As France's leading biocluster, Genopole is an incubator for cutting-edge projects in biotechnology. Located in the city of Évry, just south of Paris, Genopole provides a unique environment for scientists and entrepreneurs seeking to advance research and innovation.

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Genopole accompanies researchers, postdocs and start-up entrepreneurs through all the phases of their projects to ensure the best possible conditions for business development.

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Genopole’s citizens

Every day, at Genopole, researchers, entrepreneurs and students cross paths, share ideas and unite forces in a veritable melting pot for innovation.

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Giving wings to research and empowering employment in our community are cornerstones of Genopole's mission. Catch up on recent scientific advances, the accomplishments of our biotech actors and the events that enliven the biocluster.

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Innovate with us

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Genopole’s citizens

The founders of Genopole

Genopole, France’s leading biocluster, was created by the French State in 1998 thanks to the impetus provided by then President of AFM-Téléthon Bernard Barataud and the eminent geneticists Daniel Cohen and Jean Weissenbach. The support of local officials and particularly that of Thierry Mandon, who would become Genopole’s first president, also played an essential role in garnering the support of the French government, which assigned Pierre Tambourin as the biocluster’s first chief executive from 1998 to 2017.
Inauguration of Genopole 1998 Inauguration of Genopole 1998

The first roots of Genopole grew in the 1990s at AFM-Téléthon, the French Muscular Dystrophy Association. There, the association’s then president Bernard Barataud, himself the father of a child with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, teamed with the geneticists Daniel Cohen and Jean Weissenbach of the Genethon laboratory to conceive a biopark where basic and applied research coalesce for innovation. The road they set out upon was a bumpy one: at the time, research and business where two separate worlds. The support of Thierry Mandon, then Essonne Departmental Vice-president and Genopole’s founding president from 1998 to 2014, weighed greatly in convincing the French State of the interest of such a project, which received its green light in January 1998. Pierre Tambourin, then director of the CNRS’s life sciences department, was given the mission of piloting the creation of the biocluster. Genopole was inaugurated on 23 October 1998 in the presence of Minister of National Education, Research and Technology Claude Allègre and Minister of the Economy, Finances and Industry Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Pierre Tambourin’s mission

While CEO of Genopole from 1998 to 2017, Pierre Tambourin’s mission was to create a research campus, based on the Anglo-American models, linked to a biotechnology park focusing on the scientific priorities of genomics, bioinformatics, and a multi-disciplinary approach integrating mathematics, physical chemistry, robotics, post-genomics and gene therapy, while also ensuring that discoveries made on the campus would be transferred to industry. (J-F Prud’homme; excerpt from The Ingenuity of Genes; Ed. Cherche-Midi).

Why was Évry chosen for Genopole?

In the 1990s, Évry was already known as a leading territory for genetics research in France and in the world. The community was already home to:

  • The AFM, which held its first telethon in 1987;
  • Its laboratory Genethon, the first large-scale biology laboratory created through telethon funding in 1990. Genethon researchers were the first to edit physical and genetic maps of the human genome in 1992–93;
  • The National Sequencing Center, created in early 1997 and headed by Jean Weissenbach;
  • The National Genotyping Center, created in 1997 and headed by Mark Lathrop.

Évry was also home to two biotech businesses: Genset and Biofords Consultants. It was thus in this fertile soil of renowned entities forming already a budding biopark that Genopole was planted and began growing.

Pierre Tambourin on the biocluster

“Genopole started as a nonprofit association as defined by the French law of 1901. It was funded by the French State, the Île-de-France Regional Council, the Essonne Departmental Council, the AFM and the Évry New Urban Area Syndicate. The association was conceived, built, managed and oriented as a business, a veritable start-up itself. We grasped the highly competitive context in which we were evolving and knew that speed was of the essence.”

Over the past 20 years and with the steadfast support of the French nation, our financers and our partners, Genopole has proven its ability to develop while always showing audacity and forwarding innovation.
Today, the biocluster is home to 83 biotech businesses, 17 academic research laboratories and 25 shared-use platforms.

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Le génie des gènes - 20 ans de génétique à Evry

The Ingenuity of Genes – 20 years of genetics at Évry
Discover the history of genetics and Genopole in The Ingenuity of Genes (Editions Cherche Midi), a book by Laurianne Geffroy and Pierre Tambourin in partnership with Jean-François Prud’Homme, and prefaced by Hervé Chneiweiss.

With the support from
Région île de France