A Foundation to Forge Closer Ties between the University and the Business World

Created in 2010, the University of Rennes Foundation aims to forge closer ties between the university and the business world to promote innovation and socio-economic development

A Foundation to Forge Closer Ties between the University and the Business World

The cornerstone of the foundation's work is to reach out to businesses on behalf of the University of Rennes in order to foster innovation and socio-economic development, in synergy with socio-economic stakeholders. The foundation is made up of seven founding members (Biotrial, Rennes Métropole, Olga, Véolia, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, Orange and Canon), with companies of all sizes (VSEs, SMEs, large groups) professional branches, organisations, local authorities and even numerous individuals joining the ranks each year.

In 2023, the Fondation Rennes 1 became the University of Rennes Foundation, thus incorporating three new institutions and adding to its dynamic cooperation with the business world: École Normale Supérieure de Rennes (ENS Rennes), École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes (ENSCR) and École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique (EHESP).

Its driving goal is to develop cooperation between the University of Rennes and socio-economic stakeholders to innovate together towards a desirable future. The actions led and supported by the foundation make it possible to:
- Work together to meet the challenges of a changing world through research, training and innovation
- Work together to support student engagement in the professional world
- Work together to support solidarity in conjunction with university stakeholders.

A Tool to Foster Innovation and Socio-Economic Development

The Foundation is instrumental in making the University of Rennes an ally for the development of companies and the region. Its added value lies in the collective intelligence and the network it develops around its projects to create a dynamic of exchanges between academics, students and socio-economic players and to initiate promising collaboration.

Shared Governance between the Business World and the University

The Foundation's strategy is organised around a management board and implemented by an executive committee and a dedicated team.

The presidency of the foundation has been held by a company/university two-person team: Since the end of 2023, Damien de Kerhor, regional representative of Orange, has been its chair and Muriel Hissler, Vice President for Research, Innovation and Partnerships at the University of Rennes, has been its vice-chair.

  • Chair: Damien de Kerhor, Orange
  • Vice-chair: Muriel Hissler, University of Rennes
  • Treasurer: position to be filled
  • Secretary: Frédérique Ehrmann-Patin, Canon Research Centre
  • Past president: François Peaucelle, Biotrial

Former chairs:

  • Jean-Marc Gandon, former CEO of Biotrial, chair from 2017-2023
  • Martial Gabillard, Director of the Brittany region for Veolia, chair from 2014-2017
  • Anne Le Goff, General Secretary of Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, chair from 2012-2014  
  • Vincent Marcatté, Director of Partnerships and Open Innovation for Orange, chair from 2010 to 2012