Innovation and technology transfer

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In the United States, the federal government heavily subsidizes the commercialization of the products coming from research coming from strategic sectors such as life sciences and IT. It is truly a matter of economic development. Following the Bayh Dole Act (1980) and in the past 15 years, there has also been a real effort by universities to protect and promote the results of their work.

The policy concerning technology transfer allows for a rapid diffusion of these research results to society in the form of new products and services. In 2006, the 186 organizations that took part in a AUTM (Association for University Technology Managers)’s survey declared 18.874 new inventions disclosures and filed 15,908 US patents applications. Thanks to this patents portfolio, they concluded 4,963 new licenses. This technology transfer activity allowed the commercialization of more than 4,350 new products (697 in 2006) since 1998 and the creation of 5,724 start-ups (553 in 2006) since 1980.

In France, as in Europe, this process of technology transfer is often recent and insufficient. A raised level of consciousness allowed for the creation of specific support plans on the regional and national levels. The Office of Science and Technology has made this one of its strategic priorities when working with the government, regional groups, and French institutions of research and higher education. The Office brings its expertise of the American innovation system and aims to identify good practices that could be brought to France.

The beneficiaries of this work will be primarily French innovation professionals, as well as political figures.

Priorities in Innovation and Technology Transfer

The service is concentrated primarily on precise domains and in particular technological centers:

- thematic priorities : biotechnologies and information technology
- geographic priorities: the Northeast (regions of Boston, New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia), California (Silicon Valley and San Diego), North Carolina, and the Atlanta and Chicago regions. The work done in these regions is carried out in collaboration within the overall framework of this network.

The Principal support programs

Young Entrepreneurs Initiative

YEI provides young U.S.-based entrepreneurs and researchers the unique opportunity to pursue their project to create an innovative company in France.

Each year, about 10 projets are selected and receive financial assistance and suitable support for the launch of their start-up in France.

Support program for professionals in technology transfer

This program is aimed at senior managers from universities, research labs who want to improve their competencies and to share their experience in terms of technology transfer. Beneficiaries of the program will be welcomed into a structure which provides them access to an office in the Technology Transfer department for several weeks (up to 3 months) in order to exchange good practices and to work on concrete examples.

French American Innovation Day

The French-American Innovation Day was launched to provide a showcase of science and technology by calling upon the best researchers and French entrepreneurs in a given field. This event makes it possible to access a scientific set of themes with French and American researchers of very high level (including a Nobel Prize in 2002) and to give examples of technology transfer leading to innovating industrial applications.

Visits to the United States by French delegations

The office in Boston organizes approximately 20 missions per year.

Involvement of the French scientific community

In order to maintain close and friendly ties with the French scientific community in New England, our office organizes events at regular intervals. For 2007, there are several examples:

- Science Breakfasts in life sciences
- Exposition and discussion on Marie Curie exposition led by Jean-Pierre Saintouil
- Science Café
- French Counselors on External Commerce (CCEF)
- Hubtech 21
- New England French-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC)
- Francophone Science Clubs

OSEO : Facilitating French-American technological partnerships

OSEO in the USA supports innovative projects in collaboration with local partner based on technology with real marketing prospects. OSEO in the USA facilitates and provides support to French-American partnerships in R&D involving Small Businesses and also helps in the search for investors.

MIT - France Program

The MIT-France Program aims to bring understanding of the accomplishments and issues of contemporary France to the attention of the students and faculty of MIT and to foster operational transatlantic cooperation.

French-American Portal on Innovation

Find more information on our French-American Portal on Innovation.

Information Sheet

Download the information sheet here:

Innovation and technology transfer - Information Sheet


Antoine MYNARD
Attaché for Science and Technology
Specialty: Innovation and technology transfer
Tel : +1 (617) 832-4464
Fax : +1 (617) 292-8867

Deputy Attaché for Science and Technology
Specialty: Innovation and technology transfer
Tel : +1 (617) 832-4468
Fax : +1 (617) 292-8867

Deputy Attaché for Science and Technology
Specialty: Innovation and technology transfer
Tel : +1 (617) 832-4467
Fax : +1 (617) 292-8867

Géraldine QUETIN
Technical Assistant
Specialty: Young Entrepreneurs Initiative
Tel : +1 (617) 401-2450
Fax : +1 (617) 401-3665