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The three pillars of the DIRE

The innovation and business relations department (DIRE), has set up three operating divisions to carry out its strategy.

The Science and Innovation Division (PS&I)

The Science and Innovation Division constantly liaises with Unit Directors, Deputy Scientific Directors (DAS), heads of Technology Transfer at the ten CNRS Institutes, as well as with the Partnership and Technology Transfer services of CNRS regional offices. The Division's missions include:

  • Mapping laboratories with strong innovative potential, with the support of the Institutes and the CNRS subsidiary FIST SA, in order to set up CNRS Strategic Pillars of Innovation (ASI). These ASIs play a structuring role in the technology transfer partnerships fostered by DIRE with large corporations.
  • Responding, through its Competency Directory, to queries from partners (and SMEs in particular) seeking specific expertise within CNRS. The Division helps them establish relations and develop collaborative projects between CNRS laboratories and industry.

The Innovation Networks and Ecosystems Division (PR&ES)

Through the results of its research units, its 20 partnership and technology transfer services and its national technology transfer policy, CNRS contributes its know-how to improving the national innovation system. It plays a key role in the various innovation structures dedicated to partnerships with and transfers to the social and economic sectors. These structures include:

  • Competitiveness clusters: CNRS is a central player in these structures, both through active governance and through its researchers' participation in their programs.
  • The Carnot institutes: the overwhelming majority of France's 34 Carnot institutes include CNRS units, thus guaranteeing scientific excellence and impetus for future innovation.
  • Technology transfer companies (SATT): CNRS is a shareholder and member of the Board of all SATTs (fourteen are being set up). It entrusts them with nearly all its future patent rights for technological development and marketing.
  • Alliances: CNRS has joined forces with other national research organizations to offer high value-added services to the various parties involved in innovation (SATTs, France Brevets, the industry, technological research institutes (IRT), and institutes of excelIence for carbon-free energy (IEED)).

The Business Relations and Innovative Technology Transfer Division (PRETI)

This division has a dual role:

  • strengthen business partnerships by negotiating joint research framework agreements. These agreements facilitate contracts and provide a regulatory framework for shared intellectual property, an issue of particular relevance to our partners;
  • protect and promote research results.

With a patent portfolio including more than 4,500 active patent families, CNRS has established a voluntary initiative to rapidly protect its inventions so as to allow a better assessment of their subsequent economic impact.

PRETI also finds applications for CNRS laboratories' research results by developing and signing around 100 operating licenses each year. It supports the creation of innovative start-ups. Since 1999 - in just over a decade - more 1000 CNRS-associated start-ups have been established, 80% of which are still in business.