Published on 26.11.2019
IHUs welcome the French National Research Agency’s (ANR) announcement that it will extend funding for 5 IHUs including Imagine, the Institute for genetic diseases. Created as part of the French Investments for the Future Program in 2011, IHUs are centers of scientific and medical excellence in research, care, education and technology transfer. As the 10-year anniversary of the IHUs creation approaches, the Prime Minister chose to show his ongoing confidence in this innovative model by encouraging the ANR, through a committee of international and independent experts, to evaluate IHUs with a view to possibly extending their IHU status. The committee delivered a positive opinion on this extension for Imagine and confirmed the Institute’s position as a “world leader in genetics” in the words of the international jury.
On the recommendation of an international jury, the ANR decided to renew the IHU status of the Imagine Institute for the 2020-2024 period. “This decision demonstrates that the quality of work conducted since the Institute’s founding and our ability to develop an effective innovation ecosystem has been recognized, commented Prof. Stanislas Lyonnet, director of Imagine Institute. We will be awarded 17 million euros in funding, the highest amount offered by the international jury in what is clearly a highly competitive process.”
This announcement reflects the success of the IHU model and demonstrates the confidence that the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research and the French Ministry for Solidarity and Health have in it. The excellence of Imagine was emphasized several times by the international jury, who described the Institute as a world leader in genetic research and the treatment of rare genetic diseases, especially due to Imagine’s ability to bring together the best talents in the field.
Imagine: the 1st European center for genetic disease research, care and education
As the leading European center for genetic disease research, care and education, Imagine Institute's primary goal is to understand and cure genetic diseases. Since its founding, it has been supported by its six founding members, namely AP-HP, Inserm, Paris Descartes University/University of Paris, the Fondation des Hôpitaux de Paris-Hôpitaux de France, the Paris City Council, and the French Muscular Dystrophy Association (AFM-Téléthon).
The Institute brings together 1,000 of the best doctors, researchers and healthcare professionals in an environment which fosters synergies. It is this unique continuum of expertise, combined with the proximity of patients, which allows Imagine to accelerate discoveries and their applications in order to benefit patients.
The Institute also received the “Tremplin Carnot” certification in 2016 from the French Ministry for Education, Higher Education and Research.
Since its founding in 2007, Imagine has recruited 8 new, mostly international, teams, created an intelligent data warehouse and a Master’s degree in bioentrepreneurship, entered into 300 industrial partnerships, filed 82 patents, entered into 4 international partnerships, broken new ground in the treatment of emblematic genetic diseases such as sickle cell anemia and achondroplasia. The Institute currently has 96 therapeutic and diagnostic solutions at the clinical or pre-clinical stage, that it hopes to soon offer to the 35,000 young patients who it welcomes for consultations every year,
Galvanized by the French Investments for the Future Program, since 2011 Imagine has created a leverage effect: every euro invested in Imagine as part of the Investments for the Future Program has been multiplied by a factor of 4, with half of the amount invested coming from private funds. The Institute has created 9 startups and raised €20 million in sponsorships since 2012.
The extension of the French Investments for the Future Program from 2020 to 2024 has made it possible for Imagine Institute to continue to pursue its goal of helping sick children.
“Buoyed by this commitment and its own success, the Institute’ goal is to double these results by 2015 through breakthrough projects: the creation of a Datacenter, a financial accelerator, and a Lab-in-Labs, as well as through extending its scientific hosting capacities particularly in bioinformatics, and developing a SHS integrative social program for a human vision of pediatric genetics and precision genomic medicine.” commented Prof. Lyon-net.
The search for a specific model guided the creation of the six IHUs selected in 2010. Although they were created and developed differently, together, these six centers of excellence help to strengthen France’s appeal in the field of medical research. Each IHU brings research organizations, teams of researchers, academics, healthcare professionals, and companies together in one place on a hospital campus.
- LIRYC – BORDEAUX | the Electrophysiology and Heart Modelling Institute
- Méditerranée Infection – MARSEILLE | IHU for Infectious Diseases
- ICAN – PARIS | Institute of Cardiometabolism and Nutrition
- ICM – PARIS | Institute for Translational Neurosciences
- IMAGINE – PARIS | Institute for Genetic Diseases
- IHU STRASBOURG | Mix Surg, Institute of Image-Guided Surgery
With a budget of 850 million euros, the 1st call for projects by the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research and the French Ministry for Health, in the context of the French Investments for the Future Program, brought these centers of excellence to the forefront in order to strengthen France’s appeal in the field of medical research. The goal of these six IHUs is to bring researchers and clinicians from the best university, hospital and academic teams together in one place to focus on one subject. Patients are at the heart of everything the IHUs do, from research to sharing innovations.