A report published last week by the French Academy of Sciences warns that the existing gap between France and its competitors in genome research will further widen unless research is prioritised. The report - entitled 'Development and applications of genomics, after the genome' - points out that despite France's lead in genome research in 1992, when the first physical and genetics maps of the human genome were published, it has failed to keep up with subsequent Anglo-American efforts.
The report calls for the strengthening of the Genopole biotechnology park at Evry near Paris and calls for a national network of similar initiatives in regional cities. The report calls for more support for start-up companies along the lines of Genset and Transgene.
A report commissioned last year also questioned France's approach to biotechnology research, criticising archaic state industrial policies and a severe shortage of start-up companies. The report also calls for more academic programmes focused on genomics and greater collaboration between laboratories and clinicians.