For the second year in a row, the Consulate General of France to Toronto and and the Cultural and Scientific Action Service of the Embassy of France to Canada are proud to launch the Toronto French Innovation Month, an initiative created in close collaboration with Business France and the France Canada Chamber of Commerce Ontario (FCCCO) and many other partners with one major goal in mind : better promote and improve the visibility of identified programmes and events that can help French companies and citizens alike seize local opportunities for higher investments, training and stronger trade links in the most innovative sectors.
For over 20 years now, France and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs have been playing an active role in leading strong policies aimed at promoting innovation locally and across the world. This has been translating into a two-fold strategy consisting in both attracting foreign talents and start-ups to France and encouraging our brightest bleu blanc rouge champions to seize mutually beneficial investment and trade opportunities in various innovative sectors abroad.
As a career diplomat, when I think about which measures reflect this best, many policies come to mind, from the “French Tech Hubs” label to Enterprising Culture, an international forum that provides opportunities for exchanges between Canadian and French stakeholders and start-ups from the worlds of culture, creative, and media industries. Let’s not forget also that since taking office last year, President Emmanuel Macron has tasked the French government with implementing reforms to ease tax, administrative and regulatory burdens in an effort to position France as a “start-up nation”. And thanks in part to a € 10 billion innovation fund and a € 57 billion five-year plan to fund the green and digital transition and company training and competitiveness, France made the list of top 10 countries in innovation for the first time last year. It also became the second biggest investor in green technologies in Europe.
The challenges we will encounter on our way to become even more innovative and competitive are numerous, but so are the opportunities to be seized. The Embassy of France in Canada is thus proud to partner up with Business France, the France Canada Chamber of Commerce Ontario and others to help French citizens and companies work towards achieving that goal. By launching the Toronto French Innovation Month (TFIM), we are giving more and better exposure to events and initiatives that can actually help them expand their investment and trade prospects in Canada. And fostering investment in innovation and trade-related activities is not just good for companies, their management and stakeholders: over the past few years, the high tech sector has created tens of thousands of jobs across the GTA. It also is a strong remedy against unemployment and is thus conducive to human progress and emancipation. I hope to see as many of you as possible at the different events to show your support in this endeavor!
Kareen Rispal, Ambassador of France to Canada
With 13,000 specialized companies and over 82,000 jobs created in the high technology sector between 2012 and 2017, Toronto has become one of the world’s biggest innovation hubs. These numbers, combined with a shortage of skilled local labor force as well as President Emmanuel Macron’s strategy to raise France’s profile as a “start-up nation”, is opening up a world of limitless opportunities for higher investments, training and stronger trade links in the most innovative sectors. As France’s official representation in Ontario and Manitoba, we proudly and actively work with our partners (Business France and the FCCCO to name a few) to help both French citizens and companies alike to seize those opportunities. And that’s right what we’re doing these upcoming weeks with the launch, for the second year in a row, of the Toronto French Innovation Month (#TFIM). This initiative is aiming at improving the visibility of French tech companies and talents in Toronto and at better promoting programs and events that could foster exchanges and partnerships between France and Ontario. France has a more business-friendly environment to offer and is full of many talents and innovative ideas. And so does Canada. Let’s continue furthering exchanges and the cooperation between our two countries for our mutual success and prosperity!
Marc Trouyet, Consul General of France in Toronto