The aim of the Icypro project is to transfer the expertise and advanced bioimage analysis solutions developed at the Institut Pasteur to fields where they will have a real impact for patients, such as diagnostics, medtech and drug discovery. On May 21, 2019, all the Icypro project partners and funders gathered at the Institut Pasteur for the official project launch.
Winner of the 2018 SESAME Filières PIA call for proposals
The Icypro project is one of three winners of the 2018 SESAME Filières PIA call for proposals, part of the French government's Investing in the Future program. This scheme, jointly coordinated by the Greater Paris region and the French government and operated by Bpifrance, was set up to encourage the development of the region's business sectors through the application of research results and to boost the scientific and technological competitiveness of economic stakeholders in Greater Paris. The project was awarded €800,000 in funding out of a total budget of €1.6 million.
Icy software, the basis of the Icypro project
The Icypro project is based on the Icy software platform created by the Institut Pasteur's Bioimage Analysis Unit in 2012. Icy performs quantitative and robust analysis of bioimages such as tissues and cells, obtained using various microscopes and imaging techniques. Icy is a free, open-access platform which is now used by thousands of biology researchers worldwide. The aim of the Icypro project is to develop Icy so that it offers more effective solutions to the industrial challenges raised by bioimaging data analysis in life sciences and health.
A suite of image analysis services to meet industry needs
The aim of the Icypro project is to develop a suite of services for industry, especially SMEs in the Greater Paris region. It will be operated in connection with the Bioimage Analysis Unit and will be known as "omnIA – biological image analysis services for industry".
Specific opportunities offered by the project include:
- co-developing analytical solutions for new cytology and histopathology technologies with medtech companies developing innovative reagents and instruments,
- developing generic analytical plug-ins for companies selling microscopes to research laboratories that they can distribute to their customers alongside the instruments,
- proposing the development of customized image analysis solutions to R&D departments in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry which rely heavily on imaging.
The project is led by Professor Jean-Christophe Olivo-Marin, Head of the Bioimage Analysis Unit, and Dr. Elodie Brient-Litzler from the Innovation Department in the Research Applications and Industrial Relations Department (DARRI). Stéphane Dallongeville, Icy project manager since 2015, is the main developer of the Icypro project. Dr. Jean-Yves Tinevez from the Image Analysis Hub and Dr. Jean-Baptiste Masson from the Decision and Bayesian Computation five-year group will also offer their expertise and facilitate the development of synergies.
Six companies are associated with the project: the start-ups Medtech VitaDx and LLTech, the companies BioAxial and Bertin, and the groups Zeiss France and Horiba.