On 7 November, Nantes Métropole and the Nantes Saint-Nazaire CCI presented the new strategic importance of the "Healthcare of the Future" sector for the economic development of Nantes Saint-Nazaire.

Nearly one hundred stakeholders, including local startups, innovative SMEs, social protection organisations, research institutes, the university hospital, ICO, the regional health agency, grandes écoles, universities and economic development agencies, were invited by the health cluster, led by the Nantes Saint-Nazaire CCI, to learn about the opportunities and challenges for the “Healthcare of the Future” sector.

“a dynamic e-health sector”

Among the strengths identified by the study carried out by the consulting firm Alcimed, Nantes' reputation in terms of medical research is "highly ranked in Europe and even internationally in certain fields of excellence such as transplantation". Nantes also boasts “a dynamic e-health sector” driven by the startups at the Creative Care Factory. There is also a high concentration of agri-food companies in the Pays de la Loire region. Nevertheless, “despite a number of academic spin-offs, Nantes still has difficulty developing startups in the healthcare sector," the consultant pointed out.

Two major areas of strategic development have been identified:

1-    Healthcare and digital tech: By 2025, the aim is to consolidate and enhance Nantes' strengths in biotechnology and to develop a digital health strategy based on data, artificial intelligence and P4 medicine (predictive, preventive, personalized, participatory). From an economic development standpoint, this strategy targets sectors that are promising in terms of jobs in the tech, big data and new technologies sectors.
2-    Healthcare and Food 4.0: The objective is to explore and promote innovation and convergence between healthcare and food in the areas of food quality and safety, foodtech, nutrition, research on microbiomes, prevention, etc. This second area ties in with the presence of large agri-food companies in the region. It targets promising sectors in terms of jobs both in digital technology (developers, engineers, etc.) and in quality assurance and research on nutrition and food innovation.

Station S, an iconic building for healthcare 4.0

To make the Healthcare of the Future a strategic sector for the economic development of the region, within the next 3 to 6 years Nantes wants to develop Station S for health innovation, along the same lines as the Station F building in Paris for digital tech. The goal is to double the number of healthcare companies with more than 50 jobs within 10 years and to attract 1 to 3 world leaders in healthcare to Nantes.

A 5-part roadmap

More generally, the timeline of this strategy is set forth in a roadmap, divided into 5 components and some twenty actions, including the creation of a living lab and a data lab, an economic observatory for the sector, a common agenda, a digital portal and an annual sector-specific event.