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Séverine Valerius - 13/02/2014

Laying the foundation stone of the IHU LIRYC building

On 10 February Monique Thonnat, along with Mathieu Hazouard (Aquitaine regional councillor), Michel Delpuech (prefect of the Aquitaine region), Philippe Leconte (Inserm regional representative), Christophe Giraud (CNRS regional representative), Alain Juppé (president of the supervisory board of the Bordeaux CHU (university hospital)), Philippe Vigouroux (director of Bordeaux CHU), Thierry Francq (deputy general commissioner), Professor Michel Haissaguerre and Manuel Tunon de Lara (president of the University of Bordeaux), laid the foundation stone of the building which will be welcoming, in November 2014, the administrative staff, in December 2015 researchers and, in March 2015, the laboratories.

As a reminder, in November 2009 the report entitled "Investing for the future; strategic priorities for investment and national borrowing" put forward France's need for investments in favour of development, knowledge and innovation in order to improve the country's perspectives for growth. Within this framework, the "IHU" (University Hospital Institute) call for projects tender was opened; its objective was to build clusters of excellence with regards to research, teaching, care and development, whose expertise and international visibility should then attract industrial partners worldwide. IHUs must therefore have a structuring impact by stimulating the competitiveness of French health research and increasing its attractiveness.

In Bordeaux, LIRYC (Institute of Cardiac Rhythmology and Modelling), managed by Professor Michel Haïssaguerre and supported jointly by the University of Bordeaux and the Bordeaux CHU, was a winner of the Future Investments programme, thus being one of the six successful IHUs nationwide (three in Paris, one in Strasbourg, one in Marseille and one in Bordeaux). Within the framework of this programme, it obtained a grant of 45 million Euros, and was officially launched on 1 July 2011.

The collaboration with Inria

With regards to the Inria Bordeaux - Sud-Ouest research centre, two project teams are working in close collaboration on work carried out by IHU LIRYC.

On the one hand, the CARMEN team (modelling and computing for cardiac electrophysiology), led by Yves Coudière, is focussing on the understanding and treatment of electrical cardiac pathologies. For this, it is working on the modelling and simulation of electrical phenomena taking place in the heart, as well as on improving the informative value of electrical signals such as the electrocardiogram.

On the other hand, the GEOSTAT project team (geometry and statistics in acquisition data), under the responsibility of Hussein Yahia, is studying cardiac signals based on multi-scale methods in non-linear physics and complexity science. These methods enable transitions in an acquisition signal of cardiac activity to be quantified in a very precise way, and therefore to obtain overall characteristics of cardiac dynamics, which are not accessible when using traditional approaches.

Architectural choices

Thomas Quenault, the project architect, explains that"the Institute has the unique feature of bringing together, on one platform, all of the laboratories, imaging equipment and modelling teams".

The issues concerning the construction of the future IHU are integration, innovation and scalability. Indeed, the future building should provide a successful integration of all of its components, whilst enabling later developments and reconfigurations; the end goal being to have a property that is perfectly adapted to evolutions in the research carried out by the Institute.

Multiple financing

LIRYC's vocation is to be a true structure for mixed public/private partnership research, aiming to maximise the potential of the efforts invested and thus guarantee its competitiveness. This also explains the financing set-up:

  • ANR (French National Research Agency) €45m, made up of: €17,034,922 expendable grant to finance the building project (€11.6m) and scientific equipment and interest generated by the investment of a non-expendable grant of €88,886,307 comprising a provisional amount of €27,965,078 for operations.
  • Financial support from the Aquitaine regional council of €15m, comprising €10m for the building project and €5 for scientific equipment
  • Financial support from industry partners in the form of collaborations, the creation of chairmanships, services and sponsorships which amount to several million Euros.

Keywords: Liryc IHU