French President Emmanuel Macron gathered leaders from the world of high technology and the digital economy at the Elysée palace on Monday ahead of this year's France Digitale Day summit. This year's theme is the role of start-ups in the coronavirus recovery.
There were fewer visitors at the Elysée's "French Tech" gala on Monday night, the first major physical gathering since Covid-19, that took place hours before the startup event France Digitale Day.
Around one hundred entrepreneurs instead of last year's 600 guests gathered around President Emmanuel Macron to hear about technology's role in navigating the pandemic.
Macron highlighted the digital sector's robust health and strong recruitment power, saying that it was responsible for creating up to 30 percent of new jobs, even during the lockdown.
This in part was due to the rise in home deliveries, virtual meetings and teleworking, using new digital tools.
Supporting tech sector
In the first half of 2020, the tech sector has secured investment superior to the amount it secured at the same time last year.
Aware of its potential, the French government has also stepped in to invest.
Earlier this month, authorities unveiled a 7-billion-euro stimulus package for tech companies out of its 100-billion-euro reboot rescue plan.
The money is intended for start-up infrastructure investment and digital transformation.
Monday's event saw presentations by three of the companies that best thrived during the health crisis: Mobile video game publisher Voodoo, the marketplace startup Mirakl, and biotech company Innovafeed that uses proteins from insects for animal feed.
The French president also flagged up new areas where the state is keen to invest, such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and digital health.
In addition, funds will be invested in online services that ensure the continuity of education, the Elysée said.
The event set the tone for Tuesday's Digitale Day summit in Paris where the theme of this eighth edition is "Alternatives", exploring new ways of living in a turbulent world.