The Innovation Act was created in 1999 to encourage technology transfer from public research to businesses.
The conditions for the application of this article are: 1) The company must be new; 2) The researcher is either the manager or a partner. 3) The company created promotes the research results that the researcher has developed during his research activity in his laboratory. The results are therefore protected by Intellectual Proprerty (IP: patent, software, know-how) of which the researcher is the inventor (patent) or author (software, know-how). The IP remains the property of the public institution employing the researcher. The exploitation of the IP by the new company is formalised by the negotiation of a transfer contract between the exploiting company and the researcher’s employing public institution that owns the IP.
Before the PACTE Act, the researcher had to devote 100% of his or her time to the company created. With the PACTE Act, the provisions of Article 25.1 allow the researcher to be immersed in the company created on an incomplete or full-time basis. The researcher can be placed on secondment (only if the agent is full-time) or, depending on his/her status, on secondment or delegation (full or incomplete time) to the company. The company reimburses the researcher’s public employer for the full or incomplete secondment or delegation, which maintains the researcher’s salary. Exceptions to the reimbursement of the employee’s salary by the company are possible. The researcher may receive additional remuneration but, since the PACTE Act, there is a ceiling on this. The ceiling is set by regulation (decree to come). Additional remuneration is paid directly from the company to the employee.In order to benefit from this provision, the employee must request authorisation from his or her public employer in accordance with the conditions of the general provisions (L531-14) and prior to the negotiation of the transfer contract and before the company is registered in the trade and companies register.
The application conditions of this article are 1) the company is existing (newly created or not); 2) it valorises the research results that the researcher has developed during his research activity in his laboratory. Also, as for 25.1, the results are subject to prior IP protection of which the agent is the inventor or author and a transfer contract is signed between the agent’s employer and the company. 3) The researcher provides scientific assistance to the company on his work which is valorised. The scientific assistance takes the form of scientific expertise for the company to support the agent in the work that has been developed and its industrial development.Under the PACTE Act, the scientific advisor-researcher can spend up to 50% of his or her time in the company (pending confirmation by a forthcoming decree), compared to 20% before the Act. In return for his or her scientific advice, the agent may receive additional remuneration granted by the company to the researcher, which is capped by regulation (decree to come). The additional remuneration is paid directly from the company to the agent.
The application conditions for this article are 1) the company is an existing commercial company (newly created or not) 2) the researcher is a member of the management bodies in order to promote the dissemination of public research results. 3) The company valorises public research results whether or not the researcher is the author or inventor. Therefore, there is no obligation for the company to valorise the Intellectual Property resulting from the researcher or his laboratory of origin: it must develop public research results without any link with the researcher or his employer.The researcher’s shareholding and voting rights are limited. Under the PACTE Act, researchers can take a maximum 32% stake in the company’s capital (compared to 20% before the Act), giving them a maximum of 32% of the voting rights. The aim of this scheme is to raise companies’ awareness of innovation and to increase companies’ attention to the progress of basic research and its applications. The researcher remains in full time public service.
Date of update June 4, 2021