Creation assistance programs

The Shaker: a springboard for biotech innovation

The Shaker is Genopole’s accompaniment program for promising but still embryonic biotech projects. It detects these projects among diverse profiles in terms of age and education: students, postdocs, researchers, engineers, reorienting workers, etc., and provides the holders with the accommodations needed to fructify their concepts. The Shaker’s endgame is to move these innovators tempted by the adventure of entrepreneurship from idea to action. The six-month Shaker program provides the technical and human environment needed to scientifically validate the biotech idea and transform it into a start-up project with high industrial potential. Close to 70% of the projects accompanied by the Shaker have resulted in business creation.

Reaching renown

Year 2021 saw an increase in registrations for the program, showing that it is now well known in the biotech innovation community.

Nine new teams participated in the year’s eighth and ninth classes, launched with the March and October Welcome Sessions. The teams joined the Biotech Lab, a shared scientific research space at the Genopole Incubator, and followed an introduction to entrepreneurship program.
The Shaker projects, consolidated into start-ups, contribute to Genopole’s three strategic sectors: innovative therapies, the bioeconomy and computational genomics.

For example, in 2021 three Shaker start-ups set up shop at Genopole:

  • Nutropy, with a focus on developing the production of dietary proteins by precision fermentation;
  • SafeInsight, who’s working on a technology to detect endocrine disruptors in everyday products;
  • and STH Biotech, a company with a plant-based biotechnology for the production of cannabinoids for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetics and other industries.

These three start-ups are pursuing their development in the Gene.iO program, the logical next step after the Shaker. Gene.iO is designed to accelerate initial fund-raising campaigns or commercial agreements.

"The Shaker breathes energy and entrepreneurial competency into selected projects to transform their enormous potential as quickly as possible."

Olivier Tomat, director of Genopole Enterprises
The Shaker a springboard for biotech innovation

ATIGE: two new research teams in synthetic biology and biotherapy

In 2021, two researchers benefited from Genopole Thematic Actions Incentive (Atige) grants for the creation of new teams at the biocluster. Andrew Tolonen has joined the Genomics Metabolics Unit, where he is strengthening the synthetic biology aspect of the bioeconomy sector through the development of a bioprocess to transform lignocellulose from plant, wheat and wood waste into butanol fuels. Frank Griscelli is now at the Cithera laboratory to carry out research on cell therapies for cancer and thus accelerating the biotherapies sector. His work employs iPS cells to create CAR-NK (chimeric antigen receptor-natural killer) cells targeted to tumor-specific antigens.

Genopole supports innovation in the hospital

Since 2018 and with the support of Grand Paris Sud, Genopole and the South Île-de-France Medical Center have teamed to enable projects between the hospital’s departments and the biocluster’s research labs. The program, intended for the hospital personnel and entitled "Call for Innovative Ideas," is one of Genopole’s cornerstone actions for research and biomedical innovation. The program’s fourth edition was officially launched among the physicians and paramedical personnel of the hospital center on 10 September 2021. Of the 23 innovative ideas submitted, eight were retained. The concerned specialties included diabetology, cardiology, rheumatology, clinical pharmacy, psychiatry and neonatology. Aiming to optimize patient care and notably diagnostics & treatments, the retained ideas will need the biocluster’s expertise in such areas as genetics, informatics and artificial intelligence. To evolve these ideas into projects, all will benefit from Genopole accompaniment, access to its ecosystem (labs, businesses, engineering schools, etc.) and financing.

The Call for Innovative Ideas since 2018:

  • 25 projects launched in 12 medical specialties
  • 5 prototypes
  • 3 scientific publications
  • 1 patent
  • 1 business project
  • 1 clinical trial
  • 10 master or engineering internships

2nd edition of the biomedical research grants

The 2021 biomedical research grant was awarded to pharmacy resident Dr. Benjamin Querin. The grant financed a Microbiology Master 2 for him at Paris-Saclay University, followed by a genomics study of the microbiota of breast milk, co-supervised by the CNRGH (National Center of Human Genomics Research) and the hospital hygiene service of the South Île-de-France Medical Center (CHSF). The study’s objective was to better understand the bacterial component of breast milk and ensure the safety of its use with premature babies. By easing scientific training and research at the master or PhD level, Genopole empowers biomedical research at the CHSF.