Impulse inter-university incubator

who we are

Set up in June 2000 by the four Aix-Marseille universities, the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Institute for Research and Development (IRD), and the French aerospace lab (ONERA), IMPULSE is a geographically focused, generalist incubator which supports and finances innovative business projects with a public sector research slant. Supported by the Ministry of Research, the European Union and local authorities, the Impulse incubator supports and finances the creation of innovative businesses aiming to leverage public sector research in the Aix-Marseille area (departments 13, 84, 04 and 05). Its reach covers all topics (except multimedia): Engineering science and Communications and Information Technology (microelectronics, telecoms, software, optics at over 50%), Life sciences and health sciences (biotechnology, cosmetics and so on). At the heart of a close network of research laboratories, Carnot Institutes, the SATT, competitiveness clusters, the PACA INNOVATION and startup capital networks, IMPULSE is a support and pre-startup tool par excellence. It boasts a conversion rate (projects to companies) of over 75%. At the end of 2012, out of 126 projects supported and financed, 101 companies had been set up, generating around 550 jobs directly and 1500 indirectly. One in two projects coming out of the Impulse incubator have received awards from the French National Competition for the Creation of Technologically Innovative Companies, either in the 'Emergence' or 'Creation-Development' categories. With private sector financing of EUR 113 million going to companies supported by Impulse, the cachet of innovative startups in the Impulse catchment area is clear. Always looking to provide efficiency and excellence to project initiators, the incubator has enjoyed ISO 9001 certification since 2009. This was renewed in 2012 for the period 2012-2015. This certification, awarded following a lengthy AFNOR verification procedure, is also a springboard to a new level of confidence at the meeting point between public sector research, innovation and business creation.


what we offer

One of the incubator's primary functions is to offer tailored support to project initiators. This coaching takes place both before and during incubation (two years) and after incubation, if resources are available and should the project require it.

Support prior to entering incubation:

  • Audit and formalisation of the project, advice for project initiators.
  • Project design coaching and support in completion of incubation application.
  • Establishment of contacts with technology transfer representatives from universities and research institutions involved.
  • Support for project initiators wishing to take part in various competitions, such as CNACETI (the French National Competition for the Creation of Technologically Innovative Companies held by the Ministry of Research).
  • Redirection of the project to a partner body where the proposed project does not fall within the incubator's remit.

Support during incubation:

  • Development of the project by means of regular monitoring of the critical project creation phases: from the first business plan to initial fundraising or sale of the first products.
  • Collaboration with the universities and research institutions involved: from the establishment of technology transfer contracts (licenses for patents, know-how, copyright and so on.) to dealings with research personnel (legal framework of the Innovation Law).
  • Support in relation to project management, strategy, entrepreneurship, patent rights, financial and accounting aspects and so on. 
  • Help in putting together all necessary funding and grant applications (OSEO, ESRP, CNACETI, DAP, CIR, JEI, etc.)
  • Support for networking with partners contributing to the development of the project: scientific, financial (seed capital and investment funds), premises providers (incubators), training and so on.   
  • Formal monitoring and archiving of project development, as required by the incubator's Quality Management System ISO 9001 (version 2008).

Support following incubation:

  • Maintaining networks with regular meetings of an "Entrepreneurs Club" to promote and encourage experience sharing between new and more experienced entrepreneurs.

Promotion of projects through a major annual event (Science and Entrepreneurship Open Day). Entrepreneurs and the general public are invited along to discover the latest innovative technologies.


Impulse Incubator

Maison du Développement Industriel
Technopôle de Château-Gombert
13452 Marseille cedex 13


Tel: +33 (0)4 91 10 01 45
Fax: +33 (0)4 91 10 01 43

Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 10 01 45
Fax.: +33 (0)4 91 10 01 43
Project Manager
Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 10 01 45
Fax.: +33 (0)4 91 10 01 43
Project Manager
Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 10 01 45
Fax.: +33 (0)4 91 10 01 43
Project Manager
Tel.: +33 (0)4 91 10 01 45
Fax.: +33 (0)4 91 10 01 43
knowledge transfer
sustainable development
business incubator
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