State-Region Program Contract (CPER-IBDLR 2015-2020) obtained to finance the acquisition of cutting-edge equipment required for biomarker validation

In autumn 2013, a new generation of French State-Region Program Contracts (CPER 2015- 2020) based on common development strategy between the French State and the Region was set up to fund operations to improve equipment levels, with the ultimate goal of creating a leverage effect on local investment dynamics.

In this context, and in the framework of the 3S policy led by the former Languedoc Roussillon region, Montpellier University, in association with the RABELAIS BioHealth and Balard Chemistry clusters, implemented an initiative called “Biomarkers and Diagnostics Initiative in Languedoc-Roussillon” (IBDLR). The initiative’s objective was to facilitate the emergence of new projects focused on biomarkers and diagnostics through different actions.

A CPER proposal for 6.389 million euros was submitted, then selected on July 20, 2015 to finance the acquisition of equipment needed for biomarker validation. This project is driven by University of Montpellier (UM) in partnership with INSERM, CNRS, Montpellier and Nimes University Hospital Centers, and the Regional Cancer Institute of Montpellier (see table for details).

The equipment list included in the CPER proposal was established by analyzing responses provided by academic and hospital researchers in regional surveys. Equipment is, and will continue to be, located in our facilities that have the IBiSa label and ISO9001 certification, or are recognized by the Occitanie region. The facilities must be involved with biomarker-related activity. This investment is intended to complementary – and not in “competition” – with equipment already present or planned in private-sector companies and service agencies in the region. They also seek to address technological needs expressed by the industry sector, notably as highlighted in a survey conducted by Eurobiomed.

Funding for equipment acquisition is divided in four purchase blocks between 2015 and the end of 2019. Equipment acquisitions for the first purchase block of the investment program for the 2015-2017 period are described here.