The SIGNALIFE Labex Innovation Program has launched a YEP Call for Projects in 2020, 2021 and 2022, with the following objectives:

  • To support innovation within the scientific community of the SIGNALIFE Labex for projects with emerging technologies and potential for development
  • To develop new businesses with the aim of launching startup companies within the SIGNALIFE Labex.


Eligible projects had to have a low level of technological maturity (Technology Readiness Level, TRL 2/3/4).

This call was one of the innovative actions of the SIGNALIFE Labex extension project (2020-2024), approved by the ANR and funded by the French government.

It was open to projects involving the development of technological and scientific assets linked to research on cell signaling in biology, carried out by or in collaboration with SIGNALIFE Labex teams (IDEX partners), and whose planned development includes the creation of a startup company. A YEP project had to integrate one of the biology institutes of the SIGNALIFE Labex (C3M, iBV, IPMC, IRCAN, ISA), possibly in collaboration with INRIA, and had to obtain the agreement of its Unit Director (DU).

The projects submitted had to present both:

  • A strong scientific and technological basis, having already been evaluated to assess the potential for development, and
  • A plan to form a startup company.


Eligible projects had also to be backed by one or more of the various support systems for the creation of innovative businesses (Start-up DeepTech IDEX, BPI France, Incubateur PACA-EST, INRIA Start-up Studio, CNRS Rise, INRAE Transfert, etc.).

Expected deliverables had therefore to be results or products able to exert a leverage effect, allowing the business project to develop, to reach milestones in technological development, to add value to existing technological assets, to facilitate entry on the market or to build the entrepreneurial team.

Funds allocated through the YEP program include for 30 months (2 and a half years):

  • A sum of €27k/year for running costs (consumables, small equipment, services, travel costs, etc.)
  • A full-time salary for the recruitment of an assistant engineer (salary according to UCA – the employer – wage grids for 3-6 year experience)


The Labex biology institutes (C3M, iBV, IPMC, IRCAN, ISA) allocated to the YEP project coordinator suitable research area, bear the cost of the infrastructure if relevant, and allow access to their technological platforms, in accordance with the rules in place at each institute. A project in collaboration with INRIA must be hosted in one of the biology institutes.

YEP project coordinators will be able to benefit from cutting-edge training in entrepreneurship (University Diploma in Entrepreneurship) at Université Côte d’Azur and from a pre-incubation by incubateur PACA-EST.

A support and assistance unit for setting up a YEP project was offered by the SIGNALIFE Innovation Committee (CIS) with the help of the UCA Innovation and Valorization Commission of the IDEX (CUIV). YEP project coordinators were strongly encouraged to consult this unit before submitting the application.

Assessment of applications

The calls were open all year long between 2020-2022. Proposals were peer-reviewed by the SIGNALIFE Innovation Committee (CIS) headed by Véronique Braud, with the help of the UCA Innovation Valorization Commission of the IDEX (CUIV), the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with its socio-economic representative P. Diebolt, and finally validated by SIGNALIFE Labex Steering Committee.

Véronique Braud, IPMC

SIGNALIFE Innovation Committee

Head of the Committee



Pierre Diebolt, Nuvisan


Socio-economic representative

The call is now closed since a total of five YEP were funded (see below) in accordance with the Labex 2 program and innovation actions planed in the initial project.