Partnerships with industry at the heart of a €11 million project to build a facility dedicated to the life sciences in the French Alsace region’s Illkirch Innovation Park.

The project was announced by Alsace BioValley, the French arm of the trinational BioValley network that spans the Alsace region, South Baden in Germany (with a base in Freiburg) and northwest Switzerland (Basel).

Funding for the 2,795sq m building will come from the Alsace region, the French state, the Bas-Rhin Départment and the Communauté Urbaine de Strasbourg. A contribution will also be sought from the European Regional Development Fund.

The facility will house, with shared costs and human resources, a Centre for Integrated Biology (CBI), to be led by Dino Mofras, head of France’s Institute for Genetics and for Molecular and Cellular Biology (IGBMC, which will be close by the new site in the Innovation Park); and a Platform Centre (HdP), to be sponsored by the Alsace BioValley Cluster.

One of the ideas underpinning the project is to “bring together at an early stage researchers, the IGBMC and the life sciences industry, with the support of local political leaders, to foster the creation of significant industry partnerships” with international players, Alsace BioValley said.

“What’s new about this project is the way it will build in Alsace a centre of excellence combining services and very high-level scientific expertise, thus helping to standardise, professionalise and organise the services required, which hitherto have existed only in academic labs,” commented Nicolas Carboni, the cluster’s managing director.