What are the advantages of innovating far from the recognized places?
Setting up Torskal’s headquarters on the island of Reunion was a real gamble. It was a winning bet, since it has proven to be very beneficial for our product. We work close to our suppliers of medicinal plants, the raw material of our solution. This allows us to secure the supply by working directly with the farmers. We started our work in collaboration with phytochemists trained in local laboratories who know these endemic plants. We have thus shared our knowledge by combining phytochemistry and material chemistry.
The other advantage of setting up in an overseas department is fiscal. We benefit from an attractive research tax credit rate of around 50%, compared with 30% in mainland France. Reunion Island is Europe in the heart of the Indian Ocean, except that we are geographically closer to our Asian partners.
However, this choice of the French overseas departments and territories is not easy to make in all circumstances. This is sometimes pointed out to us by potential investors, historically based in the big places like Paris. However, so many things are now dematerialized and opened up; it is time that the investment players take this turn. Digital technology and tax strategies are important levers for innovation in the French overseas departments and territories, provided that investors also decentralize.