Interview: Thierry Bosc, Clinatec
Categorie(s) : Innovation & Society, Interviews, News, Research
Published : 6 February 2017
Your matching gift campaign brought in €10 million in donations. Were you surprised?
The matching gift concept is still very uncommon in France, and it had never been used for such a large fundraising campaign. We didn’t think we would get there this fast! Our sponsors, working under the watchful eye of Alain Mérieux, helped us reach our goal of €5 million in just six months. The Edmond J. Safra Foundation matched the amount. All of our donors—corporate (Biomerieux, Servier, ARaymond, Altran), foundations (France Parkinson, EDF), and individual—told us how proud they were to have contributed to the campaign’s success.
How will the funds be used?
To pursue our work inventing tomorrow’s medicine. The matching gift campaign is over. But we still need another €15 million by 2018. The €10 million we raised will primarily fund two projects that are already well underway. The Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) project, which started in 2007, will restore mobility to people suffering from spinal-cord injuries. And the Near-Infrared (NIR) project, which started in 2010, will find a curative treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The funds will also support new programs on epilepsy and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
What milestones will you reach in 2017?
For the BCI project, we will be testing the feasibility of operating an exoskeleton capable of providing maximum freedom of movement. For the NIR project, we will file for approval to begin clinical testing to confirm the encouraging results of the preclinical testing completed at Clinatec.