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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Institutions

SPS - Saclay Plant Sciences

Innovation and Partnership Open call (Ongoing)

The goal of this call for projects is to promote direct collaboration between actors in academic research and the private sector (start-ups, SMEs, multinational corporations, technical institutes, EPIC [French Public Industrial and Commercial Establishments], etc.) to develop high-risk innovative projects with a strong potential for added value.

The selected projects will receive financial assistance from SPS up to 50k €, which can be divided into personnel costs, operating costs and services. The intellectual property of the expected results of the project and the financial contribution of the partner must be discussed with your institutional structure supporting partnership and innovation, in connection with your research unit manager, prior to submission to SPS’innov call.

Discussion with the IP Working Group before project submission

If you are not sure whether your project falls within the scope of this call or to help you find a private partner, you can contact the SPS “Innovations and Partnerships” (IP) group by submitting an expression of interest form to briefly present your project. This does not replace the submission of the full application file that must be submitted for a project to be considered for SPS’Innov funding (submission file). The expression of interest form should be submitted to the address The form is available at the bottom of this web page.

Recommendations and eligibility criteria

To be eligible for this call, a project must:
• be collaborative and involve at least one private entity and one team belonging to the SPS network.
• be coordinated by a scientist (permanent employee or not) belonging to the SPS network.
• include R&D work mainly carried out by SPS laboratories.

Selection criteria

• The scientific quality of the project is the main selection criterion of the call.
• The complementarity of partners to achieve the objectives
 • SPS'innov projects must be the origin of work allowing a transfer of knowledge to an application, propose a plan for valorization of the work and ideally be catalysts for longer-term partnerships.

• The SPS’innov call covers “starter” project (recommended duration: 12 to 24 months).
•The potential for use of the work and for further developing the collaborative research project beyond the funded period must clearly be presented and explained.
• Projects focusing either on applied or targeted research, and on technical/technological development are admissible.
• Priority will be given to projects submitted by researchers who have never received funding through the SPS'innov call.
• The project coordinator will need to organize a debriefing meeting of the academic researchers involved together with representative(s) of the private entity, the person hired for the project (if relevant) and members of the SPS “Innovation and Partnership” Working Group, during the last month of the project. A short summary of the project’s results will be requested before the meeting (according to a provided template).
• The coordinators of the selected projects commit to providing any additional information requested by SPS about the project, during or after the project (notably as part of the biennial SPS activity reports).
• The application must be complete, written in English or French and sent by email to
• Projects that do not meet the eligibility criteria will not be funded in the framework of the SPS’innov call.

Evaluation and confidentiality

The panel evaluating the submitted projects will consist of the members of the SPS “Innovation and Partnership” Working Group. The SPS Executive Committee will make the final decision based on the recommendation issued by the group. Any person involved in the evaluation process is bound to secrecy in accordance with the rules established in the Penal Code (French law no. 83.634 of 13/07/1983). If necessary, the members of the evaluation committee and of the SPS Executive Committee will sign a confidentiality agreement for the evaluation of the project.

Funding rules

Funds provided by SPS will be allocated to the laboratory of the project coordinator. Selected projects will receive 50k€ of financial support from SPS. The application must detail the distribution of this envelope in personnel costs, running costs and services. The running costs must be justified and described in the grant application and may cover consumables and small equipment, as well as stipends paid to students for training internships. Services will be limited to 30% of the SPS funding.

ATTENTION: The project must be collaborative, which requires research involvement and/or financial support of the private partner in the project. The financial and legal negotiations with your partners must imperatively be carried out with your institutional structure supporting partnership and innovation, in connection with your research unit manager. We strongly recommend that you contact them before submitting the submission file. If your project is selected for SPS'innov funding, the payment of SPS credits will remain conditional on the finalization of a full financial statement validated by your private partner and your institutional structure supporting partnership and innovation.

Contacts of the institutional structure supporting partnership and innovation:
> INRAE - Centre Ile-de-France Versailles-Grignon :
> CNRS - DR4 :
> Université Paris-Saclay – DARI :

Application procedure

Grant applications may be submitted at any point by email at

Projects will be processed as they are received and the results of their evaluation will be announced at most within 8 weeks following the submission date (outside the summer period). 


SPS “Innovation & Partnership” Working Group:

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