Start-ups originating from the CNRS, a punt on the future

The more than 1,400 start-ups that originate from CNRS laboratories point to the economic potential of research, as well as the entrepreneurial spirit of researchers. Flexible and creative, they are essential drivers in promoting innovation, thereby contributing to economic growth. 

Researcher entrepreneurs

Since the 1999 law known as the “Allègre law,” which allowed the implementation of technology transfer measures and helped change ways of thinking, CNRS researchers have been able to set up companies. Based on highly qualitative transferable research results, 80% of the start-ups that have emerged from laboratories are still in operation today. As evidence of their success, some are listed, while others have been purchased by multinationals. More than a third (38%) are in the information technology and communication sectors, followed by biology and health (24%), with chemistry and materials (19%) coming a close third.

The approximately 1,400 start-ups that have originated from the CNRS since 1999 have helped create nearly 8,000 jobs.
Marie-Pierre Comets, Director of the Innovation and Business Relations Department

Support mechanisms

Supporting pre-maturation

The CNRS has implemented a policy aimed at assisting and encouraging the creation of companies in laboratories, in an effort to ensure effective technology transfer. A series of mechanisms and resources supports technological pre-maturation and assists researchers-entrepreneurs in evaluating the possibility of bringing an innovation to market, investing in the company’s capital, and promoting future partnerships.

Investing in start-ups

Through CNRS innovation (formerly Fist SA), its national technology transfer subsidiary, the CNRS has already taken a stake in 26 start-ups with high innovation potential. These companies operate in major research fields such as information technology and communication, biology, physics, and chemistry. These investments reflect the CNRS’s long-term commitment to promising companies.

CNRS Innovation website