Research Programs

Through its research programs, Inserm aims to facilitate and accelerate discoveries and their transformation into tangible progress for patients and society. In this sense, the Institute is developing a research environment that is conducive to interactions between basic, translational, and clinical research, with a central place given to basic research. Inserm also participates in the steering and implementation of France’s national « health » plans.

Cross-cutting scientific programs

In line with its missions, Inserm has been developing cross-cutting scientific programs focused on high-priority research areas since 2016. The objectives of these programs are to:

  • build scientific communities in specific and high-priority fields by developing national interdisciplinary consortia founded on the skills and expertise of Inserm teams
  • make French biomedical research a leading player in these fields by accelerating knowledge acquisition, transfer, and value-creation, including by integrating industry from the program design stage

These unifying programs aim to create a new dynamic in innovative fields by developing complementary skills to explore research areas that have as yet been little studied.

Funding is only provided to collaborative projects that spread across a group of activities (i.e. several workstreams to be implemented by a consortium of teams). These cross-cutting programs are open to academic and industrial partners (with partnerships across the program as a whole, or only in one or more program workstreams).

To find out more about the cross-cutting programs, download the calls for projects (only available in French):

Technology Research Accelerators (ARTs)

Inserm is developing programs that aim to accelerate technology research and rapidly make the results available to its teams. In a context where science is increasingly dependent on access to cutting-edge technology, Inserm has set up structures dedicated to technological innovation and its dissemination within the Institute. Three Technology Research Accelerators (ARTs) have already been set up, focusing on medical ultrasound, bioprinting, and genomic therapy. A fourth ART, dedicated to artificial intelligence, is under study.

Presentation of the Inserm ARTs

Theme-Based National Plans

Cancer, genomic medicine, rare diseases: France is initiating national plans centered around various key health themes. Inserm is developing or implementing specific actions to meet the expectations of these plans and is participating in the development or steering of some of them.

Cancer Plan

The 2014–2019 Cancer Plan primarily aspires to meet the needs and expectations of patients, their friends and family, and society as a whole. It aims to cure, but also to support the individual and their friends and family, through research and prevention. Inserm is involved not only in carrying out and funding research activities at the French National Cancer Institute, but also as a crucial player through its own research teams.

Genomic Medicine Initiative

The 2025 French Genomic Medicine Initiative, developed by Inserm and its Aviesan partners, aims to expand the use of whole genome sequencing in clinical practice. From now until 2025, 60,000 genomes will be decoded every year, in order to strengthen personalized medicine.

Visit the website

See also: UK-France Summit. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Genomic Medicine, the Focus of the Agreement Supported by Aviesan (press release dated January 19, 2018)

Antibiotic Resistance Priority Research Program

« Increase research efforts today for decreased antibiotic resistance tomorrow. » Such is the slogan of France’s Antibiotic Resistance Priority Research Program (PPR) – with funding from the third Investments for the Future program and whose scientific management has been entrusted to Inserm. 

Download the Antibiotic Resistance Priority Research Program and its essential points (only available in French)

Neurodegenerative Diseases Plan

The presidency of the Neurodegenerative Diseases Plan (PMND) is held by the Inserm Research Steering Committee, and the Neurosciences Multi-Organization Thematic Institute is coordinating the research component of the plan. 

Rare Diseases Plan

Inserm was involved in the second National Rare Diseases Plan (2011–2014), most notably through the activities of its Orphanet and BIOBANKS infrastructures.

Implementation of a public health research plan

Among the objectives set out in its 2020 Strategic Plan, Inserm aims to strengthen its strategic steering tools in the area of public health: a field that aims to understand how health, well-being, and health system cost-effectiveness can be improved. This program is based on four coherent approaches that will receive high-priority support in order to strengthen the international visibility and reactivity of French public health research:

  • determinants of health, prevention, and interventional research
  • health, work, and environmental interactions
  • innovation and organization of health services and public policies
  • concepts and methods in emerging and innovative fields