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The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is a key player in research, development and innovation.
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Press release | Innovation for industry | Institutional
According to Reuter's rankings, the CEA is the world's most innovative public research organisation.That's the conclusion of Reuters' "Top 25 Global Innovators – Government", a list that identifies and ranks publicly funded institutions.
CEA ranks first in Reuters’ classification, in front of Fraunhofer (Germany) and JST (Japan), in part because it applies for a significant number of patents, but mainly because of its success rate of patents received compared with patents filed. Between 2008 and 2013, the CEA filed a total of 2252 patent applications (WIPO) mainly in the energy (nuclear and renewable), semiconductor, chemistry and final consumer product sectors. 81.2% of these applications were successful. Number of patent requests filed by the CEA between 2008 and 2013, broken down per sector type, as per analysis conducted by Reuters Thomson.Another important criterion used for the Reuters rankings: these patents are frequently cited by outside researchers, showing that the CEA has a big impact on R&D efforts at other organisations. The strength of CEA research is also reflected by the numerous industrial partnerships and spin-off companies stemming from CEA technologies (124 companies created since 2000). In its report, Reuters also emphasises the essential role public organisations have in moving science and technology forward. A large part of research funding - especially curiosity-driven fundamental research - is provided by public rather than private funding: since private companies are often saddled with short-term profitability issues, which hinder investment opportunities. In its findings, Reuters reminds us of the role that public research organisations have undertaken in crucial discoveries: in short, they split the atom, invented the Internet, and mapped the human genome. For its part, the CEA had a pivotal role in developing the French nuclear sector. However, its reach is not limited to this arena alone: today it is recognized as one of the most active world players in the areas of new technologies (microelectronics, robotics, complex IT, big data) and renewable energy (solar power, energy storage, smart grids, etc.), as well as biotechnologies. Its Institute of Genomics is making great steps toward understanding and decoding the human genome.Three other French organisations are also ranked in the Top 25 (CNRS, Inserm, Institut Pasteur, ranked 5th, 10th and 17th respectively), which includes, for comparative purposes, six American organisations, as well as four Japanese and three German organisations. European holds nine of the 25 places, making it the world’s most innovative continent according to Reuters. It should also be noted that each year the CEA features on Reuters’ annual rankings of the 100 most innovative institutions (public and private) (since this list was first created in 2011).
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.