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The University of Bordeaux stands out in the INPI patent applicant ranking

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Once again this year, the University of Bordeaux has demonstrated its strong capacity for innovation by placing 31st in the INPI ranking of the top 50 patent applicants in France. Up one place on last year, the University of Bordeaux is ranked second university overall.

Photo : INPI headquarters in Paris © HJBC - Adobe Stock
INPI headquarters in Paris © HJBC - Adobe Stock

As in previous years, the French National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) unveiled at the end of April the results of it's 2023 top 50 patent applicants ranking. Public research features prominently, accounting for 20% of the ranking. The University of Bordeaux is second among universities and fifth among higher education and research establishments - behind the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), the CNRS, IFP Énergies nouvelles and Université Grenoble Alpes, and ahead of Inserm, Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University and Bordeaux INP.

Although details of the 46 patent applications filed by the University of Bordeaux in 2023 cannot be revealed, due to a mandatory 18-month period of confidentiality, this ranking bears witness to the concrete resources put in place by the institution to encourage the emergence of innovation.


This second place in the ranking of universities filing patent applications with INPI is a strong indicator of the University of Bordeaux's success in implementing an ambitious innovation strategy.

Etienne Duguet, University of Bordeaux vice-president for innovation

For Antoine Bouteilly, Director of the Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Social and Economic Development Department (DIESE), "this ranking is proof that the institution's strategy is effective. Our researchers constantly develop new knowledge and innovative results. Together with technology transfer subsidiaries and the other institutions on the Bordeaux campus, we provide optimum support for their innovation initiatives. Both InnovationS and the University Innovation Cluster, two major programmes led by the University of Bordeaux, provide us with new resources to match our ambitions and the creativity of our scientific community. We are also witnessing the positive effects of the various incentive schemes that have been put in place, such as the patent bonus, which rewards researchers for their efforts. It is essential to maintain and even intensify this positive momentum."

Antoine Bouteilly also points out that the measures implemented on the Bordeaux campus include pre-maturation, maturation, awareness-raising initiatives and incentives for public-private partnerships. He emphasises the importance of the collaboration with Aquitaine Science Transfert (AST), the university's subsidiary for the past 10 years. This structure provides support for researchers and lecturer-researchers in the detection, protection, maturation and transfer of results that can be exploited in the socio-economic sector, which is facilitated by patents. "Patents are an important step in our innovation process. Our aim is to continue to be, as we have been for the last six years, on the podium of the universities that file the most patents. However, while patents are a legal instrument that is particularly well-suited to developing certain types of results, they are not the only vehicle for transferring results from our laboratories to the socio-economic field. Our ambition goes beyond. We are committed to maximising the impact of our discoveries by transferring them effectively to the general public, and we have other instruments to achieve this. All researchers and students who innovate need to be provided support. The partners in the University Innovation Cluster consortium are working together to simplify and improve this service," he concludes.



France's National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) is a public body dedicated to promoting innovation and business competitiveness by protecting intellectual property. It manages applications for patents, trademarks and industrial design rights, as well as the corresponding registers.

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What is a patent?

A patent protects a technical innovation, i.e. a product or process that provides a new technical solution to a given technical problem. As well as being new, the invention must be suitable for industrial application.