One of the essentials missions adopted by Inserm involves capitalizing on research carried out by its scientists, by accelerating the transition from the laboratory to the patient's bedside, and combining an academic approach with industrial strategies. The objective : transforming scientists' discoveries, inventions and know-how into innovations for society.

Increasingly effective and non-invasive diagnostic tests, innovative biological therapy, advanced imaging, augmented reality-assisted surgery, technologies for monitoring our individual health indicators, etc. Health innovations arising from biomedical research are ever increasing and constantly generating higher expectations in society.

However, before innovation can be of benefit on the largest possible scale, a scientific concept (proof of concept) must first be transformed into a technology, product or service with economic and/or social value. This value creation and industrial transfer step for new biomedical discoveries originating in the laboratories is a major challenge for Inserm.

Innovation at Inserm: a globally renowned ranking

Inserm is the ninth most innovative public research institution in the world (classement Thomson-Reuters 2016)

With a portfolio of more than 1,550 patents, it is the top-ranking European academic institute in terms of the number of patents filed in biomedical research and in the pharmaceutical sector, ranking in second place in the biotechnology sector, and sixth in France for all sectors combined (classification of the European Patents Office).

Protect, mature, transfer

Promising research results which may lead to the development of an innovation should first be protected. Scientists may thus continue their research in order to consolidate their concept and transform their scientific results into an innovation able to be developed with a company, in the context of an industrial partnership.

The project is then transferred to an industrial partner, able to continue and finalize the development, production, and marketing of the innovation. This transfer may take place according to different processes: collaboration with a licensing option, licensing, or even the creation of a biotechnology firm (start-up).

Supporting scientists and meeting industrial needs

Inserm supports its scientists and clinicians at every step, with the help of Inserm Transfert (IT), a 100% private Inserm subsidiary under a public service delegation agreement, specializing in technology and knowledge transfer.

The Inserm Transfert teams regularly visit the Inserm laboratories to identify research programs potentially suitable for the value creation process.

When an innovation is identified, Inserm Transfert takes steps to protect the scientist's research results and know-how, while supporting their development towards industrial transfer. Inserm Transfert has a budget reserved for the technological, scientific or economic maturation of projects, for this purpose. When appropriate, this process may take place in collaboration with technology transfer accelerator companies (SATTs).

In order to facilitate the final step of this transfer or a partnership with an industrialist, Inserm Transfert works in line with the R&D strategies of health industrialists, by meeting their requirements and setting up appropriate partnerships: licenses, R&D collaboration, services, strategic alliances, guidance, consortium agreements, etc. This process takes place while protecting the interests of the scientists, Inserm and its variety of partners.

One of Inserm Transfert's objectives is to set in place long-term quality industrial partnerships, built on value, while allowing the possibility for as many innovations as possible. Inserm Transfert focuses on medium- and long-term innovations and challenges, to help secure the future and longevity of Inserm, its scientists and its clinicians.

Social, but also economic value creation!

Academic research results, a source of knowledge and innovation for society, also represent a key part of the economic dynamic and French competitiveness.

Creating value from these results, within Inserm, is a significant source of revenue, enabling reinvestment in promising new innovations. In 2016, this activity generated €32M from industrial partnerships.