Inria and Unitec standing alongside start-ups in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region
Nicolas Roussel, director of the Inria Bordeaux - Sud-Ouest research centre, and Didier Roux, president of Unitec
On Friday 1st February, Nicolas Roussel, director of the Inria Bordeaux - Sud-Ouest research centre, and Didier Roux, president of Unitec, signed a collaboration agreement, formalising the long-standing partnership linking Inria and Unitec in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.
Company creation, the preferred option for converting research results into innovative economic activity
Inria is keen to establish a sense of continuity between research, technological development, industrial transfer and applications. With this in mind, the institute has introduced a series of measures aimed at strengthening its capacities in terms of technology and skills transfer.
One example of this is the introduction of a full support circuit for the launch of tech start-ups in the digital sphere. The process begins with initiatives targeted at raising awareness of company creation among PhD students, postdoc researchers and engineers, before continuing throughout the creation process. There are different mechanisms specific to Inria for supporting start-up project leaders: training (marketing, business, finance, HR, etc.), technology maturation, co-designing entrepreneurial projects, establishing ties with funding bodies at both a French and EU level, etc.
Rooted in the region in order to aid start-ups
Unitec is one of the leading bodies for start-up support in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Its goal is to support economic development in a way that will benefit the region in terms of both its influence and its appeal.
Through this partnership, Inria and Unitec are aiming to stimulate and support the creation of start-ups, jointly coordinating initiatives geared towards raising awareness of entrepreneurship, jointly providing customised support for start-ups who began life within Inria and finding ways of integrating Inria technology into existing companies. What’s more, Inria are able to share their expertise, their knowledge and their technology with the community of entrepreneurs supported by Unitec.
6 start-ups already created through this support
UT4H is a start-up developing the Home-Assist solution, which began life within the Phoenix project team. The analysis of measurements collected by sensors installed in the home, also known as “altimetry”, is used to track daily activities, and can be accessed via smartphone or tablet. Home-Assist provides detailed information, helping users to estimate how autonomous an individual might be or to identify behavioural issues such as insomnia, risk of falling, etc. without impinging upon their privacy. The elderly individuals themselves, their families and care staff will be notified in the event of these signals accumulating.
NENUPHAR is technology that uses patient data and algorithms developed by the project team Monc to predict the development of cancerous growths and to help clinicians when it comes to making decisions. This technology was eventually bought over by Sophia Genetics prior to the start-up being created.
POLLEN ROBOTICS is a start-up which began life within the Flowersproject team and whose goal is to teach coding to people by creating robots. In the interests of democratising digital science, Pollen Robotics designs robots that can be used to develop an understanding of programming and artificial intelligence in a way that is both fun and interactive.
REALITYTECH is a start-up which draws on the work carried out by the Potioc project team in order to develop collaborative augmented reality technology. Their projection platform is capable of making any table interactive, augmenting physical objects in terms of their properties and their capacities. The experience of users is enriched by coming into contact with these new features, with a whole host of possible uses: new board games, educational applications or ground-breaking interactive presentations for products.
NUREA is a start-up that began life within the Memphis project team who develop decision support and implant personalisation software for cardiovascular and thoracic surgery (e.g. aortic stents, tracheal implants, etc.). Through innovative digital simulation technology, surgeons are given information automatically from scanners, helping them in the process of making diagnoses and deciding whether or not to operate (for aortic aneurysms, for example). What’s more, being able to simulate the impact of an implant once it is in place means it is then possible to customise it automatically based on patient scanners and to manufacture them using 3D printing.
Nurea are jointly supported by Unitec and Bordeaux Technowest.
ATOPTIMA isa start-up that began life within the RealOpt project team. They provide companies with a software solution enabling them to optimise vehicle routing and fleet management.
About Unitec: Unitec is one of the leading bodies for start-up support in the Bordeaux metropolitan area and in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, having helped launch more than 445 start-ups in the region. With a team of 12 start-up managers and 20 hosting sites, Unitec offers consulting in 3 sectors (digital, life sciences and engineering science), providing the stimulus needed to take innovation from the idea phase to company creation (incubator), and supporting companies in their organisation and their development (nursery) as well as in their strategic growth (development). In 2018, Unitec provided support to 128 start-ups, with a 5-year survival rate of 86% for companies monitored.