The 2011/02/01 at 10:23
The “Pasteurdon”, the yearly operation of the Institut Pasteur, allowed over 1 million euros in donation pledges to be collected in October 2010. This success reflects the public’s interest in medical research. A private public-interest and non-profit foundation, the Institut Pasteur counts on the generosity of private individuals and businesses in order to develop its research programmes. Over one-quarter of its financing comes from State grants, two-fifths from royalties from the discoveries of its researchers, and almost one-third from donations and legacies, as well as sponsorship and apprenticeship tax schemes. Collection from private individuals represented, in 2009, 11.5 million euros, in other words, over 25 % in growth, notably thanks to widespread support for the programme for developing a candidate vaccine against cancer. The contribution of businesses was just as high, with 1.4 million euros from the apprenticeship tax and 8.3 million euros from sponsor companies.
“By contributing part of their apprenticeship tax, companies can get involved in the Institut’s teaching mission,” indicates Sylvain Coudon, Communication and Sponsorship Manager. “For example, the sum collected in 2009 allowed the financing of a teaching centre aimed at high-level biology teaching.” But while the apprenticeship tax is a form of levy, sponsorship is a voluntary operation which means, at the Institut Pasteur, the implementation of win-win agreements. Sponsor businesses can receive tax benefits for part of the sums donated, while also benefitting from advantages (such as access to the audit-orium, privatisation of the museum, laboratory visits). By offering long-term support to the Institut Pasteur and its research programmes, businesses can also promote, in terms of image, their own commitment to internationally-renowned excellence and scientific rigour.
Great names figure amongst the Institut Pasteur’s sponsors. After signing a first sponsorship agreement between 2005 and 2010, the Total Foundation renewed its commitment for the period from 2010 to 2014. The recent agreement has enabled the creation of a research and training chair directed by Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2008. The agreement also covers the continued financing of on-the-ground programmes in Southern Hemisphere countries. Sanofi-aventis, a historic partner thanks to industrial agreements established with the Institut’s laboratories, is also a frontline sponsor. The pharmaceutical group finances, in particular, research into parasitic diseases as well as vaccinology classes for budding researchers. The Institut Pasteur also has the support of large groups such as Accor, Areva and Natixis, as well as new businesses including OdysseyRe.
This support from businesses, as well as from individuals (in the form of gifts, donations or legacies), guarantees the establishment with independence in its research policy, aiming at multidisciplinary, innovative and high-performance research. “We are working on 60 to 70 pathologies, whose best known ones are cancer, AIDS, malaria and brain diseases. Ignored diseases are also part of our research programmes. We maintain with our sponsors, most of which base their requests on very specific themes, partner-type relationships. Businesses take part in steering committees and receive reports on how their sums contributed are used,” explains Sylvain Coudon. “Meanwhile, private donors benefit from privileged relationships with our teams in charge of individual donors.” Today, the public’s generosity is indispensable for helping research to advance swiftly. This was already the case when Louis Pasteur decided to set up a research centre on the industrial wasteland of the Vaugirard district in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, dedicated to vaccination and public health.