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The innovation and business relations department (DIRE)

CNRS’s innovation and business relations department (DIRE) oversees technology transfer for the enhancement of CNRS research.

"Innovation Research Industry" A film directed by Nicolas Mifsud, CNRS Images, 2015. Music: "Nothing is impossible" by Thierry Caroubi, with the kind authorization of Frederic Leibovitz Editeur. Photographs: CNRS Photothèque.

DIRE’s mission

The innovation and business relations department (DIRE) implements CNRS's strategy to promote research and technology transfer.

It works closely with CNRS regional offices and Institutes, and is at the heart of partnerships between CNRS research units and businesses. DIRE is also responsible for tracking patents, managing licenses, and helping create innovative start-ups sparked by CNRS laboratories.

In line with CNRS's innovation strategy, the Department develops and maintains collaborations established through framework agreements with large industrial groups.

DIRE is keen to set up partnerships with innovative, small to medium-size companies and give them access to the know-how and technologies of CNRS laboratories through collaborative research projects.

In order to fully participate in the national innovation ecosystems, DIRE also plays a leading role in competitiveness clusters, technology transfer companies (SATT), theme-based technology transfer consortiums (CVT), technological research institutes (IRT) and the Carnot institutes (IC), in particular.

Part of the Department’s mission is to identify emerging social and economic trends. Analyzing these trends enables it to select the most relevant research results to be promoted through transfers to the social and economic sectors.

Key figures

  • 4,535 patent families
  • 1250 operating licenses
  • 392 joint industrial ownership agreements (in 2013)
  • 1026 start-ups created since 1999
  • 26 framework agreements
  • more than 430 CNRS units involved in the 48 competitiveness clusters
  • 126 laboratories involved in 23 Carnot institutes
  • 165 training courses for industry (in 2014)


For information about licensing, please contact our office at valo.dpi@cnrs-dir.fr

Chiffres actualisés le 15/07/2015