Innovation, production, treatment: Normandy is world-renowned for healthcare! The region’s reputation is fuelled by the leading specialist centres (cancer, Alzheimer’s, mental health etc.), world-renowned research labs, pharmaceutical giants and innovative start-ups that call it home. 

A first-class healthcare ecosystem

Its advances and innovations in medicine mean Normandy gets a lot of attention in France and around the world. Genes found to raise the risk of Alzheimer’s were found in Rouen whilst a robotic platform to assist cardiologists was designed in Caen. Those are just two examples out of many… The region really does have all the ingredients for a successful healthcare system. Normandy unites every area of the industry, from care and research to pharmaceuticals and health tech.

Julien Hélie

It really stands out for its cancer treatment. Patients in Normandy have access to several radiology facilities and two specialist cancer centres: Henri Becquerel in Rouen and François Baclesse in Caen. The latter ranks among the best hospitals in the world. It also has a proton therapy centre, the 3rd of its kind in France. 

Normandy is the number one French region for cancer clinical trials. It works with structures including Cancéropôle Nord-Ouest and unique laboratories such as Institut Carnot Calym (lymphoma) and ARCHADE (hadron therapy). 

An all-encompassing healthcare industry

  • Over 50,000 healthcare workers
    in establishments 
  • 60 hospitals and clinics
    including 2 university hospitals
  • 3200 


  • 2nd biggest region in France
    for pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • 1st French region
    with the “Silver Economy” label

Health sectors that stand out in Normandy


Did you know that Doliprane (France’s best-known paracetamol) is made in Lisieux? Did you know that most of the world’s Sanofi flu vaccines come from a factory in Val-de-Reuil? Or that one of the world leaders in sterile eye drops is based in Coutances in Manche?

Aptar Pharma

With 10,000 direct jobs and 21,000 indirect jobs (accounting for ¼ of employment in the pharmaceuticals industry nationwide), Normandy is the 2nd biggest pharmaceutical manufacturer in France.

It houses factories owned by industry giants (Sanofi, GSK and Aptar pharma). For them, Normandy is in a prime location and has all the logistics they need to export their products around the world. Normandy is one of five member regions of the European Polepharma medical cluster that structures the industry and supports its transformation.

Medical research

In terms of research, Normandy has 2 science research facilities, 2 health research facilities (medicine and pharmacy), fifty labs and two leading laboratories (Labex SynOrg and IRON). It also has research facilities that you won’t find anywhere else in France, including CERMN (Normandy medicine research and study centre) and Rouen University Hospital’s clinical investigation centre. The region has an excellent reputation in neuroscience, nutrition, cardiology, biotechnology and cancer treatment.

Centre Baclesse

Health Tech

The region has several specific centres and clusters (Pôle TES, Normandie Incubation, Normandie Health Tech), making it a prime location for start-ups and innovations in digital health to thrive: eHealth, health tech, medtech, biotech etc.

Anne Soullez

Digital health accounts for as many as 40% of inventions in the region. Some have already resulted in successful businesses such as Bodycap (mini electronic monitoring sensors) and Robocath (robots to treat cardiovascular diseases). Start-ups have made a name for themselves too, including Klodios (collective intelligence platform for healthcare professionals) and Arterya (the brains behind a smart bracelet to make it easier to test blood). The future of the health tech industry is looking bright in Normandy!

Nuclear medicine

Radiotherapy, proton therapy, hadron therapy: Normandy has first class experience and expertise in nuclear medicine. Alongside world-renowned treatment and research facilities such as GANIL and Cyceron, Normandy plays host to leading businesses in their sector including Pantechnik (world leader in ion injectors for particle accelerators) and PIERCAN (containment technology). 

Centre Baclesse
Protonthérapie au Centre Baclesse à Caen

Silver Economy

Homecare for the elderly, telemedicine, eHealth, care services: Normandy is the 1st region to be awarded the government “Silver Économie” label as a pioneer in the economy for ageing well and over 60s. Gérontopôle Seine Estuaire Normandie brings the industry to life with leading businesses in the group. Etna, France’s biggest stairlift manufacturer, and Gel Manche, a food manufacturer for people who struggle to swallow, are also part of it. 


Do you need assistance?

The economic development agency of the region, AD Normandie, offers personalised support for setting up your business in Normandy. A team of experts assists you with the administrative procedures for the development of your project as well as investments.


Discover the support for the health industry by AD Normandie

Top 3 health innovations from Normandy

  • R-One, the robot assisting cardiologists
    The robot designed by the Rouen start-up Robocath, upgrades and safeguards coronary angioplasties by cardiologists (stent insertion). It has assisted in over 300 operations worldwide.
  • O2L-001, the molecule to treat strokes
    The new molecule was invented by OP2LYSIS, a start-up whose lab is based in the Cycéron biomedical imaging platform. The molecule is called O2L-001 and dissolves blood clots during hemorrhagic strokes without damaging nerve cells.
  • Cytoprocessor®
    This is the first CE-certified AI technology using cytology for cervical screening. The software by the Caen company DATEXIMuses AI to scan and analyse cell samples and identify abnormal cells.

Green health

The healthcare industry accounts for approximately 8% of greenhouse gas emissions. Major health facilities in Normandy are tackling the issue head-on, just take the conference by the Campus Santé Rouen Normandie on the subject of decarbonising health for sustainable care in September 2023. Normandy is also making great strides in epidemiology with new digital tools such as the EDSan Normandy healthcare database by Rouen University Hospital. 

Employment: Normandy healthcare is hiring

The ageing population combined with healthcare professionals retiring has led to huge gaps in the healthcare industry’s workforce. Normandy alone has over 9000 vacancies in the field: hospital housekeepers, supervisors, nurses, carers, doctors, dentists etc.

The pharmaceuticals industry also has vacancies in the region. Out of the 30,000 healthcare workers in Normandy, 9750 of them work in pharmaceuticals. The most sought-after candidates include industrial pharmacists, quality control technicians, maintenance technicians, industrial IT experts and data analysts.

The biggest companies in the industry

Normandy plays host to Big Pharma giants such as Sanofi France, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson and MSD Santé Animale. It is also home to world leaders with the likes of Gilbert, Aptar Pharma (the world’s leading spray and aerosol manufacturer for the pharmaceutical industry) and Eurapharma (a leading distributor of pharmaceutical products and services in Africa). In total, the health industry in Normandy covers 180 companies including 4 major pharmaceutical groups. 

The region is also a base for several health technology companies including Sehla France, Medgic Group and EasyCare. Healthcare innovations often blossom here. Some of them are approved by French Tech, i.e. Arterya and Mivimed.

Training: covering every healthcare position

Healthcare courses in Normandy

Would you like to study medicine, nursing or physiotherapy? Normandy’s all-encompassing range of healthcare courses are taught by its 2 universities that each have a health research facility in Caen and Rouen, alongside 29 paramedic colleges where you can get fifteen state diplomas in the medical field. The hardest part is choosing which town you want to study in! 

Anne Soullez

The industry's need for staff means you can get a job fast.

What also sets the region apart are resources like the Rouen Medical Training Centre. It enables medical students and healthcare workers to simulate surgery before operating in real life. 

 Access to every healthcare position

You can study for any healthcare and paramedic position in Normandy: GP, dental surgeon, pharmacist, midwife, carer, hospital housekeeper, paramedic, medical assistant, dental nurse, hearing aid dispenser, health visitor, dietitian, occupational therapist, nurse, anaesthesia associate, theatre nurse, advanced nurse practitioner, children’s nurse, MRI technician, physiotherapist, optician, speech therapist, podiatrist, chiropodist, pharmacy technician, dental technician, psychologist, psychomotor therapist, medical secretary, biomedical technician.

News in the healthcare industry in Normandy

Alga Biologics: fighting the big C with the sea

49 year old Muriel Bardor is making her childhood dream come true, or almost. She started out wanting to battle genetic disorders but ended up finding a way to produce antibodies that could treat some forms of cancer using microalgae… Her start-up, Alga Biologics, has already won several awards including the Normandie4Good prize in 2023.…

Aptar Pharma: a pioneering group

Virtual Reality (VR) at the service of research

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