economy and innovation

First national SATT convention: Innovation at the heart of the territories


Geneviève Fioraso, Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research, Louis Schweitzer, Chief Investment Officer, and Pierre-René Lemas, Chief Executive Officer of Caisse des Dépôts Group, today opened the first national convention of the Sociétés d'Accélération du Transfert de Technologies (SATT) created within the framework of the Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir (PIA). Launched at the initiative of the SATT association, this first national event was an opportunity to bring together all the SATT partners to raise awareness, in the light of their initial results, among researchers in universities and research organisations as well as players from the socio-economic world of the issues involved in promoting innovation and technology transfer.

The SATTs, an innovative mechanism for the valorisation of research

The SATTs, which emerged from the IAP, are designed to simplify, accelerate and facilitate the transfer of technology and knowledge from public research to companies of all sizes, in all fields of knowledge. « In creating the SATTs, the State is banking on simplifying the technology transfer landscape by pooling resources at regional level and reducing or even abolishing previous arrangements. This simplification will be reinforced over time.said Louis Schweitzer, Commissioner General for Investment.

The objective is to create economic value from the results of academic research and to be an accelerator of job creation by encouraging the emergence of new activities or companies. As part of their technology transfer mission, the SATTs have access to the skills and inventions of public researchers based in their territory. They protect their inventions and bear the technological and financial risk inherent in these projects.

The 14 SATTs created to date have a maturation fund of more than 850 million euros. (1) which will be paid in three instalments over a total period of ten years after continuous evaluation of the performance of each. This fund makes it possible to finance the creation and operation of the SATTs as well as their investments: a substantial part is allocated to their maturation and proof-of-concept missions and to the marketing of technological solutions.

As Geneviève Fioraso said "Very significant resources are being devoted to strengthening our transfer system through the SATTs. No other country in the world has taken similar action on this scale. This is a major opportunity for public institutions to professionalize key activities for the mission of transfer to the socio-economic world, a mission enshrined in the law of 22 July 2013 on higher education and research. The legislative provision on the single agent, whose decree has just been approved by the Council of State, will promote the transition from laboratory invention to appropriate innovation by the company. »

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In terms of direct employment, the 14 SATTs represent nearly 360 people specialising in intellectual property, technology project engineering, law, marketing and business development.
SATTs are SAS held 67 % by public research institutions in the regions and 33% by Caisse des Dépôts on behalf of the State under the PIA. "I am very proud that Caisse des Dépôts has been chosen to support the SATTs. This bringing together of public and private cultures to get the best out of each of them has been our trademark for 198 years".said Pierre-René Lemas, Chief Executive Officer of Caisse des Dépôts Group.

The first results in terms of technological innovation seem to be in place

The SATTs are collectively recording encouraging initial results with already nearly 70 million euros invested. Today, nearly 2,900 projects have been detected, 540 patents have been filed, more than 140 operating licenses have been granted, and more than 1,500 projects have been completed. (2) concluded with French companies and some forty start-ups that have benefited from an acceleration in their development (3).

Among the many examples, three technologies were presented at the national convention:

- The "Terahertz" imaging technology, supported by the SATT AxLR, is finding applications, particularly in the medical field for diagnosing skin cancer ;
- The development and marketing of the fastest blur detection algorithm in the world, accompanied by the SATT IDF INNOV, which could eventually revolutionize the digitization of media or the world of photography ;
- The development of an NFC (Near Field Communication) technology supported by SATT AQUITAINE SCIENCE TRANSFERT, which allows interactivity with a smart phone without a wired connection, a transport card (Navigo pass type), access cards (company, restaurant ...), etc...

The territorial anchoring of the SATTs gives companies direct access to the latest innovations in all fields and in connection with promising industrial sectors, in particular those based on digital technologies, biotechnologies and medical devices or energy.

In a global economy marked by increasingly fierce international competition, France is more than ever supporting the creation of sustainable jobs, generating innovative products and services that will boost exports thanks to competitiveness through quality.

About the National Fund for the Development of the Future Investment Program, managed by the General Commissariat for Investment:
As part of the Programme d'Investissements d'Avenir (PIA), the French government has set up a National Valorisation Fund (FNV) with a budget of over €950 million to finance 14 SATTs (€856 million), France Brevets (€50 million) and Thematic Valorisation Consortiums (€50 million). The FNV is co-managed by ANR and Caisse des Dépôts on behalf of the State.

(1) Issued from the National Fund for the Development of the PIA, managed by the General Investment Commission.
(2) The SATTs protect inventions originating from laboratories and universities and carry the technological and financial risk inherent in such projects. while allowing them to retain ownership. Thus, patents or licences are registered via the SATTs but belong to the institution or researcher who is the inventor.
(3) See the attached press pack with some examples of technologies accompanied by the SATTs and ready to be transferred to industry.

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