French medical imaging market worth €800m

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The French in vivo medical-imaging market is estimated to be worth about €800m, in a global market that was valued at €20bn in 2010, according to Invest in France Agency (IFA), France's national agency responsible for promoting and facilitating international investment in France.

In addition, the IFA states that more than 650 non-French companies belong to one of France's 71 innovation clusters in areas that include medical imaging and related fields.

Traditional imaging techniques (radiography and ultrasound) account for 59 per cent of the French market; endoscopy accounts for 19 per cent; and the 'large instrument segment' (CT, MRI and PET scanners) makes up the remaining 22 per cent.

Production facilities of global companies, such as Philips, General Electric Healthcare, Siemens Medical Solutions and Toshiba, and research centres in France account for two-thirds of all revenues in the sector and almost 80 per cent of all exports.

The French government provides generous tax incentives to support innovation development. Under this investment policy, programmes dedicated to health and biotechnologies, managed by the ANR (France's National Research Agency), have been awarded a budget of €1.55bn. This initiative is set to boost research in France by encouraging partnerships between companies and public-sector research bodies.

There are also a large number of French SMEs that have successfully developed specialist or niche strategies. For example, SuperSonic Imagine, based in Aix-en-Provence (in South-Eastern France), is the only company in the world to offer a multi-wave imaging device for use in cancer treatment.

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