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From research to industry

IFPEN’s economic model is based on transfer between fundamental research, industrial research and innovation.

This transfer from the laboratory to industry takes the form of:

  • industrial partnerships,
  • the creation of subsidiaries or shareholdings,
  • and support for innovative young companies.

Through all these actions, IFPEN helps create wealth and jobs in these 3 sectors:

  • energy,
  • transport,
  • and environment.


An economic model focusing on industrial developments

Since the challenges of the energy transition go far beyond the scientific and technological expertise of a single body, because pooling knowledge, know-how and costs creates synergies and accelerates the innovation process, because developing new industrial processes depends on the involvement of all the players, IFPEN favors collaborative research via strategic partnerships with academia and industry.

The choice of partners is based on the degree of complementarity between IFPEN’s expertise and technological building blocks and those of the potential partners, as well as the sharing of a common vision of market expectations. Through these partnerships, intellectual property sharing and industrial development take a variety of forms.

With collaborative R&I contracts, several forms of intellectual property are offered by IFPEN:

  • bilateral research contracts involve IFPEN and its partner jointly funding a research project and defining rules relating to ownership of the results together. IFPEN works with over 100 industrial partners in France or internationally on this basis,
  • research consortiums bring together several partners, who pool their resources and expertise. More often than not, in fundamental research, the results are shared between the partners at the end of the project,
  • Joint Industry Projects (JIPs) are a specific type of consortium, mainly concerning exploration and production-related activities. IFPEN operates the R&I program alone. On completion of the project, the companies use the results, but IFPEN retains industrial ownership. Around three new JIPs are created every year, on average.

The industrial development of research results obtained by IFPEN can take several forms: granting of licenses, collaborative research partnerships, the creation of companies or acquisition of stakeholdings, support provided to SMEs and intermediate-sized companies, etc.

It can also translate into joint service offers: in 2010, IFPEN, Beicip-Franlab and Solvay joined forces to create the EOR Alliance™ and market a joint service and consultancy offer aimed at the oil industry for enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

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