Signed last week on January 16, the strategic partnership formed part of the Île-de-France region’s wider ‘Impact 2028’ project, designed for the economic development, innovation and internationalisation of specific industries, of which perfumery and cosmetics was one.
A key aspect of the agreement included the set-up of a ‘Cosmetics Week’, following in the footsteps of the famed Paris Fashion Week. Set to adhere to a similar structure of site openings, demonstrations and workshops, Cosmetic Cluster said it would better connect French beauty and perfume companies with research institutes and make industry’s work and methods more “visible to the general public”.
Back in 2019, the UK’s British Beauty Council launched a similar concept, ‘British Beauty Week’, that also followed the established London Fashion Week model with demonstrations, conferences and more in the UK’s capital, London. The event had since evolved into more of a nationwide programme, merging face-to-face and digital events.
‘Build a business network’
According to Cosmetic Valley, France’s perfumery-cosmetics sector was made up of around 3,200 companies employing nearly 250,000 people and generating €45bn in turnover per year, 70% of which was generated in the Île-de-France region alone.
For France, perfumery-cosmetics represented the third positive contributor to the country’s external balance, behind aeronautics and wines & spirits, and Île-de-France represented the leading economic region of Europe. Cosmetic Valley said it had therefore been “essential” region participated in the global push of French beauty. Île-de-France had to be considered alongside New York, Milan and Tokyo as leading the heart of cosmetics worldwide, the association said.
Importantly, Cosmetic Valley said its partnership with the region aimed to achieve all of this whilst preserving perfumery-cosmetics traditions, professions and know-how and furthering performance, in terms of research and creation.
“The objective of this agreement is, first of all, to build a business network from the breeding ground of Île-de-France cosmetics companies, to make it a genuine, efficient and coherent industrial fabric, to accelerate its R&D projects,” the cluster said.
The partnership would also help individual companies in the Île-de-France region develop internationally, strengthening the existing economic strengths in beauty of the region, notably in testing, measuring, olfaction and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Marc-Antoine Jamet, president of Cosmetic Valley, said earning and defending a world leader spot in beauty required a strategy, objectives and allies – all of which could be achieved via this agreement.
“The partnership with an institutional actor of the size and power of Île-de-France, whose skills are complementary to those of the competitiveness cluster, makes it possible to better identify these issues,” Jamet said.
Alexandra Dublance, vice president of the Île-de-France region, in charge of recovery, attractiveness, economic development and innovation, and president of B2B service Choose Paris Region, said: “I am delighted with the formalisation of this unique partnership between the region and the Cosmetic Valley competitive cluster.”
Cosmetic Valley said maintaining French beauty leadership on a global scale required collaboration between all sectoral players, from private laboratories through to public universities. It was only through true collaboration that industry could “conquer new export markets” and “remain attractive in the eyes of foreign companies”, it said.
Today, Cosmetic Valley brought together 800 companies and worked with 20 universities and research centres, including the CNRS, leading 400 collaborative research and investment projects worth around €500m. Its Cosmetic 360 international exhibition was also already held in Paris each year, laying strong foundations for what the Île-de-France partnership could evolve into.
“This is a new turning point in the strategy of intensifying the public-private partnerships necessary for the development of French cosmetics,” it said.