Cooperation between Research Institutes and/or Universities and companies through high-level structuring R&D programs (Ambition Research Development 2020)
Cooperation between Research Institutes and/or Universities and companies through high-level structuring R&D programs (Ambition Research Development 2020)
In Centre-Val de Loire, a Call for Expressions of Interest “Ambition Research Development 2020” was launched in May 2012, with maximum € 10 million per project over 4 to 5 years.
This GP promotes 2 main elements of responsible innovation (RI). Indeed, the aim of this approach was to launch a real partnership dynamic, not only among the research institutes and the universities but also by involving companies in the projects. Thus, it promotes the active participation of regional actors in innovation through the Entrepreneurial Discovery Process and the concept of Open Innovation that is one of the EU’s RI keys. Furthermore, the selected projects were chosen to create social-economic impacts on the territory and not only scientific results.
“Ambition R&D 2020” grants projects led by regional universities and research institutes in collaboration with enterprises. Projects funded are mainly connected to a RIS3 priority and worth up to €10M, instead of €200K for similar projects before. Regional policymakers approved five major projects linked to RIS3 priorities, based on their ability to generate socio-economic impacts. They relate to energy storage (Lavoisier), biopharmaceuticals (Biomédicaments), cosmetics (CosmetoSciences), environmental engineering (Pivots), and tourist heritage (Intelligence des patrimoines).

Resources needed

30 million € coming from the regional funds (in the majority) and ERDF have already been raised.
The HR involved in the management of these projects are twofold :
- In the regional council (2 people)
- In the project funded through a coordinator (1-2 people)

Evidence of success

The open innovation process has been improved in the CVL region :
- the mindset of the policymakers has changed about the efficiency of the funding of the research: now, R&D should provide socio-economic impacts and not only scientific outcomes.
- They have designed a policy instrument that translates this approach
- This policy instrument allows better cooperation between the universities and the research institutes and above all the integration of the company needs or stakes in the R&D.

Potential for learning or transfer

These types of projects have a structuring effect on the research and innovation world in the region. They concentrate public funds on topics in line with the regional challenges and competencies. They promote a partnership approach in some domains that are the starting point of an innovation ecosystem.
They promote a focus on social and economic impacts. Therefore, the region and its players must be coached in the importance of responsible innovation and how it can be linked to better and safer innovation.
The factors affecting the transferability are mainly related to the motivation of the policymakers to put in place a new approach and methods, in addition to a budget availability to cover the type of investments projects may wish to promote.
Main institution
Conseil Régional du Centre-Val de Loire
Centre, France
Start Date
October 2013
End Date


Nathalie Boulanger Please login to contact the author.