The law on innovation allows public sector researchers to create a business based on their research work. As a result, the institute encourages and strongly supports the creation of start-ups originating from Inria, using devices such as Inria Startup Studio.
Inria also holds the “French Tech Seed” label, through which the institute is able to ensure that tech start-ups who have reached maturity can benefit from a special €400m fund set up by the French government.
Startup Studio will thus be able to support start-ups launched by researchers - whether working within Inria or externally - through these financial levers.
Startup Studio was designed specifically to support the creation of tech start-ups beginning life in public research in the digital field. It draws not only on Inria’s collective dynamic, but also on the same collective dynamic of both the French and global ecosystems Inria has been a fixture of for more than 30 years.
For a long time, researchers and engineers working within Inria have had the opportunity to launch a start-up in just a few months and to pivot it, should that prove necessary. Over the past 30 years, no fewer than 170 start-ups have been launched in this way, supported by Inria through its I-Source and IT-Translation seed funds.
With Startup Studio, Inria is keen to give a boost to company creation, which has been a key focus of the institute from the very beginning.
Creating a start-up is a long-term project, but much depends on development cycles, and responsiveness is very much the order of the day. This is a flexible model through which results from research can be put to use in a meaningful way, integrating societal problems into innovative projects with immediate impact.
The Startup Studio team
Sophie Pellat and Hervé Lebret, well-known figures in tech entrepreneurship, are the co-directors of Inria Startup Studio. They have helped to seed and fund a sizeable number of start-ups, many of which have been acquired by big names in tech.
The experts in transfer, innovation and partnerships within each Inria research centre are responsible for ensuring close ties with project leaders and for overseeing operations.