The project "Biocluster Français pour l’Innovation en Infectiologie" (BCF2I) has been selected for the Healthcare Innovation 2030 plan. This strategy aims to strengthen biomedical research in France. Coordinated by Lyonbiopôle and supported by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, this European-scale cluster aims to accelerate progress in the field of emerging diseases, by working with the Institut Pasteur among others.
On May 16, in the context of the Healthcare Innovation 2030 plan, the French government announced the creation of five world-class clusters, providing them with €400 million. In particular, the French Biocluster for Innovation in Infectious Diseases (BCF2I) has been selected. Coordinated by Lyonbiopole and in collaboration with the main national organizations involved in infectiology, BCF2I will be one of the cornerstones of the national acceleration strategies for emerging infectious diseases EID-CBRN and for biotherapy and bioproduction.
A collaborative effort
BCF2I will rely on major existing actors in the field of infectious diseases such as world-renowned hospitals (HCL, AP-HP, etc.), public and private academic institutions (Institut Pasteur, Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University, Université Paris Cité, Inserm/ANRS EID, etc.) and numerous industrial players involved in infectious diseases and animal health (Biomérieux, Sanofi, Boehringer Ingelheim, and many other large and small companies).
It will aim to strengthen the coordination of existing infrastructures, accelerate current initiatives and start new ones to cope with emerging pathogens and antimicrobial resistance.
Adopting a transversal approach
BCF2I will develop a "One Health" approach and will have two main objectives:
- Developing an integrated and multi-sectoral ecosystem of infectious diseases that will lead to concrete and measurable results in terms of development of cutting-edge industrial activities in France and job creation;
- Prepare France to respond rapidly and effectively to a future pandemic.
Six innovative technological platforms are proposed, covering the four stages of the infectious diseases value chain (anticipation and surveillance, prevention, diagnosis and development of therapies). These platforms will become "attractiveness boosters" that will encourage additional industrial investments in the region.
Institut Pasteur's expertise
Institut Pasteur will contribute, according to its expertise and skills, more particularly on several major research topics:
- The study of vector-host interactions
- The development of diagnostic techniques
- International issues shared by the stakeholders of the Pasteur Network (33 members in 25 countries)
In addition, the biocluster will aim to strengthen vaccine research by integrating the major strategic research projects in vaccinology carried out by the Institut Pasteur, Inserm and the CEA.
Responding to pandemic emergencies
BCF2I will also act as a "hotline" for the French government in the event of a new pandemic, coordinating an integrated academic and industrial response to the emergency, linked with the government's needs.
BCF2I will host and incubate start-ups and facilitate exchanges and networking within the community.
BCF2I will be located́ in the Lyon-Gerland biodistrict and will rely on a strong industrial pillar in Lyon and two strong academic pillars in Lyon and Paris.
Christophe d’Enfert, Senior Executive Scientific Vice-President at the Institut Pasteur
The creation of the BCF2I biocluster is a response to the risks associated with climate change, ecosystem degradation and globalization, which are leading to a significant increase in the global risk of pandemics and antimicrobial resistance. The sharp increase in these two risks has highlighted the importance of a "One Health" approach to study the interface of environmental stakes in animal and human health aiming to better understand the factors involved in the spread of infectious diseases.
Finally, the COVID-19 crisis highlighted the vulnerability of our health care system in the event of a pandemic crisis and the need for rapid interventions to mitigate the impact of these emerging pathogens.