France aims to increase domestic production of biotherapies from 5% to 20% by 2030, spearheading progress towards the health sovereignty sought by the government.
The 2025 Biotech Skills Plan will help to secure this objective. It not only establishes the sector’s vitality and its current needs, but also provides forecasts and recommendations for the coming years, “to support a wide variety of actors, including both large and small firms in the sector,” says Julia Machon, a consultant at AEC.
Since 2005, healthcare consultancy AEC Partners has been supporting LEEM (the French pharmaceutical industry association) in the implementation of this plan, co-financed by inter-industry skills development and training organization OPCO 2i. The study was run by Christine Garnier, Sophie Massicot and Julia Machon.
More than 1,500 new jobs in France in the next three years
AEC conducted 31 interviews with biotechnology and bioproduction firms, and other ecosystem actors, as well as working sessions with the biotechnology, human resources and training experts who made up the project team.
Based on the firms surveyed, therapy developers will have to grow their headcount by almost 40%, mainly in R&D and bioproduction. 1,500 new jobs will be created in bioproduction over the next three years, with demand for pharmacists, PhDs and bioproduction technicians being particularly high.
The study stresses the importance of removing barriers between the public and private sectors to enhance the employability of PhD students by biotech firms. Moreover, the rise in data-driven science, which is revolutionizing biotechnologies (AI, data learning, etc.), requires the recruitment of multidisciplinary talent.
“This report provides LEEM with a solid basis to implement measures relating to jobs and skills. It also gives insight to training providers, helping them to better understand what firms need,” says Sophie Massicot, a partner at AEC.
Other recommendations include developing more initial and continuing training programs specialized in bioproduction, and providing more advanced training in advanced therapy medicinal products for example. At the same time, both the state and businesses are encouraged to improve communication on the sector and devise more dynamic HR policies to attract talent.