CISAM: from the filing of a patent by AMU to the creation of a start-up… | CISAM
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CISAM: from the filing of a patent by AMU to the creation of a start-up…

CISAM: from the filing of a patent by AMU to the creation of a start-up…

Innovation drives our daily lives and the economic development of a country. All the objects and technologies we use every day are the result of public and private research. Patenting allows these creations to be preserved and made profitable and encourages technological advances.


Aix-Marseille University in the Top15

The French National Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI) has just published the 2021 edition of the list of patent applicants and the Southern Region is in 3rd position (excluding Ile de France, which accounts for nearly 63% of applications) with 517 patent applications, behind the Auvergne Rhône Alpes and Occitanie regions. In this regional Top15, Aix-Marseille University is in 4th place with 21 patents filed (whose management has been entrusted to SATT Sud Est), behind STMicroelectronics, Amadeus and Airbus.

The figures speak for themselves: the University plays a key role in this dynamics of innovation, which is considered a key factor in the development and economic renewal of the Aix-Marseille region.

In this respect, in 2021, the SATT Sud Est (Technology Transfer accelerator) whose objective is to transfer innovative technologies to the industrial world, signed 9 licences bearing an innovation from an Aix-Marseille University’s laboratory.

In total, Aix-Marseille University has encouraged the creation of 54 startups, including 6 for the year 2021: SICLAGE (associated with IM2NP), VB TECH (from INS), Stealth Io (CRCM), COMOCO (IUSTI), Predicting Med (CRCM) and JC DICOVERY (CInAM).


1st stage: Allègre Incubators

Most of these start-up projects come from the “Allègre” incubators, which are mainly located in the Aix-Marseille area. These are the MULTIMEDIA Belle et Mai and inter-universitaire Impulse incubators, which support and finance the creation of DEEPTECH business projects, in particular. They generally intervene before the creation and in parallel with the transfer phases operated by the SATT Sud-est.

Thus, the inter-universitaire Impulse incubator, a structure that supports business creation projects based on public research, has been able to support and finance several dozen start-ups with projects related to AMU research. These include Green PRAXIS, Hysilabs, Diamidex and, most recently, VB TECH, which has developed a virtual brain. The companies UNISTELLAR, SUPERSONIC IMAGINEand TECMOLED can also be cited in this list.

The Belle de Mai incubator, which specialises in supporting projects to create innovative companies in the field of information and communication technologies, has enabled many start-ups from public research to realise and develop their innovative digital projects. Keeex, a software company specialising in digital security, and Kalyzée, which offers audiovisual solutions for broadcasting hybrid courses for the education and training market, are among the structures supported by the Belle de Mai Incubator. Some of the projects incubated at Belle de Mai also have a strong link with Aix-Marseille University research, such as Crocos Go Digital, Centiloc and N2I.


2nd step (possible): Public and private incubators/accelerators

Start-ups can then continue this innovation journey by joining a private incubator/accelerator. Incubators play an essential role in the maturation of an innovative project. Most of the time, they are specialised in specific themes (sustainable development, well-being, logistics, etc.) and provide project leaders with a multitude of services enabling them to launch their projects in the best possible conditions.

They thus contribute to the formation of an ecosystem conducive to the emergence and development of startups.

Within the City of innovation and knowledge, 3 public and private support structures work every day to support the c­reation and development of innovative start-ups.

The M Accelerator, launched in January 2019 by the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis, is a public accelerator with an international vocation for the development of innovative companies from near and far. With a space of over 300 m2 in the heart of the City of Innovation and Knowledge Aix-Marseille (CISAM), the M Accelerator has set itself the mission of accelerating the entrepreneurial metamorphosis of the territories for a more inclusive, responsible, creative, innovative and supportive society. The M Accelerator is also a place to establish exchanges and partnerships targeting collaboration with its African and Mediterranean counterparts, and offers reception and guidance services within the metropolitan ecosystem to early-stage start-ups that are internationally-oriented. A Qualiopi-certified training organisation since January 2022, M Accelerator offers a wide range of training courses dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information:

ZEBOX is the international incubator & accelerator for innovative startups founded on the initiative of Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman & CEO of the CMA CGM Group, a global player in maritime, land, air and logistics solutions.

ZEBOX focuses on two sectoral areas: supply chain, logistics and mobility on the one hand, applied to several segments including energy, which is a strategic development axis, and industry 4.0 on the other. The selected projects are carriers of sustainable technological innovation: artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual or augmented reality, IoT and robotics. For more information:


OBRATORI is L’OCCITANE Group‘s venture capital fund specialising in the fields of Well-being, BeautyTech, e-health, RetailTech and Tech4Good. It is interested in sectors, products-services, that meet its commitment and mission to support innovation and high-potential projects, always with a “better for people and the planet” approach. OBRATORI bases its investment thesis on the emergence of new products and services that reinvent, and change in a positive and sustainable way, our way of living and consuming. Since its creation in 2018, the fund has supported and accompanied the growth of more than 16 companies, in France and internationally. For more information:


CISAM in its networking role

Most of the links initiated between the academic world and startup support structures have been made possible, in part, thanks to the creation of the City of Innovation and Knowledge Aix-Marseille (CISAM) in 2018.

As a real catalyst for innovation from the idea to its implementation, the CISAM is a unique space for entrepreneurial creativity, meetings, exchanges and enrichment of the Aix-Marseille region.  It is the result of the intelligence and ambitions shared by the largest French-speaking university, Aix-Marseille University, the Aix-Marseille Provence Metropolis and two multinationals: the CMA CGM Group and the L’OCCITANE Group.

Sharing the same desire to develop scientific culture and innovation for economic growth, these partners are united around a unique concept: to bring together on the same site all the resources and players needed to stimulate innovative approaches and make them more fluid.

In its networking mission, these elements prove the operational efficiency of this unique concept, whose teams have made it possible to direct public research projects towards technology transfer structures, which have themselves led to the creation of start-ups and value in the Aix-Marseille area.



What is a patent?

A patent is an official act of industrial property that grants the applicant a monopoly on the exploitation of their invention on the French territory for a maximum of 20 years. Filing a patent prohibits any unauthorised exploitation of the invention. The patent also gives the inventor the means to conquer new markets abroad. It must meet the following four criteria: it must be an answer to a technical problem, be innovative, involve an invention and be capable of industrial application.