The UM at the heart of the Curie network

From June 13 to 15, the University of Montpellier hosted the Curie Congress, which brought together 600 professionals involved in the development of public research in France. This was an opportunity to discuss best practices in this highly dynamic sector, at a time when the UM is one of the five experimental university innovation clusters (PUI) and its innovation and partnerships department is further expanding its activities.

" I think we can say that these three days have been a great success," said a smiling Gaëtan Lan Sun Luk at the end of the Curie Congress, which was held at the Corum from June 13 to 15. This event brings together every year in a different city all the professionals involved in the development of public research. For this year's event, the 600 participants met in sunny Montpellier. " We were able to meet with the innovation and partnership departments of French universities and research establishments, as well as with various SATTs, incubators, sponsors, and representatives of the Ministry.

Exchange of best practices

And while the mood was certainly upbeat, the program was no less full. Nadia Pellefigue, vice-president of the Occitanie region in charge of higher education and research, kicked off the event with a conference on the commitment to the valorization of public research. " Commitment was the strong theme of this conference. Commitment to promote research, commitment so that a project leader can achieve his or her goal, personal commitment to give meaning to his or her mission," said Gaëtan Lan Sun Luk, who also spoke at a workshop on developments following the Pacte law on public-private bridges.

In all, 40 workshops enabled participants to exchange information about their practices on topics as diverse as tools and methods of valorisation, industrial clubs, labcom or the consideration of sustainable development in valorisation. This year, particular emphasis was placed on the practices of our German neighbors. " This annual meeting is a very good opportunity for all of us to make progress, and to move forward on issues. We work, but we also discuss during meals, in moments of relaxation ," says the director of DIPA.

Rising to the top

The speech by François Pierrot, vice-president in charge of innovation at the UM, provided an opportunity to review the major structuring project: the University Innovation Pole(PUI). The UM is one of five universities to receive the state's seal of approval, and even benefits from one of the largest allocations with 2.5 million euros. "We will be able to restructure and expand our activities as of next September," adds Gaëtan Lan Sun Luk.

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

Get your projects off the ground

Another priority for the coming months is to address researchers more directly, who are still too often unaware of the diversity of services and support that DIPA can offer them to enhance their research. To better inform them, the department is launching a new video series called " Takeoff " in which researchers explain how the Department of Innovation and Partnerships has been able to help them along their path: " The basic premise is that it is easier to listen to a peer than to 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 formats of three minutes each, describing the different ways in which a researcher can transfer innovation. The first three are already available online. They include Valérie Guillard, a researcher at the IATE laboratory and coordinator of the Glopack research project, for a presentation of European calls for projects; David Andreu, a researcher at Lirmm and co-founder of the start-up Neurinnov, for a presentation of the company creation process; and Xavier Garric, from the Max Mousseron Biomolecules Institute and co-founder of the start-up Womed, who received support for his company's scientific consulting services

The objective 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 projects and to increase the chances of success! Three more episodes are coming soon on the UM website.