Research infrastructure is a crucial component of high-level, competitive research: the equipment, resources, and services used by scientists to carry out their research and deliver innovation in their fields. It also plays a role in method development and improvement. Inserm coordinates numerous infrastructures, which are housed by its laboratories or gathered within certified joint service units. The Institute also coordinates four national infrastructures.
Infrastructure now plays a crucial role in the life and health sciences: the time when fairly rudimentary benchtop equipment could lead to major research breakthroughs is coming to an end. Life and health sciences now advance largely thanks to more complex tools and approaches, including structural analysis, the -omics, cell imaging and bioimaging, molecular engineering, bioinformatics, in silico modeling, and the management and integration of big data. Infrastructure lies at the heart of this movement.
These infrastructures are an integral part of high-level, competitive research, and their quality plays a crucial role in attracting both academic and industrial research teams.
Inserm Research Infrastructure
The Inserm infrastructure covers 23 spheres of activity that are crucial to the work of its researchers. These research infrastructures are housed and managed by the laboratories, or grouped within joint service units (US). Inserm currently has 34 certified joint service units, which provide scientific, technological, or managerial shared services.
The research infrastructures are organized into platforms. Each platform corresponds to a group (on one or several sites) of technical and human methods designed to offer high-level services and technological resources to the scientific community. Platform staff may co-develop scientific programs with staff from a research unit.
Inserm Platform Spheres of Activity
- Animal services, functional testing, and phenotyping
- Bioinformatics and bioanalysis
- Cell, molecular, and genetic biology, and recombinant proteins
- Structural biology and biophysics
- Cohort studies, databases, and bioethics
- Screening platform and chemical library
- Genomics and transcriptomics
- Hadron therapy
- Histopathology and histomorphology
- Cell imaging and cytometry
- Information technology
- BSL-3 laboratory
- BSL-4 laboratory
- Regenerative medicine
- New therapies, vectorization, and stem cells
- Proteomics and mass spectrometry
- Translational/clinical research and biobanks
Inserm and National Infrastructures
The Infrastructures nationales en biologie/santé (National Biology/Health Infrastructures), created by France’s Investments for the Future program, provide a high value-added service to the whole academic community, but also to private partners. These projects ensure technological development at the highest level, providing effective support for progress in biomedical research.
The Inserm Infrastructures Committee
The Inserm Infrastructures Committee was created in 2016 within the Health Technologies theme-based institute. It aims to coordinate, strengthen, and add value to the Institute’s technology platforms and service units, which are crucial for progress in biomedical research.