Due to the excellence and multidisciplinarity of its some 300 research centres or units, the Institute is furthering its research of human illnesses, even the rarest: it is thereby cultivating close relations with patient associations, notably through its focus group which involves them. In 2014, the research teams associated with Inserm published 9,235 articles, 463 of them in the most prominent journals in the medical and basic research domains. Additionally, in cooperation with CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research), it supports the emergence of talented researchers through ATIP/Avenir contracts.
Basic research results proposing new avenues of prevention, diagnosis or care are the subject of clinical trials.
As of 2014, clinical research activity is growing rapidly: 163 projects have been evaluated, of which 38 have been applications to promote, 57 applications for qualification and 68 requests for amendment. In total, the Inserm Clinical Research Centre has 374 active projects
Inserm Transfert helps researchers to establish the proof of concept of their innovation and is involved in the registration of patents (1,279 patent families in the Inserm portfolio as at 1st January 2015 and 140 submissions for patent applications) and the research of industrial partners (239 R&D contracts signed in 2014, 100 licence contracts, of which 52 were newly signed in 2014).
Inserm plays a crucial role in the structure of the European Research Area and its international position is strengthened by close collaborations (teams abroad and associated international laboratories). In 2015, the Institute had 22 associated international laboratories at its disposal, 9 mixed international units set up abroad and around thirty international cooperation agreements.
With involvement in more than 400 European projects financed by the European Commission within the 7th Research and Development Framework Programme (RDFP), Inserm has been confirmed as one of the principal European players in the area of research into life sciences and health. Its teams have been involved in 186 collaborative projects and in the coordination of 37 projects, making the Institute the foremost European institution in terms of coordination and participation in European collaborative projects in this area of the 7th RDFP. Inserm has also been one of the foremost European research institutions in terms of IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative) financing of public/private research partnerships with a strong presence in the European Research Council. Being in receipt of around one hundred ERC awards (69 young researchers/40 established researchers) in its research structures, Inserm is the second European research institution in terms of ERC projects in the sector. Its participation in the Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions as part of the 7th RDFP cannot be refuted, with the management of 108 fundings (88 individual "grants" and 20 for networks). Finally, Inserm's active participation in the construction of the European Research Area has also been connected to its involvement in the construction of research infrastructures of a European dimension. Inserm has a presence in six European research infrastructures and has coordinated two in the area of clinical research (ECRIN) and in the area of high security P4 laboratories (ERINHA).