In 2010, France launched the “Strategic Investment program” to boost knowledge-based economy.
In the biomedical area, these investments resulted in competitive calls supporting large-scale projects. With a total endowment of €850M, the creation of 6 high-visibility institutes, located in University Hospitals (Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire or IHU) is of paramount strategic importance for the modernization of the French medical research.
A scientific and medical excellence
The 6 IHU have been selected by an international board of experts, after a competitive call peer- reviewed. At the core of each IHU project, lie world-renowned medical and scientific teams dedicated to a field of expertise:
For the period 2013-2014: 2837 articles published in international peer-reviewed publications, 20% in top 10 journals
Within its field of expertise, each IHU has become an integrated institute which combines excellence in:
- Basic, clinical and translational research
- Innovative care
- Training and education
- Technology transfer
These 4 missions have been designed to be complementary and strongly interdependent about R&D, but also physicians and nurses training, patient education, new care protocols and new hospital organization. Therefore, IHU have been designed to develop innovative solutions and experiment the organization for their diffusion to clinical teams and patients, in a unique place.
In 2013 and 2014: 700 translational or multidisciplinary R&D projects, 1229 clinical trials
Teams and infrastructures at the forefront of the innovation
- The IHU have research capacity and instruments in selected areas with an international visibility. They have managed to gather large research and clinical teams which combine their expertise to fulfill the IHU’s roadmap to improve patients healthcare.
- The IHU, located at the heart of famous university hospitals, gather in a single site research teams, core facilities, innovative technological platforms and patients.
- Within these buildings, researchers have access to infrastructures and facilities with few equivalents in the world: medical imaging, genomic platforms, innovative surgery rooms etc.
- The attractiveness of the organization and infrastructures are real assets to the arrival of new employees. Since their creation, IHUs’ teams have been strengthened by foreign group leaders and teams. The positions opened for international group leaders generate many foreign applications from European and non-European researchers.
Attracting foreign talents is part of the IHUs missions:
– 65 international researchers (UK, GE, US, NL …) working within a IHU
– 414 foreign students and visiting scientists
Creation of value through public/private partnerships
Each IHU develops a translational research infrastructure with two complementary objectives:
- Creating value by enabling translation from basic research outcomes, through the clinical proof of concept, with a careful scientific, medical, regulatory and market supervision of the product development;
- Diffusing by fostering partnership with the health industry, taking advantage of the high quality services and the project management skills (high throughput screening, cellular or animal models, imaging, preclinical pharmacology and toxicology, clinical proof of concept, clinical trials, cohorts, etc.), teaching etc.
IHU already have an interesting track record for valorization and partnerships that they are eager to develop.
Organized to simplify partnerships:
IHUs have a legal personality as private non-profit foundations, IP framework agreements between members.