Scientific excellence to boost innovation

In Besançon, research is supported by the large laboratories of the University of Franche-Comté and the outposts of the national research bodies (CNRS, INSERM, etc.).

FEMTO-ST Institute

The FEMTO-ST Institute, a mixed entity of the CNRS, attached to the University of Franche-Comté, the ENSMM and the UTBM (Technological University of Belfort Montbéliard) brings together 660 researchers who work in the areas of engineering and information sciences, organised into six departments:

  • automation and micro-mechanical systems
  • energy and engineering for multi-physical systems
  • applied mechanics
  • micro-sciences, nano-sciences
  • optics
  • time-frequency


This organisation is completed by multidisciplinary research carried out within transversal projects which call on the competencies of researchers from various departments.


Chrono-Environment brings together approximately 160 researchers, whose fields of competence recover the domain of the environment by a wide diversity ranging from biological and geological sciences and human sciences to those of healthcare. It is a question of:

  • Describing and understanding past and current environments
  • Defining the functioning of ecosystems, territories and land
  • Modelling old and current processes in order to foresee future environments.

The UTINAM Institute

The UTINAM Institute (Universe, transport, interfaces, nano-structures, atmosphere and environment, molecules), a mixed research unit of the CNRS, Brings together 350 researchers, astrophysicists, physicists and chemists who carry out research (experimental, theoretical and digital simulation work) of which the scope extends to the galaxy to the molecule.


IFR 133 – IBCT

The Federative Institute of engineering and cellular and tissue biology research (IFR 133 – IBCT) federates 10 research structures of the University, of the INSERM and of the CHRU of Besançon.


The House of Sciences of Mankind and the Environment

The House of Sciences of Mankind and the Environment brings together a total of 14 teams and 150 researchers. Its scientific programming is structured around five interdisciplinary research centres: Territorial dynamics, Transmission and identity / Archive, bases, corpus/ Mankind and Environment/ Standards, behaviours, risks, health.



Within the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, ThéMA (Théoriser et Modéliser pour Aménager, i.e. Theorizing and Modelling to Develop) is a joint research unit (UMR 6049), which brings together the CNRS, the universities of Franche-Comté and Bourgogne. A multidisciplinary unit composed of geographers, economists and computer scientists, ThéMA is a geography research laboratory based on a specific quantity and modelling analysis. Involved in several themes connected to social demand, the unit is composed of three teams: Mobility, city and transport; Landscape and lifestyle and Territorial intelligence, as well as a transverse methodological axis, namely Modelling.


Pôle gérontologie

In accordance with the sustainable development policy implemented by Greater Besançon, this high-tech equipment is fitted with Schneider Electric’s "Eco Breeze" cooling system. Besançon is the first site in Europe to host this innovative way of combining high-technology and environmental friendliness.


Institut régional du vieillissement (Regional Institute of Aging)

The first experience in France of a regional network of researchers, practitioners and policy makers interested in issues related to aging, the IRV aims to provide a cross-reflection in this area. A forum for discussion, reflection, expertise and advice, the IRV helps to bring these various stakeholders in order to better take into account the aging process and its consequences for society as a whole.


Cancer centre of eastern France

The Cancer Centre of eastern France brings together 1000 researchers and clinicians within 150 research teams spread over the five regions of eastern France.


Partners for innovation

The French Blood establishment

The French Blood establishment is a State public body, created in January 2000.

The EFS of Burgundy - Franche-Comté constitutes one of the 18 regional establishments. Its territory of regional competence covers the eight counties of the two regions of Burgundy and Franche-Comté where nine transfusions sites are installed It employs 490 people, of which 220 in Besançon, which has all the competencies required to prepare blood products and cellular or tissue treatment products and to make them available to patients.

Apart from its traditional activities related to blood donations, it has developed significant know-how in the area of organ donations; it carries out 450 organ removals daily. It is thus at the leading edge of transfusional medicine, cellular engineering and medical biology. Its research on transplants of cells, tissue and organisms are carried out in liaison with the University, the INSERM and the University Hospital Centres. In terms of transplants (of bone marrow, corneas, kidneys, liver, etc.), Besançon constitutes a centre of excellence to which numerous professionals make their contribution.

On the TEMIS Healthcare site, the partnerships are significant and enable genuine advances. Of great renown, the services offered by the EFS Burgundy - Franche-Comté are used by numerous hospitals throughout France.

Besançon CHRU (Regional University Hospital Centre)

Very active in medical research, Besançon CHRU works in many fields with a view to achieving scientific progress and improving the quality of care. Among other things, it is one of the founding members of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté PRES (Centre for Research and Higher Education).

Three lines of research have been determined as priorities:

  • Biotherapies

Developed in collaboration with the University, the EFS and the CIC-BT 506 , this line focuses on biotherapy in onco-hematology, for medical assistance with the reproduction and grafting of cells, tissues and organs.

  • Technological innovations

This line is based on research carried out in many CHRU centres through the Centre for Clinical Investigation in Technological Innovations (ICIC-IT 808) and the CHRU's imaging platform. Several fields are explored:

  • Biological microsystems and qualifications,
  • Health technologies in neuropsychiatry,
  • Mobility and autonomy,
  • Ethics and medical progress (with the PROMES line),
  • Emergence.


  • Medical progress and societal change (PROMES)

Four major research areas are studied in depth, and include clinical research on the notions of risk, safety and interactions between humans and societal change:

  • Infectious and microbiological risk including the environmental dimension,
  • Cardio-neuro-vascular risk,
  • Addictology and risk behaviours,
  • Ethics and medical progress.

Research projects are also in progress on many other subjects.

For more information

Bourgogne-Franche-Comté PRES

The collaboration between the universities of Burgundy and Franche-Comté resulted in the creation of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Centre for Research and Higher Education (PRES) in 2007. The PRES brings together - to share large-scale projects - Belfort-Montbéliard University of Technology, Troyes University of Technology, AgroSup, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure of Mechanics and Microtechnologies, the two Regional University Hospital Centres of Dijon and Besançon, the French Blood Agency and the Georges François Leclerc Cancer Centre, as well as the INSERM and the CNRS.


Now with 50,000 students, 3,000 research-lecturers and a range of more than 700 courses, this European-scale body has established itself as one of the three mainstays of research and higher education in north-eastern France.



Key figures

Economic area of 250,000 inhabitants

95 000 salaried jobs

30 000 students

A pool of 10 900 businesses and institutions

75 hectares of activity spaces immediately available for businesses

More figures

Press release



Centres of competitiveness

A dynamic of innovation, reinforced by the centres of competitiveness

On TEMIS at Besançon (Franche-Comté):

  • 406 businesses
  • 11 000 employees
  • 1 050 researchers (public/private research)
  • 160 certified projects
  • 150 players involved in around 100 businesses

In the Franche-Comté /Alsace region:

  • 90 projects financed for an amount of €253m
  • Involving 183 businesses, of which 50% are SMEs and 119 public research teams
  • 18 European projects amongst the 90
  • 11 Premium Members

In the Franche-Comté / Rhone-Alps region:

  • More than 33,000 employees
  • More than 1000 businesses
  • More than €8 billion in sales revenues, or 30% of national production
  • 66 Plastipolis projects financed, for a budget of €174m
  • 50 R&D and training centres

In the Bourgogne / Franche-Comté region:


  • 164 projets labellisés pour
  • 105 millions d’euros d’investissement.


Certified in January 2008 by Inserm and the DHOS (French Department of Hospital and Healthcare Organization), the Besançon CHRU's Centre for Clinical Investigation in Technological Innovations specializes in the field of health microtechnologies in the industrial and medical scientific environment of Franche-Comté. In 2011, more than 800 projects were in progress and 373 publications were listed.