The Saclay Plant Sciences Laboratory of Excellence (LabEx SPS) has been selected in 2011 under the French government “Investments for the Future” program. The SPS project gathers four plant biology laboratories of the southern Paris area: the Institute of Plant Biology (IBP, Orsay), the Jean-Pierre Bourgin Institute (IJPB, Versailles), the Institute of Plant Sciences (ISV, Gif-sur-Yvette) and the Plant Genomics Research Unit (URGV, Evry).

Copyright: CNRS / S. Chapuis
SPS, with nearly 600 people, including about 400 permanent, is one of the largest European consortia of research, teaching, training and innovation focused on plant biology. The SPS research activities focus on understanding the genetic, molecular and cellular mechanisms that control the development and physiology of plants, as well as their interactions with the biotic and abiotic environment. These studies extend from the gene to the whole plant and use the concepts and tools of biochemistry, biophysics, imaging, molecular biology, genetics, genomics, cell biology, modeling and bioinformatics.

The project is organized around 4 complementary and interconnected thematic axes:

1) Sustainable intensification of crop productivity in a fluctuating environment,
2) Plants as "factories": improving the quality of plants for food, feed, health, industry and environment,
3) Plants to understand the basic biological mechanisms,
4) Development of new tools and resources for research and innovation.

The SPS labs also provide the academic and industrial scientific community with a wide range of high-tech resources, through 20 scientific platforms with cutting-edge equipment.

SPS members perform about 7,500 hours of teaching and training per year (in particular through a master program specialized in plant biology) and propose more than 100 internship offers in the SPS laboratories.

Finally, the LabEx promotes relationships between the SPS research teams and private partners (SME / large companies) and provides financial support via an open call dedicated to the incubation of innovative partnership projects (SPS'Innov).