Washington DC

The nation’s capital

The federal capital of the United States and its region (Maryland and Virginia) is home to the majority of the country’s national institutions. These include federal departments, equivalent to the French ministries, such as the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, as well as major federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These agencies have their own research centers and participate in the definition and implementation of U.S. science policy. Washington is also home to several international institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. The proximity of policy makers and regulators attracts many large companies, professional associations and non-profit organizations to Washington.

At the heart of scientific research

The D.C. region is home to more than 20 universities, including the University of Maryland (which has major partnerships with the federal government in health, aerospace, defense and cybersecurity), Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (particularly renowned in medicine and public health, with the first R&D budget in the U.S.), Georgetown University (among the best in the U.S.) and George Washington University (the largest university in Washington, active in over 70 disciplines). The region has a skilled workforce: the states of Maryland and Virginia have one of the highest STEM licensing rates in the country.

Major industries in information technology, defense, health and energy

The D.C. metro area is home to major U.S. companies such as Google, Booz Allen Hamilton, Intelsat, Merkle and Mars, among many others. Amazon recently announced the installation of a national headquarters in Arlington and Alexandria. The Dulles Technology Corridor, a cluster of defense and technology companies in northern Virginia, near Washington Dulles International Airport, accounts for half of the world’s Internet traffic and hosts more telecommunications and aerospace companies than anywhere else in the world. Ashburn, the "Data Center Alley", is a large national data storage center and already hosts the majority of Amazon Web Services’ IP addresses. Many French companies have also chosen to establish a subsidiary in the region such as Airbus, Axa, Lafarge, Sanofi, EDF, Areva and Air Liquide.

An innovative ecosystem in full expansion

The "DMV" region (DC, Maryland, Virginia) has become an active focus of innovation in the United States. It gathers more than 1,000 start-up companies and 185,000 employees in the high-tech sector, including 27,000 in cybersecurity. D.C. also has major investors in the field of technologies and biotechnologies. Local governments introduced pro-innovation policies and programs: Maryland and Virginia are both classified as "innovation champions" by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Major women’s entrepreneurship networks have developed in Washington (e.g. WE Capital). Entrepreneurs and investors in the Washington area have privileged access to American legislators and regulators in their respective industries.

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