October, 2018
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Genopole's 20th anniversery
Turning 20 in 2018: Lessons Learned

Genopole is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and we are marking the event with a special colloquium on innovation. Our biocluster is a case study by itself and thus worth examining more closely for what it teaches us about innovation systems. Looking back on our first 20 years, the lessons are numerous but I would cite more specifically five points.

First and foremost, leadership at the top is essential. At Genopole this was incarnated for 18 years by Pierre Tambourin whose vision and hard work drove our development. We salute Pierre for his resilience, depth as well as strategic skills. Without him, I doubt that Genopole would have grown into one of the largest bioclusters in Europe.

Second, Genopole stands as concrete proof that it pays to be bold in one’s choices. Focusing on biotherapies (i.e., gene and cell therapy) and genomic medicine was visionary. Choosing (and sticking to) those directions through two decades was by no means always obvious and easy. Genopole’s initial thrust was given by AFM-Telethon in the late 1980s, and further developed through the years by very talented scientists.
Most importantly, all this work will lead soon to converting science into products to treat patients.

Third, a cluster like Genopole cannot survive without the continuous support of French authorities. I head the GIP Genopole which is the non-for-profit organisation that operates as promoter, facilitator, coordinator, catalyst, and general manager of the biocluster’s development. We are a public service, and therefore we wouldn’t be able to deliver without strong financial and constant support from the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the Region of Greater Paris, the Department of Essonne, and the City of Evry.

Four, I guess that it is fair to say that a biocluster is as good as its entrepreneurs and its research scientists. The latter give a biocluster its backbone. Genopole is about genomics and with AFM-Téléthon providing the initial impetus, the direction was given to develop genomic medicine and regenerative therapy. Innovation, on the other hand, is about entrepreneurs. They are our "clients" and a good part of our efforts should be directed to assist them in making it through the start-up and scale-up phases of their companies. France has come a long way over the last two decades in its recognition of the importance of entrepreneurship for the nation’s economic prosperity. Today, there are numerous economic incentives that make this country attractive for innovators but the role of cluster managers remains central.

Five - last but not least - I would like to cite the recent evolution in how we think about real estate in clusters. As such we no longer think only about office and laboratory space to rent to companies and public research institutions. Clusters now need to integrate into real estate developments and their environment the practical notions of "live, learn and play". The latter is possibly the most radical change that we have to consider in future planning of science parks and clusters.

All in all, if you take the five points cited above as a matrix for success, as well as references in measuring the odds of a cluster to develop continuously through two decades, it makes you realise that Genopole’s achievements are remarkable.

Jean-Marc Grognet, CEO


Genopole Awarded European Bronze Label

The European Cluster Excellence Initiative (ECEI) has awarded its Bronze Label to Genopole.

European bronze label
This Award recognises the excellence of Genopole in various aspects relating to the structure of its organisation, overall cluster management, cluster financing, governance and services provided to stakeholders, contacts and interaction within the cluster, as well as achievements and recognition of the cluster.
Benchmarking review committees for the ECEI Labels are conducted under the leadership of the European Secretariat for Cluster Analysis (ESCA), a network of cluster experts from more than 30 countries.
ECEI’s recognition of Genopole is also reinforcing the biocluster’s strategy and objectives in Europe and internationally, in its efforts to support commercial developments abroad by its companies as well as to assist its members in establishing European collaborative projects financed by Horizon 2020.
Conference On Innovation In Life Sciences Organised By Genopole On Its 20th Birthday
Book the date - November 13, 2018
Genopole 20 years
Genopole is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a conference under the theme "Living Innovation Today And Tomorrow". We will be hosting a number of renown speakers to discuss the developments expected before 2040 in genomic medicine and in human genome engineering. The conference will also have speakers on the ethics and bioeconomy of genomic applications. English translation will be provided for all presentations made in French.

Genopole's CEO, Jean-Marc Grognet, will close the day's program with a presentation of our biocluster's strategic development axes. Biotechnology companies and research laboratories can also take stands on the conference exhibition floor that is held in partnership with Medicen Paris Region.

We are looking forward to hosting companies that can provide a large panorama of innovation in health, environment, industry and agronomy.

Join Anova Plus, Valotec, Traaser/Wiratech, Perkin Elmer, Promega, Twist Bioscience, Inserm, CEA, Paris Region, Department of Essonne, CCI Essonne, Essonne Development, Grand Paris Sud and Sem Genopole as sponsors of the conference.

We have also launched the #Dans20ans competition on social media to offer biotechnology companies a chance to win a stand at the conference.

Registration for the conference is necessary, but it is FREE and OPEN TO ALL.
Conference website {...} read more

IntegraGen Selected as France Médecine Génomique’s Operator of SeqOIA’s Sequencing Platform
Integragen - sequencage
IntegraGen has been selected by SeqOIA (Sequencing Omics Information Analysis) to operate its high throughput sequencing platform. The consortium SeqOIA - whose leaders are AP-HP (Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris), Institut Curie, Gustave-Roussy Cancer Center - was chosen in July 2017 by the French Ministry of Solidarity and Health to establish a pilot high-throughput genomic sequencing platform within the greater Paris region.
SeqOIA is one of two such pilot platforms (with AURAGEN in Lyon) to drive the implementation of France Médecine Genomique 2025 (FMG-2025), the country’s personalised medicine national program.

IntegraGen's selection was made in response to a public tender launched in April 2018. SeqOIA's platform will be established on the premises of the former Hôpital Broussais in Paris. The contract between SeqOIA and Integragen totals 18m euros for a period of 5 years for the provision of DNA (exome and whole genome) and RNA sequencing data from patients suffering primarily of cancer and rare diseases.
FMG-2025 was established under the leadership of AVIESAN with the objective to position France as one of the world's leaders in genomic medicine.
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Novolyze Wins IFT10 Food Expo Innovation Award

Novolyze is the proud winner of the IFT Food Expo Innovation Award that was announced at the IFT18 Food Expo held in Chicago in July 2018.
This comes a year after Novolyze was awarded the IAFP Food Safety Award and it confirms the industry’s strong interest for Novolyze’s SurroNov technology and for the company’s overall approach to food safety.

Novolyze IFT Food
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) is a global organisation of over 17,000 members from over 100 countries committed to advancing the science of food. IFT brings together the brightest minds in food science, technology and related professions from academia, government and industry.

IFT’s Award recognises the range of surrogate bacteria commercialised by Novolyze under the SurroNov brand. IFT’s jury cited Novolyze’s "scientifically cool" range for products and underlined the highly innovative nature of Surronov’s contribution to improving food safety around the world in the current context of the increasing number of foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls.

To learn more about SurroNov® {...} read more

Genopole Partners With Meet In Galilée for Genomic Medicine Symposium

Zichron Ya’akov (located half way between Tel Aviv and Haifa) was the host on July 15-17, 2018 of Meet in Galilée’s symposium on "Genomic Medicine: A New Paradigm and Its Impact of Society".

Genopole was a co-organiser of the scientific part of the event that brought together a number of key players of the French genomics scene.
Meet in Galilee
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OECD - Engineering Biology Workshop
Engineering Biology Workshop

Genopole was in attendance at the OECD workshop organised in London in collaboration with Imperial College on September 21, 2018, under the theme "Engineering Biology: From the Lab to Products".
Engineering biology, with a toolset provided by synthetic biology, will bring about radical changes in manufacturing practices that will be based on biomass as a raw material in replacement of petro-based feedstocks.
Multiple sectors (from farms and forests, to recycling at the end of the practical life of a product) will be impacted by this transformation.
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Genopole Joining External Advisory Committee of Project Nobel

Genopole’s Director of International Affairs (Denis Gauvreau) has been invited to join the External Advisory Committee of the Project NOBEL.
Nobel Project
This is a EU-H2020 CSA (Coordination and Support Action) that is coordinated by the European Technology Platform on Nanomedicine (ETPN).
It aims at mobilizing the European nano-biomedical innovation ecosystem and it principal objectives are :
1) to establish and optimise translation & acceleration tools for innovative projects, by further expanding the successful concept of the Nanomedicine Translation HUB designed by the ETPN, and by providing a global set of tools (including Nanomed TAB for strategic mentoring, the EU-NCL for characterization and pilots lines);
2) to align and integrate individual and separate strategies and roadmaps into a single "meta" roadmap of healthcare technologies in Europe.
This will be achieved by combining key enabling technologies to produce smart medical devices and smart nanomedicines (e.g., nanotechnologies, photonics, robotics, advanced materials, information technologies). The eight core partners of NOBEL are ETPN (its coordinator), CEA, MedTech Europe, Bioanalytick Muenster, VDI VDE IT, TecMinho, Fondazione Don Gnocchi, Tyndall National Institute, working with Nanobiotix as third party.

Genopole Supports "iGEM Evry / Paris-Saclay 2018"

A team of undergraduate and master students from University d’Évry/Val d’Essonne (UEVE) and University Paris-Saclay (UPSaclay) - going under the name "iGEM Evry Paris-Saclay 2018" - will participate in iGEM’s next international synthetic biology competition.
iGem Evry 2018
The team is working on a project to conceive a system for bacteria to communicate. The idea of bacteria being able to "talk to each other" could improve production processes by biological means and represent a bona fide alternative to chemical synthesis.
Genopole, UEVE and UPSaclay support financially this team by providing mentorship through iSSB as well as access to the synthetic biology platform of abSYNTH.
  Nicole CHEMALI
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