A look back at the IHU France alliance white paper!

With 9.1% of its GDP allocated to healthcare, France attaches major importance to the care of its population and to medical and scientific research. 10 years after the creation of the IHU (University Hospital Institutes) by the French government, this agile and innovative structure has proved its flexibility, responsiveness and ability to innovate in the face of major public health challenges (health crisis, vaccination, gene therapy, e-health…).

In the healthcare sector, France now has all the resources it needs to be a pioneer in innovation. To pool this know-how, the 6 IHUs (FORESIGHT, ICAN, ICM, IMAGINE, LIRYC and IHU Strasbourg) are working together within the Alliance IHU France to improve their model, in the firm belief that it will have a major impact on the general population and on tomorrow’s medicine.

The result of this collaboration is the Alliance IHU France’s 1st white paper (February 2022), which sets out the ideas and avenues for development designed to perpetuate this model and boost the performance of existing and future IHUs.

Download the white paper

Alliance IHU France: economic development valued at 1 billion euros

In 10 years :

  • 18,000 scientific publications,
  • 1,000 clinical trials,
  • 320 patents filed,
  • 450 doctoral students trained,
  • 45 start-ups created,
  • And an estimated 1 billion euros worth of economic activity.

“As part of the trajectory announced by the Innovation Santé 2030 plan, we are convinced that our alliance will contribute to making France a champion of innovation in healthcare in Europe by 2030,” explain the directors of Alliance IHU France.

10 years on: the effectiveness of the IHU model demonstrated

In 2012, the French government created the IHU (University Hospital Institutes) to develop medical innovation in France in major public health fields. This unique model combines fundamental and clinical research, training and commercialization through public/private partnerships, with the aim of developing tomorrow’s medicine for patients and healthcare operators, while at the same time developing this French industrial sector.

10 years on, the IHU model has proved its effectiveness, and the 3rd call for IHU projects, the winners of which will be announced shortly, is a further illustration of the positive results of the first two waves. Three successive Presidents of the Republic (2010-2023), from different political backgrounds, share the conviction that IHUs represent a model conducive to the emergence of major new discoveries for the benefit of the general population.

“Efficient coordinators of translational research and innovation, federators of public and private sectors, integrators of care and research, the IHUs are an essential part of the French healthcare innovation ecosystem,” explain the directors of Alliance IHU France. “They must provide :

  • Ensure regular, decompartmentalized funding to encourage performance, and a single mandate to promote agility and responsiveness in the face of opportunities,
  • Position themselves as effective coordinators of translational research and innovation, and move beyond site policy to network organization,
  • To be pioneers in the field of creation and privileged grounds for experimentation,
  • Be guarantors and promoters or co-promoters of clinical trials to elevate France internationally.”

The goal: to make France the 1st European nation in healthcare innovation and sovereignty

In February 2022, the Alliance IHU France published a white paper setting out a series of proposals for the sustainable development of the model:

  1. ACCELERATE and DE-RISK the transfer of innovations to patients, with the support of IHUs
    • Proposal No. 1: Boost start-ups by facilitating the acquisition of equity stakes by the IHU.
    • Proposal No. 2: Speed up negotiations with private-sector partners by giving the single mandate its full potential
  1. STRENGTHEN the role of HCIs as third places for experimentation and international appeal
    • Proposal no. 3: Share the successes and lessons learned from HCIs for the benefit of national innovation
    • Proposal 4: Position the IHU as a preferred site for experimentation in digital health, at the interface between healthcare and research.
    • Proposal 5: Encourage the promotion of clinical trials by all UHIs, in conjunction with university hospitals and research organizations.
  1. To firmly establish the IHU in the French research and innovation landscape.
    • Proposal No. 7: Provide long-term funding for HCIs through a base grant.
    • Proposal No. 8: Enable IHUs to apply to calls for projects in their own name

With the help of the IHU, France has the capacity to meet international requirements and remain as reactive as it is competitive, so as to be well placed in the race for innovation in healthcare, already led by many countries.

Pictures ©Alkama.