The UM at the heart of the Curie network

From June 13 to 15, the University of Montpellier hosted the Curie congress, bringing together 600 professionals involved in the commercialization of public research in France. The event provided an opportunity to exchange best practices in this ultra-dynamic sector, at a time when the UM is one of five experimental university innovation clusters (PUI) and its Innovation and Partnerships Department is stepping up its activities.

" I think it's fair to say that these three days have been a resounding success," said a smiling Gaëtan Lan Sun Luk at the close of the Congrès Curie, held at the Corum from June 13 to 15. Every year, this event brings together all the professionals involved in the commercialization of public research in a different city. For this 2022 edition, the 600 delegates gathered in sunny Montpellier. " We were able to meet the innovation and partnership departments of French universities and research establishments, as well as the various SATTs, incubators, sponsors and representatives from the French Ministry of Research"...

Sharing best practices

And while the mood was certainly upbeat, the program was no less packed. Nadia Pellefigue, Vice-President of the Occitanie region in charge of higher education and research, kicked things off with a conference on commitment to the valorization of public research. " Commitment was the key theme of this conference. Commitment to valorizing research, commitment so that a project leader achieves his objective personal commitment to give meaning to his mission," emphasized Gaëtan Lan Sun Luk, who for his part communicated during a workshop on developments following the Pacte law on public-private gateways.

A total of 40 workshops enabled participants to discuss their practices on topics as diverse as value-adding tools and methods, industrial clubs, labcom and sustainable development in value-adding. Particular emphasis was placed this year on the practices of our German neighbors. " This annual meeting is a very good opportunity for us all to make progress, and to move issues forward. We work together, but we also discuss things over meals, when we're relaxing," says DIPA's director.

Ramping up

François Pierrot, vice-president in charge of innovation at the UM, took the opportunity to talk about the major structuring project: the University Innovation Pole(PUI). The UM is one of five universities to have been awarded the PUI label by the French government, and has even received one of the largest allocations with 2.5 million euros. "We'll be ramping up our activities from September onwards, " adds Gaëtan Lan Sun Luk.

Continued ideation at the Montpellier innovation booster, recruitment of new engineers, development of a genuine pipeline between laboratories and innovative companies... "We are relatively successful at detecting innovations in our laboratories. We're relatively good at detecting innovations in our laboratories. We're a little less effective in what we call the market pool, i.e. responding to market demand. We're going to work on this," says the director.

Get your projects off the ground

Another priority for the coming months is to reach out more directly to researchers, who are still all too often unaware of the wide range of services and support that DIPA can offer to help them make the most of their research. To better inform them, the department is launching a new video series entitled " Décollage", in which researchers explain how the Innovation and Partnerships Department has been able to help them along the way: " The basic premise is that it's easier to listen to a peer than an administrator, and that a video is sometimes more effective than any speech given at a conference", explains Gaëtan Lan Sun Luk.

A mini-series of six short, three-minute formats covering the different ways in which a researcher can transfer innovation. The first three are already available online. They include Valérie Guillard, researcher at the IATE laboratory and coordinator of the Glopack research project, for a presentation of European calls for projects; David Andreu, researcher at Lirmm, and co-founder of the start-up Neurinnov, for the company creation section; and Xavier Garric, from the Max Mousseron Biomolecules Institute and co-founder of the start-up Womed, who received support to enable him to provide scientific advice to his company.

"Theaim of this series is to highlight a success story, a nugget from a researcher," explains Melissa Iannetta, Project Manager at DIPA. Whether it's a response to a European call for projects or the creation of a start-up, DIPA is there to provide the best possible support for all types of project, and to boost the chances of success! " Three other episodes will soon be available on the UM website.