Philippe Choukroun – Managing Director & Patricia Hatesuer – Head Life Sciences, Agence d’Attractivité de l’Alsace (AAA), France
Philippe Choukroun (PC) and Patricia Hatesuer (PH) of AAA speak about the Alsace region in France and the attractiveness of the life science cluster within the tri-national Biovalley area. They highlight the hard working and excellently trained people, the quality transportation and infrastructure, as well as all key resources and factors that have enabled Alsace and the region to attract life science companies for decades.
Alsace has the privilege of being located within Europe’s prime life science region, the BioValley Upper Rhine Area. Life science as well as medical technology are part of the key driving economic sectors of Alsace. So just how important are the life science and medtech sectors to your local economy and which historical factors have led to this indisputable leadership in the mentioned fields?
PC: It has been an ongoing success story for the past 50 years. We have had a number of scientists within the region that have had a large number of innovations and patents. The hospital in Strasbourg has been the center of a number of inventions and projects that have been recognized worldwide. We have the institute for cancer research, IRCAD led by Professor Jacques Marescaux, which has its own training center; they hold conferences with world-renowned scientists and physicians. Alsace is attractive for research programs, scientists, and companies that want to be close to these areas of excellence. This is our competitive advantage. If you compare us to other regions of France, there are some with large pharmaceutical plants that are producing more volume than Alsace; however, we excel in the research and innovation areas.