An evolving biocluster


Biocluster en développement

Innovative projects

Whether basic, translational or clinical, research is the first step toward the emergence of health innovations for the benefit of patients and care provision systems. The completion of the projects presented will solidify a complete, coherent and coordinated offer covering the aggregate of challenges encountered by the biocluster's businesses and research labs. In so doing, Genopole will coalesce its place as an international-scale Île-de-France biocluster of excellence within Paris-Saclay.

More than 1,200 m² renovated for life sciences

In 2014, with support from the French State, the Île-de-France Region, the Essonne Department and the Grand Paris Sud Area, the CEA and Genopole acquired two buildings on Campus 2 to consolidate the biocluster by preserving about 15,000 m² for the accommodation of research teams and ensuring the long-term presence of the CEA's life sciences research groups.

The buildings house two important national research centers within the CEA's François Jacob Institute of Biology:

  • The National Center of Human Genomics Research (CNRGH), which enables responses to scientific questions necessitating high throughput sequencing and genotyping thanks to the development and deployment of innovative integrated technologies.
  • Genoscope, a national sequencing center now focusing on environmental genomics and the search for sustainable biological solutions in synthetic chemistry to reduce pollution, energy consumption, and fossil-fuel use.

Year 2022 saw two renovations for these buildings. The first concerned 900 m² for Genoscope aimed at strengthening the synthetic biology teams, particularly the Genomics Metabolics mixed research unit 8030.

The second, 350 m² renovation was done to support the activities of the Center of Reference, Innovation, Expertise and Transfer (CRefIX), a mixed service unit created as part of the Genomic Medicine France 2025 plan and the CNRGH. This renovation's objective was to accommodate and encourage the stay of new research teams.

De nouveaux espaces

A new envirotech incubator

Within its transition program for a greener future, the world-leading cosmetics company L'Oréal chose Genopole for its first Green Sciences Incubator.

Together, L'Oréal and Genopole are committing to a green revolution for cosmetics, an industry seeking radical innovations to enable greater sustainability, more naturality and thus a smaller carbon footprint for the sector.

Throughout year 2022, the GIP and SEM Genopole teams constructed a new partnership model necessitating adaptation, creativity and reactivity. The public/private partnership proved novel and ambitious in its goal of supporting innovation for a more responsible industrial model. The alliance pledges to favor the emergence of ambitious projects and actively contribute to the development of a more environmentally friendly future for the cosmetics industry. Furthermore, the partnership aims to favor the growth of start-ups forwarding disruptive innovations for reindustrialization and to attract new French or international businesses to the biocluster.

"In 2022, we conceived an unprecedented partnership project with L'Oréal Group, a world-leader in cosmetics. This public-private framework calls upon the alliance of our respective competencies to catalyze disruptive innovations that will advance the transition toward a green economy and the transformation of the industrial model." LAURENCE LACROIX-ORIO, CORPORATE RELATIONS MANAGER

A biofoundry project

To respond to current and future environmental challenges, production methods need to evolve. A decade from now, the field of "made in biology" will provide solutions via living processes for many aspects of life: medicine, food and even the manufacture of new materials, just to name a few.

To attain this vista, Genopole is looking to create a biofoundry at its campus with the goal of accelerating the transition between research and industrialization. The integrated platform will use synthetic biology techniques to conceive, construct and test genetic approaches for the efficacious production of compounds of interest (in health and elsewhere) and high-performance, environmentally friendly materials. The biofoundry will deploy process automation, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence to reach its goals.

This project is part of BioConvergence for Health (BioConvS), an Île-de-France DIM (domain of major interest) aimed at creating a regional network of biofoundries to enable synthetic biology for health and to structure an internationally renowned territory of excellence in bioengineering, biomanufacturing and biotherapies. Genopole's biofoundry will also contribute to the French government's objectives of reindustrializing the nation and durably favoring the economic valorization of innovations.

In 2022, a permanent work group and an operational orientations committee composed of financial partners, academicians and industrials was created to submit propositions to the general meeting by year-end 2023.

"The Genopole biomanufacturing facility will support research projects towards industrialization. It is not just a technological infrastructure, but also a training tool and an opportunity to establish a network of stakeholders in synthetic biology in the Île-de-France region." CHRISTOPHE LANNEAU, Director Research & Platforms Department

A new foodtech incubator

With the emergence of such domain leaders as Gourmey, Algama, Nutropy, Standing Ovation and Yeasty, Genopole is positioned to become a reference hub for alternative proteins. The Protopia project will bring complete conception-to-upscaling support to foodtech start-ups, including concept validation, the minimum viable product, acceleration and growth. The project is built upon a shared laboratory space, open innovation and acceleration programs, and an enabling ecosystem of universities, institutions, businesses and investors. Protopia's premises will comprise labs for cell culturing, biochemistry/microbiology and food elaboration & analysis. Preliminary work was done in 2022 in partnership with SEM Genopole.

Incubateur Foodtech