What is the « DIM ELICIT » ?


What is the « DIM ELICIT » ?

The DIM ELICIT (« Empowering LIfe sCiences with Innovative Technologies ») is the network of innovative technologies for biology in Ile-de-France region.
Co-leaded by the Institut Pierre Gilles de Gennes for microfluidics (IPGG) and the Institut Pasteur, the DIM ELICIT has been labeled “Domain Of Main Interest” by the regional council of Ile-de-France for the period 2017-2020.

Through calls for proposals, this programme supports Paris region research teams to design breakthrough technologies or to disseminate them for first applications in biology. It stimulates interdisciplinary collaborations between technologists and biologists, as well as partnerships with industries.
These technological innovations must have a strong societal impact, particularly in the biomedical field, and generate scientific and economic value in the medium term.

In order to be one of the most innovative ecosystems in the field of Technologies for Life Sciences, the DIM ELICIT ambitions to bring together research teams from all over the Ile-de-France region into one unique network.

The DIM ELICIT covers 3 core technologies, divided into 4 end-user applications.


Core technologies of the DIM ELICIT


Microfluidics is the science of flow and fluid handling at the micrometer scale. Nature has mastered for millions of years: the sap that rises from the roots to the leaves of the tree, or the blood that circulates in our capillaries are good examples.

It is a recent field of research which is now essential in many areas of biology, particularly in medicine: to reproduce the structure and functioning of human organs, such as the kidney or the intestine, to make diagnoses or to study cancers…

It uses several types of technologies: micro-droplets, labs-on-chips, micro-actuators, 3D printing, surface patterning, low-cost technologies (such as microfluidic paper), submicrometric microfluidics, nanofluidics…

La microfluidique appliquée à la biologie | Thématique (Vidéo in french)

Biophotonics and waves

This fusion of optics and biology has given rise to a major scientific field: biophotonics. Optical technologies using the properties of light waves in microscopy have made it possible to observe, analyse or manipulate living matter with ever greater precision.

The techniques that fall under the heading of “biophotonics and waves” use the properties of light, acoustic or electromagnetic waves in order to observe, analyze or manipulate living matter.
Among these techniques are: super-resolution microscopy, associated sensor technologies, multiphoton microscopy, visible/terahertz/Raman spectroscopy, innovative probes (nanoparticles, nanosensors, etc.), optogenetics, adaptive optics, photoablation and photostimulation, positron emission tomography, etc.

Biophotonique et ondes | Thématique (Vidéo in french)

Image analysis

Biological images contain a great deal of data that may escape the human eye. Computer-assisted image analysis has radically changed the methods of measurement and study of living things.

Computer-assisted biological image analysis can process data that are not visible to the human eye, such as the perimeter, volume, or elasticity of cells observed through imaging techniques. The development of biological image analysis has thus radically changed the methods of measurement and study of living organisms. Compressive sensing, tracking, localization, digital pathology, statistical analysis, spatial analysis, harmonic analysis, optimization, automation, deep learning, software deployment in the cloud, augmented and immersive visualization, etc. are all techniques used for image analysis.

Analyse d’images biologiques | Thématique (Vidéo in french)

End-user applications of the DIM ELICIT

Single cell/single molecule

Single cell and single molecule manipulation and analysis are essential to the understanding of biological phenomena involving heterogeneous populations (e.g. a subset of chemotherapy-resistant cells in a tumor). Breakthrough results are expected with this type of methods in the fields of immunology, developmental biology, cancer, etc.

Breast cancer: Analyzing individual cells for better treatment


An organ-on-a-chip is a cell culture micro device using microfluidics. Thanks to organs-on-a-chip, animal models can increasingly be avoided, while allowing the faithful reconstruction of the biology of tissues and organs (3D aspects, signalling, mechanobiology, etc.). Key applications include the development of analytical models of diseases, toxicology, drug screening, etc.

Technologies for in vivo biology on animal models

Today, animal models remain indispensable for understanding complex phenomena such as drug metabolism, psychiatric diseases, or the development of tumors in an organism. Extracting precise and high-performance data from these experiments using ad hoc microscopy devices, implanted and connected sensors, etc., will make it possible to rationalize the use of these animal models.

Échographie ultrarapide : un nouveau regard sur l'autisme | Application (Video in french)

High Tech / Low Cost technologies

Through the disruptive technologies of the high tech at low cost field, tools for manipulating and analyzing biological systems are rendered affordable in resource-poor contexts, such as developing countries. Low-cost “point-of-care” diagnostics or low-cost microscopy are examples of achievements in this area.

Une technologie performante pour guérir les fistules à moindre coût | Application (Video in french)

Key figures

10 M€

Programme Budget


calls for projects per year

60 +

projects funded since its inception, in 2017

160 +

laboratories involved

20 +

industrial partnerships

40 +

funded equipment


PhD students


postdoctoral fellows




Calls for projects

Each year, the DIM ELICIT issues one or two calls for proposals to encourage technology and biology academic research teams to collaborate on innovative projects for life sciences. These calls for projects aim at funding projects of co-development, mutualization or dissemination of new methods or innovative technologies, for new applications in life sciences.

Any research team from the Ile de France region can apply with a project in line with the aims and positioning of the DIM ELICIT.

Selected projects are partly or totally funded on:

  • PhD allocation (3 years) or Post-doctoral allocation (2 years) or Engineer salary (12 months)
  • and/or Equipment purchase (max 66%)

The DIM ELICIT can also issue specific calls for projects (SARS-Cov-2, PrPhD) or relay calls for projects led by the Ile-de-France region such as the Paris Region Fellowship Program.

Finally, the DIM ELICIT also proposes to finance events in its core technologies or its end-user applications for scientists or for the general public.




Operational team

Steering Committee

Coming from prestigious research institutions in the Paris region, the members of the steering committee put their scientific expertise, their culture of interdisciplinarity and their experience in technology transfer (industrial partnerships, creation of startups, etc.) at the benefit of the DIM ELICIT.

Among their functions: deciding on the DIM’s action plan, taking part in the evaluation of submitted projects, etc.

Establishments of the founding consortium

All the establishments of the founding consortium are represented on the steering committee.

The DIM ELICIT is a network of about 700 researchers.



Since 2017, more than 60 projects have been funded through the DIM ELICIT, involving more than 160 research laboratories in the Ile-de-France region :

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