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Applications to i-PhD and i-Lab innovation contest are now open

23 dezembro 2021 Negócios
Vista 458 vezes

i-PhD and i-Lab, two of the majors Innovation National Contests aiming at fostering the entrepreneurship spirit in the deeptech industry, have just opened. The Innovation Contests are funded by the Future Investment Programme to offer support to doctoral students, researchers and innovative companies through three complementary aspects (i-PhD, i-Lab and i-Nov), each covering a key aspect of a young researcher or young entrepreneur’s career, and ensuring a “continuity in innovation: from the lab, to the creation, to growth”.

i-PhD and i-Lab, two of the majors Innovation National Contests aiming at fostering the entrepreneurship spirit in the deeptech industry, have just opened. The Innovation Contests are funded by the Future Investment Programme to offer support to doctoral students, researchers and innovative companies through three complementary aspects (i-PhD, i-Lab and i-Nov), each covering a key aspect of a young researcher or young entrepreneur’s career, and ensuring a “continuity in innovation: from the lab, to the creation, to growth”.

 

From research to companies

Since 1999, date of their creation, the three innovation contests have already awarded more than 3,800 winners, thanks to three support and funding models covering three different steps of the entrepreneurship project:

- The i-PhD part, launched in 2019 by the government in partnership with Bpifrance, the public investment bank, is upstream and is aimed at young researchers to encourage them to create startups “with a technological breakthrough, in conjunction with technology transfer structures and public research laboratories”;

- the i-Lab part aims at promoting the results of public research through the creation of innovative technology companies. Organised by the Ministry of Innovation, this competition funds the best research and development projects for the finalisation of an innovative product, process or technological service;

- the i-Nov part supports innovation projects already underway, with particularly strong potential for the French economy, carried out by start-ups and existing SMEs, in order to encourage the emergence of companies that are leaders in their field and that can “aspire to a global scale”.

 

Strong commitment from the French government

In late November, the French Minister for Research and Innovation and the Secretary of State for Digital Transition launched the 3rd i-PhD competition and the 24th i-Lab competition.

Ministers point out that the government has made it a priority to “make France a leading country in the creation and development of innovative companies, particularly those born of advances in French cutting-edge research, with a high technological content, or promoting the ecological, energy or food transitions”. To achieve this objective, the State’s support, via its three innovation competitions, represents “a determining factor for strategic industrial sectors”. In concrete terms, the effort made by the Government constitutes “the mark of a strong commitment to companies, via financing, labelling and reinforced communication”.

 

i-PHD, support for entrepreneurship

Two of these innovation competitions in which the French government is heavily involved are already open. The i-PhD competition, which concerns doctoral students, has supported more than 70 projects over the past three years. According to a national survey, 43% of young researchers are considering setting up a company as an option for their career. This is why the French government supports those who wish to become entrepreneurs by accompanying them in the laboratories and by relying on the development of public research work.

Within the framework of i-PhD, each winner benefits from a one-year support programme enabling them to accelerate their project and refine their “entrepreneurial posture” by benefiting from mentoring, privileged access to a grant (French Tech) and a “strong immersion time in the deeptech ecosystem”.

 

i-Lab, a relay for innovative business creation projects

Regarding the i-Lab competition promoting the creation of innovative technology companies and finances the best research and development projects, the competition selects project leaders of companies that have not yet been created or that are less than two years old, in a technology-intensive sector. These projects receive financial aid (up to €600K depending on the project) and appropriate support.

According to Bpifrance, “in its 23 years of existence, i-Lab has become a privileged point of passage for innovative project leaders and a quality label unanimously recognised by deeptech investors”. To date, thanks to i-Lab, 3,629 prize-winners have been distinguished for €496 million raised and 2,155 innovative technology companies created.

 

To know more 

- On the Bpifrance website:  https://presse.bpifrance.fr/concours-dinnovation-ouverture-des-candidatures-aux-concours-dinnovation-i-phd-et-i-lab-pour-encourager-lesprit-dentreprendre-dans-la-deeptech/

- On the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation: https://www.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/fr/ouverture-des-candidatures-aux-concours-d-innovation-i-phd-et-i-lab-pour-encourager-l-esprit-d-82306

- On the French government website: https://www.gouvernement.fr/jeunes-entrepreneurs-innovants-l-etat-vous-soutient

- The national barometer Jeunes chercheurs et entrepreneuriat : https://www.phdtalent.fr/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Synthese-Barometre-Jeunes-Chercheurs-et-Entrepreneuriat-PhDTalent-Bpifrance-2021-VF-Version-courte.pdf 




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