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MUSE I-Site and Med Vallée, a perfect match

Information updated on 05/08/22

The University of Montpellier’s MUSE I-Site was granted permanent funding on March 11. Here is a presentation of how the Occitanie Region’s only certified Excellence Site will contribute greatly to Med Vallée. And vice versa. Let’s take a look.

Montpellier University of Excellence
The Montpellier Métropole area is a unique place where all stakeholders are united around a single objective, which is to meet the challenges of global health. The Montpellier University of Excellence (MUSE) I-Site is a symbol of this determination, seeking to create an internationally recognized research-intensive theme-oriented university in Montpellier.
The consortium includes 16 founding members: University of Montpellier (the initiating institution), ten national research organizations (CNRS, INRAE, CIRAD, CEA, etc.), two schools, and three health care establishments, including the Montpellier University Hospital and Montpellier Cancer Institute (ICM), along with founding companies such as Horiba.
With a focus on three key pillars (Feed - Care - Protect), MUSE I-Site focuses on innovative agriculture as a means to support food security and environmental quality; the transition towards a society that is more respectful of the environment; and improvements for human health. These challenges are also being tackled by Med Vallée, a vast initiative being launched by Montpellier Métropole. Med Vallée is a world-class global health cluster at the crossroads of health, the environment, and food.

“Everyone wishes to enjoy good health for a long time, have access to quality health care, eat properly, and not be harmed by an environment that we may have destroyed,” says François Pierrot, Executive Director of MUSE I-Site, whose program was recently approved to continue on a permanent basis.

After a four-year evaluation period, MUSE I-Site obtained its definitive accreditation on March 11, 2022.

“University of Montpellier and its partners succeeded in defining a common project revolving around three of the major challenges facing our planet – food security, environmental protection, and human health – in perfect harmony with the strategic priorities of the Region and Montpellier Métropole,” says Philippe Augé, President of University of Montpellier.

“The fact that MUSE and Med Vallée are synchronized will give us the opportunity to make a global proposal to promote technology transfers and the creation of startups originating in our research laboratories,” says François Pierrot.

Another new resource has emerged at the perfect time: the University Innovation Pole (PUI). In November 2021, University of Montpellier was selected by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation to be one of five pilot institutions in France to experiment with the project. The goal is nothing less than to “reveal the full potential for invention and innovation of those stakeholders involved in research, training, technology transfer, and startup assistance.”
The main features of the Montpellier experiment have already been defined.

“Our project is based on MUSE’s scientific ambitions and Med Vallée’s economic orientations,” explains François Pierrot. Additionally, University of Montpellier, Montpellier BIC, SATT AxLR, and Ad’Occ (the Occitanie Region’s Economic Development Agency) will all work together.

It is clear that MUSE I-Site and Med Vallée will be mutually beneficial. This is especially true since the inclusion of the ExposUM project, for which University of Montpellier, in collaboration with the MUSE I-site, was selected in the call for projects “Excellence in all its forms” in France’s Investments for the Future program. With a focus on the exposome, the project will study the external and environmental factors that can affect human health, such as pollution, poor diet, infectious diseases, and other factors. Again, these are all major topics for Med Vallée.
Last but not least are mutual contributions for aspects relating to outreach, which is a strong vector of economic momentum. MUSE I-Site and Med Vallée will both be cornerstones of the project.

“Being located in an area that is attractive both nationally and internationally is a major advantage for University of Montpellier. At the same time, it is also important for Montpellier Métropole to have University of Montpellier placed among the top universities in international rankings,” adds François Pierrot.

In other words, MUSE I-Site and Med Vallée are more than just an agreement: they are a perfect match.