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Research tax credit: banks and insurance companies are the main beneficiaries

Laurent Cousin

The Carrez report on implementation of the research tax credit was published in early July

A report made by the National Assembly on implementation of the fiscal measure known as the “research tax credit” was published last July 3. Gilles Carrez, UMP MP for the Val-de-Marne, was rapporteur for the commission in charge of this report. His main conclusion? It is “banks and insurance companies that have benefited the most from the research tax credit, with 312.6 million euros in 2007.”

As regards aspects that directly affect young researchers, the report deems the system effective, citing a study made by the Directorate-General of the Treasury and Economic Policy (DGTPE) which believes the “reform of the research tax credit should considerably increase the number of researchers hired in industry.”

According to the DGTPE, the R&D push in industry should mainly come between 2008 and 2013. According to this scenario and taking into account salary increases, "the net needs in terms of new researchers that have been spawned by the reinforcement of this mechanism are estimated, everything else remaining equal, at 25,000 researchers for the 2008-2020 period: 5,300 more researchers per year at the beginning of the period (2009-2010), 200 toward the end of the period (2019-2020)."

To meet these needs, the report believes “that France should virtually double the number of PhDs trained every year in the sciences or attract PhDs educated abroad in the years 2009-2013.”

Good news? Could be. It remains to be seen whether an economic sector that still mainly recruits among engineers will be able to make more room for these newly trained PhDs.