Introduction

Innovation is not restricted to technology and economic performance. It is nowadays accepted that it can transform the concepts, organization and practices of economic and academic life and is part of a process of open collaboration that involves the whole of civil society.

Innovation is thus a legitimate focus for IFSTTAR’s activities, with a three-fold goal:

  • to take better account of the concept of sustainable development in the innovation projects and programmes initiated by stakeholders working on the ground;
  • to foster the development of new “green” technologies for a more responsible society that consumes fewer natural resources;
  • to show economic stakeholders that sustainable development is today both:

    • a competitiveness factor for firms
    • a means of achieving an international position.

 These innovation activities have had the following practical outcomes:

       

      • the filing of patents that can be exploited by licenses
      • the design and manufacture of prototype devices which serve the same purpose as the patents
      • the development of software whose aim is to provide tools for the scientific community, including IFSSTTAR itself, and which may also in a few cases be licensed.
      • the creation of databases which serve the same purpose as the software