Thanks to the excellence and multidisciplinarity of its 300 or so research centers and units, the Institute is developing research on human diseases, even the most rare, and is thus forging close links with patients’ associations, particularly through its Patients’ Association Liaison Group. In 2009, Inserm’s research teams published 6,769 articles, 53 of which were in the world’s Top 1% of most quoted articles (or 30% of articles from French laboratories in the Top 1% on life and health sciences). Together with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), it also fosters the emergence of talented researchers through Atip/Avenir grants.
with fundamental research findings which open up new prevention, diagnosis or care prospects being applied through clinical trials (105 promoted by Inserm in 2009) that are conducted in one of the 53 clinical investigations centers (2009 figures) set up in partnership with hospitals.
Inserm Transfert helps researchers to establish their innovation’s proof of concept and is involved in registering patents (828 in Inserm’s portfolio in 2009) and searching for industrial partners (561 R&D contracts in force and 460 permit contracts under way in 2009).
It is very actively involved in constructing the European Research Area, as illustrated especially by its success in the European Research Council’s calls for proposals (in 2009, 28 winners of 2007-2009 “Starting Researchers” and “Advanced Investigators” grants were associated with Inserm), the networking of clinical research centers (Ecrin, European clinical Research Infrastructures Network) and P4 (or BSL-4) high-security laboratories (Erinha, European Research Infrastructure on highly pathogenic Agents), the development of the European technology platform, Innovative Medicines Initiative and the coordination of European programs (20 FP7 programs in 2009).
Inserm is heading up the European pilot joint programming initiative to combat Neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s and, in 2009, had 24 associate laboratories, 6 Inserm units set up abroad and 30 international cooperation agreements.
To enable France to take up the health, scientific and socioeconomic challenges of the turn of the 21st century, Inserm, along with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), French National Institute for Agricultural Research (Inra), French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (Inria), French Research Institute for Development (IRD), Institut Pasteur, French Association of University Vice-Chancellors and French Association of University Hospital CEOs, founded the French National Alliance for Life and Health Sciences (Aviesan). This is equipped with ten thematic multi-organization institutes (ITMO) which are functional structures tasked with recommending strategic guidelines in health and life sciences and coordinating their programming.
Since it was set up, Aviesan has already met with initial success in terms of discussing and coordinating initiatives, particularly between Inserm, the CNRS, Universities and University Hospitals, as well as with thematic funding agencies, the French National Research Agency and Industry.