The French government has made much of its determination to turn France into one of the most attractive biotechnology locations in Europe within the next 5 years, but not everyone is sure the right approach is being taken to reverse the brain drain of young researchers.

Part of the package of measures designed to stimulate the biotech industry includes new legislation that will give special fiscal incentives to biotechnology start-up companies, called jeunes entreprises innovantes, or young innovation corporations. These companies will be exempted from having to pay the nonwage costs of young researchers, including health and pension insurance, in a move that should significantly cut the costs of employing young researchers and so boost job openings in the field.

“With these measures, France is taking an important step towards making itself more attractive for biotechnology companies and researchers,” Angelita de Fransisco, secretary general of France Biotech, a national...

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