National infrastructure: France Life Imaging

French version

France Life Imaging (FLI) is a proposed large-scale research infrastructure project aimed at establishing a coordinated and harmonized network of biomedical imaging in France.
This project was selected in 2012 by the call “ investissements d’Avenir « Infrastructure en Biologie et Santé”

Its mission is to :

  • coordinate nation-wide research activities concerned with in vivo imaging and combine the skills to push the current technological barriers
  • provide scientists a convenient access to a complete range of imaging technologies (150 imaging systems) and integrated services. In addition, the infrastructure will be open to collaborations with industrial partners.

FLI will also propose training opportunities associated with imaging platforms. FLI complements BioImaging France (Cellular Imaging), selected by the call for infrastructure projects in 2010. Together these two projects constitute the French contribution to EuroBioImaging on the ESFRI roadmap.

The Alliance Aviesan was responsible for coordinating this project, in links with research organizations (INSERM, CNRS, CEA, and INRIA), research groups (imagiv GDR, GDR STIC Santé; GDR ISI Group radiopharmaceutiques) learned societies (French Society of Radiology, French Society of Nuclear Medicine, French Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine & Biology) and the universities involved in the nodes.

Important elements in the implementation of FLI are the criteria for selecting nodes to become part of the infrastructure. The overarching principles for these criteria are technical and scientific excellence, open access to imaging technology for all modalities, and a critical mass of scientists to provide highest quality service, user training, and technology research and development capabilities. The current national IBISA program (Infrastructures en Biologie Santé) has been taken into consideration for implementing FLI core-facilities.

This national infrastructure comprises of 6 localized nodes (Paris Sud, Paris Centre, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Lyon, and Marseille) and 1 transversal node for data storage and analysis. A point of access and a national steering committee connected to local steering committees in each node ensures governance and guide FLI projects according to their needs (proximity, specific installations, ...)

These same teams coordinate their efforts to overcome technological barriers collected in 4 "Work Packages (WP)" in vivo molecular imaging agents, instrumentation and innovative technologies, interventional imaging and guided therapies imaging, and image processing. Other French teams with a high level of expertise in each domain reinforce these different WP. FLI provides the animation of these WPS and also coordinates two strategic WP: one for training, and the other for management, including dissemination and exploitation of results, quality assurance and business model.

The strength of this consortium lies in unifying the efforts towards provision of high quality and unified services and to coordinate national research activities to overcome technological barriers at different levels of in vivo imaging and thus increase the French capabilities and visibility.

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