launching in the US via a website. In Canada, beauty salons are still very important and are a good complement to the increasing beauty offer of drugstores.
Cecile Mignotte has a background in business, specializing in International Business. She moved to the US in 2000 to become an entrepreneur, and started at UBIFRANCE in Atlanta’s office over 6 years ago. Cecile is the trade advisor who organized and solidified the relationship between Historiae and Epcot.
Historiae is a company whose originality truly separates them
from the rest. In 2012, Pascale Oger had the idea of creating fragrances inspired by French historical figures and soon after founded Historiae. Through a range of eaux de toilette, fragrances and soap bars, the company offers a sensorial voyage from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. Pascale Oger contacted me because she wanted to penetrate the North American market. Despite the company’s short existence, I knew it had the potential to develop quickly and meet the needs of the North American audience. Pascale Oger was well acquainted with the American business world and was eager to get more involved with it. She was even prepared to open a Historiae branch on the East Coast. Historiae was not the first specialty company who contacted me. I routinely assist French entrepreneurs with unique approaches and strategies as well as connecting American and Canadian Companies with new suppliers. I often organize product presentations for big Groups and museum stores who are looking for authentic or original French products. In France, Historiae’s lines were already distributed in some of the most prestigious historic sites, perfumeries, décor and gift shops. Their product line combines the French perfumery heritage with a pop art esthetic. I had a good feeling that they would be the perfect match for Epcot. After working successfully with Epcot on several projects over the past three years, I have developed a keen sense of what they are looking for. Epcot is one of four theme parks at the world famous Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. It is visited by over 11 million people each year. The venue is structured in several thematic pavilions, some of which represent diverse countries while immersing people in authentic culture and structures including restaurants and boutiques. After confirming Epcot’s interest in Historiae products, I organized a visio-conference between our Paris office and Pascale Oger. Epcot was particularly interested in the creative concept of Historiae, which seemed to fit perfectly with the ambiance of their French pavilion. They were fascinated with the idea of traveling back in time by way of
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perfumes and knew their customers would have the same reaction. What was additionally important for them was that Historiae’s lines were already distributed in some of the most prestigious castles in France. I followed up with Epcot at the beginning of 2014, and was told that they really appreciated Historiae’s professionalism and efficiency in their order management and shipping. Pascale Oger eagerly accepted the Park’s invitation to come and present her products to the Epcot team. There is now a genuine enthusiasm for French products amongst the park’s visitors and Historiae’s fragrances have reported very impressive sales thus far. As a result of the success in Orlando, the product lines are now also available at Disneyland resort in Anaheim, California.
New Technologies Innovation Services Stéphane Alisse has a 15 years of experience helping technology startups in both North America and Asia. His international business development background includes a two-year experience in Hong Kong as the Head of the UBIFRANCE office, with a focus on new technologies in Southern China. After managing the NTIS practice for UBIFRANCE in San Francisco from 1999 to 2003, Stéphane helped design and deploy UBIFRANCE's first CRM system for three years. He is now responsible for the North America ITC market: with his 16-person team, he secures over 1,000 business development meetings for French startups every year.
According to you, how does the French product or service offering meet the needs of the North American market? Digital economy's growth relies on permanent innovation, and France's excellence in R&D contributes to it by bringing disruptive and reliable technologies that can be embedded in complex IT systems. Main areas of excellence include telecom and networking products, big data analytics, software security and robotics. Would you say French innovation matches the North American expectations? North American market is both highly sophisticated and competitive. The first step for a newcomer, be it from France or any other country, must be a thorough market assessment in order to "localize" the product's value proposition, main features, pricing, etc. Every year, UBIFRANCE helps dozens of French stratups in this crucial business development stage, getting them ready for the go-to-market stage. In what industries do French companies prove to be the most innovative? Main areas of excellence include telecom and networking products, business intelligence and big data analytics, software security, robotics. But recent years have proven strong innovation from France in the web and social space as well, with widely used services such as Scoop.it, Feedly and Overblog. The next wave in the digital economy is the "Internet of Things", and France has a huge potential to address it: strong technology background in
the sensors area, well-developed offering to address medical and quantifying-self needs, etc… And what are the perks of working with a French company? North America's lead with Europe usually is 12-18 months in some fields. But French innovation today is in sync with market needs in America. Besides, beyond the obvious advantage of integrating excellent technology, working with a French company can also be a powerful channel to the French market. Have you observed an increase in long-term collaborations between French and North American companies lately? One angle to observe it is the recent VC-based investments in French companies such as Scality. Criteo's IPO at Nasdaq, Neolane's acquisition for $ 600 Million by Adobe Systems or Yahoo's strong interest for Dailymotion prove that France is able to not only innovate but also deliver relevant products. What are the biggest trends for 2013-2014? More and more businesses are adopting cloud-based software architecture, and SaaS offering is becoming the norm. Larger corporations increasingly invest in analytics capabilities to leverage the huge amounts of data they generate and process. It is especially true in areas such as banking and insurance, telecoms, travel, and more generally speaking marketing activities.
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Focus: Business Intelligence and Big Data
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The exponential growth of social networks, connected objects and multimedia has spurred a change in how companies approach the management of their data. Big Data technologies have become a key resource for companies in need of managing ever growing volumes of data (both structured and unstructured). The expanding Big Data market relies on server development, storage solutions, networks, software and related services. In North America, 38% of companies have integrated Big Data into their development; and the US is the world leader in this market, estimated to generate $ 20 billion of revenue in 2015. Big Data addresses a wide range of industries from insurance, banking and retail to healthcare and government. This escalating global market is expected to be worth more than $ 50 billion by 2018. French tech companies are amply aware of this trend’s market potential. Several pioneering companies have specialized in Big Data for years, and have been revitalized by the French Government’s decision to invest € 150 Million in research related to the Cloud à la française in 2013. Annually, UBIFRANCE North America has created buzz with programs focused on jump starting the business development process for cutting-edge French tech companies on the North American market. Programs such as The French Tech Tour and now ubi i/o introduce advanced technologies to potential partners and investors including some of the market’s biggest players like Oracle, AT&T, Salesforce and Bell.
Andra Tautu Robinson is an attorney specialized in business and international law. She joined UBIFRANCE in 2013 as a trade advisor in the ITC’s team in San Francisco. Today she advises French tech companies on market strategy and company formation issues.
Sinequa has been a forerunner of the Co-Decision is an expert in cyberAndra, why are French companies particularly advanced in the field of Big Data? With some of the world’s foremost mathematics and statistics schools, France is an ideal environment for the development of big data,business intelligence solutions, and cyber-tracking. In the business intelligence field, France is the home of both internationally recognized companies such as Cap Gemini and an active startup ecosystem. French startups have attained a high level of dynamism in the fields of semantic analysis and cyber-tracking in particular. Sinequa and Codecision are perfect examples among several companies UBIFRANCE accompanied in 2013 that drew the attention of key US market players and investors. There are only a few companies in the field of Big Data software that can analyze large data amounts by using semantic analysis.
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enterprise search and content analytics market since 2002 by using linguistic and semantic analysis features to structure unstructured data. Its technology allows companies with an increasing amount of unstructured data from diverse sources to have a real-time and intuitive access to any professional information through powerful semantic content analytics.
Today Sinequa counts more than 250 clients worldwide in various sectors, from finance, services and distribution to public services, communication and media. In 2013, Sinequa grew 46% and it is now setting its sights on the North American market, where there is a strong demand for its solutions. The company was selected as a participant to the Mission Big Data led by Systematic, the French TechHub, and UBIFRANCE in Boston and New York in September 2013. Sinequa was able to meet key potential clients in the finance, law firm, and insurance sectors, and began discussions for potential agreements. Given the level of demand, the company plans to establish its US base on the East Coast in the upcoming year to solidify its presence on the US market.
tracking, and Co-Mining® technology has been identified as one of the most advanced tools on the market. Developed by Dr. Martine Naillon and based on cognitive sciences, the decider. track is able to link suspect elements and select hypotheses in Big Databases by reproducing human behavior. Co-Mining® takes a step ahead in risk analysis and is considered as the first human-machine Co-Decision maker. Both digital industries and the defense sector in the US have expressed a high level of interest in Co-Mining®. Co-Decision collaborated with UBIFRANCE during the French Tech Tour 2013 in Silicon Valley. UBIFRANCE worked with CoDecision on its general positioning strategy for the US market and to set-up B2B meetings with large US companies in both Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. Following their meeting, Co-Decision established an R&D facility in Washington D.C. with HP’s support in order to be near the heart of the US defense industry. In addition, Co-Decision initiated partnerships with key actors such as SAP, and plans to establish its presence in Boston and Silicon Valley in the near future.
Focus: Training and e-learning
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The economic conditions are extremely favorable for the development of the e-learning sector in France, which represents an important pillar of the French digital economy. This sector is further subdivided into segments including that of serious gaming which has also shown an exponential growth and could reach a turnover of 84 million euros in 2015. Serious gaming can be used in all spheres of the training and education sectors especially in training and development, management, enterprise management and communication. This French expertise has an important potential for development in the North American market, which represents in itself over 60% of the global e-learning market. According to a forecast, the North American region will witness an increase of purchasing activity in this segment between 2010 and 2015 and will remain open to all kinds of innovative equipment and materials as well as dynamic digital content destined for training and development. The French expertise in this field is renowned for its quality and distinguishes itself particularly in the fields of health, life and social sciences, public administration and management.
aims at supporting training departments and providers by optimising their training management processes. Their integrated softwares are used by over 250 clients in the world, including Cap Gemini, Johnson & Johnson, Areva and General Electric. They have become the exclusive partner of SUM TOTAL Systems, the US-based global leader in Strategic Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions. Stéphane Pineau is Training Orchestra’s founder and CEO.
Since 2001, Training Orchestra provide companies and training centers with fully integrated software solutions that cover all aspects of the training process: financial, management, administrative, legal, commercial and portal. We have developed globally, but the American market represents a very interesting opportunity for us: it involves some of the best actors in Team Management Systems (TMS) although it is not easy to penetrate. To reach this market, we decided to attend the ASTD conference in 2012 with the support of UBIFRANCE. This was a great opportunity to meet potential clients, and to discuss with Sum Total. We already knew them and had collaborated with them before. We talked about the possibility of a new partnership. Our advanced technology could bring a great complement to their offering and we signed a partnership with them last year. We worked together to combine our software solutions and created a new suite that includes both learning and team management systems (LMS and TMS). Our product was integrated to Sum Total’s suite to provide companies with a turn-key integrated tool. Our TotalRegulation offering provides clients with the ability to have a single platform to manage all learning being delivered across the enterprise. This is a world’s first. Before our collaboration, it was impossible to find a solution that includes both management systems. Our solution also enables companies to comply with government regulations across the globe including Canada, Belgium, Germany, Italy and South-Africa. This product enables linking local and global management instead of having companies implement multiple software platforms. It is a ten-in-one solution! Our partnership with Sum Total has boosted our development in North America and at a global level. The help of UBIFRANCE was particularly useful to enter a highly-competitive market and get in contact with the right partners. We currently have two other partnerships in progress in the US and we intend to strengthen our presence in other countries.
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Healthcare Yves Germani is the Head of the Health Department of UBIFRANCE. He is a graduate of the Institut Pasteur (Institut Pasteur diplomas in Genetics and in Bacteriology); he has a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a PhD in Natural Sciences. For more than 16 years, Yves was a director of research at the Institut Pasteur where he developed substantial contacts with numerous key leaders in this field. As a graduate of HEC Paris, he also has the business skills that enable him to deliver targeted and customized solutions to expanding companies. Today, Yves supervises a team of medical engineers, biologists, scientists, and assists over 150 French companies to grow their presence in the US market each year. What do North American professionals who contact you usually look for? They usually seek products or technologies that are new, innovative and have few, if any, competitors in North America. Ideally the products that are already successful in Europe fit the same market needs in North America. Large distributors in the medtech industry tend to look for an exclusive distribution agreement in Canada and/or the United-States. When sourcing for new products, North American companies aim at improving health outcomes and lowering costs. Do you believe that there are still undervalued or hidden gems in France that could be put to use in North America? Of course! France’s medical device industry is finally starting to get international attention due to a portfolio of innovative technologies developed in the last five years. One of the best examples is that of the French company CARMAT, the designer and developer of the world’s most advanced total artificial heart project (first procedure of human transplant was performed in December 2013). There is also a significant increase of activity in the orthopedic and spinal implant market in France. Clariance Spine in particular seems to be gaining momentum and expands its operations into the U.S. market. The strength of French producers lies in highly advanced medical devices such as implants. What are the biggest trends for 2013-2014? One of the biggest current trends is the R&D restructuring. This began in earnest four years ago with GlaxoSmithKline, and then was followed by AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sanofi and Novartis in 2013. We also noticed this year a string of big breakthroughs made it through to approval: Biogen Idec’s Tecfidera and Gilead’s Sovaldi for example. The risks involved in R&D are so extreme than there’s a natural impulse, particularly in the larger organizations, to include a few sure things in the pipeline. 22 - UBIFRANCE North America 2013 Report
Another trend of this year is the comeback of Biotech IPOs. Over $3.5 billion was raised for these newly minted public companies this year, pumping a significant amount of new resources into an industry that had long been hungry for more cash. The last big trend of 2013 is the FDA beginning to designate “the most promising new drugs in the pipeline as breakthroughs” warranting quick advancement. Do you see potential partnerships solidifying between France and North America in the near future? The main occidental countries are facing the aging of their population. Their governments have to anticipate changes and give new guidelines to new economy and industries named “Silver economy”. The silver economy and ehealth are some of next hot topics that France and America will have to address. France is currently structuring this economy, whereas America is also pursuing initiatives with the emergence of new clusters: Silicon Alley in New York is an example that will link IT and health matters together around big players like Google or Samsung. This is now that we have to further develop partnerships in this common area. To what extent do French strategic goals meet those of North America? France and the US are facing an unprecedented increase in healthcare costs due to aging populations. The pressure to keep healthcare costs down has never been more intense. Both governments have a common strategic goal, which is to improve health and achieve health equity through access to quality services. The use of information technology and device innovation is a great opportunity to bring forth this transformation in healthcare delivery. Our transatlantic collaborations and interactions will allow us to better address the global health policy challenges and to develop common methods to address global Health challenges.
FOCUS: Training Businessand Intelligence FOCUS: E-learningand Big Data
Focus: In Vitro Diagnosis
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IVD is considered as an essential part of today’s healthcare. IVD products encompass reagents, analytical instruments and accessory products. IVD is widely used for diagnosis, monitoring of prescribed treatments and assessment of medical intervention. Further, it allows more targeted treatment which in turn leads to reduced hospital stays and convalescences resulting in a healthier population and economic growth in the long run. In North America, a consistent increase has been observed in the global IVD industry over the past couple of years; it was unaffected by the economic and financial turmoil. The key factors driving growth of the global IVD industry include rising global healthcare expenditure, increasing aging population and accelerating global diabetic. Some of the noteworthy trends and developments of this industry include increasing demand for early diagnosis, expansion of point of care testing and growth of minimally invasive and non-invasive procedures.
Affilogic operates and develops the Nanofitins®, a binding protein discovered in an American
park in 2008, which could eventually be used as a natural alternative to antibodies. Nadège Prel is the head of marketing and business development of the company. She is assisted by Julie Pitrat UBIFRANCE Trade Advisor who has been in charge of their export initiative for over a year.
Nadège, Julie, how did you meet? N.Prel: I was involved in 2012 in French Biotech Tour organized by UBIFRANCE Health team. Yves Germani, the head of the Healthcare division, proposed a customized business approach which we accepted without hesitation. French Biotech Tour? J.Pitrat: French BioTech Tours are forums that allow biotech SMEs to meet major clients. They gain visibility with entities with Big / Mid-size Pharma that would be otherwise difficult to approach in a more traditional setting such as business conventions.
that I have already established here.The main goal is to gain Affilogic’s visibility with major pharmaceutical companies. N.Prel: Being accompanied by UBIFRANCE helps us tremendously. We can benefit from the Agency’s wide network of pharmaceutical companies, as well as their proven methodology for finding clients and creating partnerships and their efficiency in the organization of meetings.
N.Prel: The representation of Affilogic by UBIFRANCE at the Boston French Biotech Tour in June 2013 led to follow-up meetings with our business development and scientific team to further opportunities for collaboration. An R&D partnership with a company located in the Boston area is more advanced than others. It involves a diagnostic tool incorporating Nanofitins® technology, and the contract should be signed soon. UBIFRANCE proposed a tailor-made solution, what does this mean? J.Pitrat: I have been accompanying the company over time and representing Affilogic in North America, I fill the role of business development locally and I am fully integrated into the team, while remaining a member of UBIFRANCE’s network. It was essential for us to provide a long-term support: Affilogic keeps me informed of their progress, and I take care of relaying this information to the contacts
To maximize this support, Julie was trained on our technological and commercial offer. For this training, she was on our premises in France and accompanied me during the BPNA partnering conference in Vancouver in early 2013. Julie’s advanced knowledge of our needs allows her to be more relevant in qualifying prospects during the meetings she attends on behalf of Affilogic. What is the market’s reaction to your offer? N.Prel: The alternative scaffold that we propose
has very few competitors worldwide, about a dozen companies all based in Europe. J.Pitrat: The scaffold of the protein allows Affilogic to offer solutions where antibodies are not functional, especially in extreme pH and temperature conditions. N.Prel: There is a strong enthusiasm from American companies, but we also need to educate the market as many prospects we met were not aware that such alternative technologies to antibodies exist. This is why being represented locally made perfect sense. For this unique offer, what business model did you adopt ? N.Prel: Unlike our competitors, we offer longterm partnerships rather than spot sales. This business model allows our customers to quickly get Nanofitins®(within two to three months) generated for their target at a very reasonable cost. As our technology is still “early stage”, we want to accelerate its visibility in the market by allowing many academic and industrial partners to test it for their own needs. This very pragmatic approach is particularly attractive for North American prospects. From which large pharmaceutical companies did you get visibility? J.Pitrat: During the French Biotech Tour sessions in June 2013 , the protein was shown to scientists at Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and Celgene. We are still in contact with one of these major clients.
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Focus: Medical devices
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The value of a device is no longer solely in the product itself. While clinical efficacy is a must, the true value in medtech today is a company’s ability to provide information, services, and other assistance to customers such as improving diagnostics, increasing operating room efficiency, reducing length of hospital stays and monitoring patients remotely. New integrated services and business models that address clinician and consumer needs are becoming more important. Yet for Medtech executives, product innovation is now the top priority. Their main need is to apply new social, mobile, analytic, and cloud technologies that other industries have used successfully. They expect major progress over the next three years, but they lack formal processes to achieve their goals for new services. Half of medtech companies appear to be using such technologies, but only 12% are using them actively to create new business models that center on clinical and consumer dynamics. Medtech companies are looking to open innovation as a key approach to drive future growth and meet the demands of the next generation of consumers.
SD Innovation started out as an engineering and design department in a medical
industrial group. Today it is one of the most innovative companies in France in the field of equipment and medical devices for the health industry. The company adopted a fully integrated business model: they ensure the complete support of projects from manufacturing, sales to implementation, technological transfer and maintenance.
SD Innovation is particularly well-known around the world for developing and selling two automatic blood testing equipment that reduce costs, save time, and increase reliability: the Agregometre and the Osmocells. Developed with the University of Nancy, they are the most advanced diagnosis tools available on the market, providing test results in less than ten minutes. The Agregometre helps evaluate the risk of bleeding before or after an operation by analyzing the blood hemostasis. The Osmocells allows to control the red blood cell quality in blood bags used for transfusion. These technologies have been widely adopted by hospitals and laboratories in France, the Agregometre reaching 70% of market shares in the whole country. North America represented a great opportunity for the company; the demand for time-saving and efficient medical devices is growing in American hospitals. SD Innovation’s both products have been proven far more advanced than the current methods employed in the American health industry. The Dacie method commonly used to control
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the red blood cell quality requires one hour. SD Innovation’s Osmocells will make practitioners save up to 50 minutes per diagnosis! Last year, SD Innovation decided to collaborate with UBIFRANCE to identify strategic partners, hospitals and blood transfusion centers in the U.S. Three potential partners were highly interested in the company’s products, and are now discussing a distribution partnership in the country. In order to enter the American market, SD Innovation is currently finalizing the FDA approval process in collaboration with a LNE-GMED agent. They recently obtained the ISO13845 certification, which confirms the quality of their medical devices management. SD Innovation’s equipment is expected to be soon distributed in American hospitals, where it will improve and simplify the daily tasks of medical staff. The company’s cutting-edge diagnosis tools will match the market’s needs for efficiency, reliability and customer assistance, and benefit practitioners as well as patients.
New York Office +1 (212) 400-2160 1700 Broadway, 30th Floor New York, NY 10019-5818
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San Francisco Office +1 (415) 4781-0986 88 Kearny Street Suite 700 San Francisco, CA 94108
Houston Office +1 (713) 85-3278 & +1(713) 985-3276 777 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 600 Houston, Texas 77056
Vancouver Office +1 (604) 639-0920 1130 West Pender suite1100 Vancouver, BC V6E 4A4
This document is available online at www.ubifrance.com/us, www.ubifrance.com/ca, www.ubifrance.com/ce - Printed in Canada Photo credits and copyright: Fotolia, Cémoi, Champagne Glavier, Exoès, CTP Environnement, ATEM, Laurige, Historiae, Training Orchestra, Affilogic, SD Innovation and UBIFRANCE. All rights reserved. Editor-in-chief : Arnaud Leretour. Writing and design: Miléna Salci, Geoffroy Thaumin and Michael Salas.