FEMTO-ST (Franche-Comté Electronique Mécanique Thermique et Optique – Sciences et Technologies) is a joint research unit which is affiliated with the French National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS), the University of Franche-Comté (UFC), the National School of Mechanical Engineering and Microtechnology (ENSMM), and the Belfort-Montbéliard University of Technology (UTBM).
FEMTO-ST was founded in January 2004 from the merger of 5 different laboratories active in different fields of engineering science: mechanics, optics and telecommunications, electronics, time-frequency, energetics and fluidics.
Within the CNRS, FEMTO-ST belongs to the Institute for Engineering and Systems Sciences (INSIS). It gathers complementary skills, develops multidisciplinarity with an emphasis on scientific excellence and innovation.
In 2006, FEMTO-ST is one of the first public research institutes in France to be awarded with the "Carnot Label" by the French Research Minister for its ability to fulfill reliable and high standard researches with industrial partners.
In 2008, the institute integrates new competences in the fields of automatic control, microrobotics, materials and surfaces and reinforces its research activities in energy.
In 2012 the LIFC laboratory joined the institute and became a new (the 7-th) department (as DISC department) which completes the FEMTO-ST already rich set of competences by the introduction of computer sciences
Today FEMTO-ST includes around 650 members including 325 permanent positions (230 researchers, professors or assistant-professors and 95 engineers, technicians and administrative staff), about 225 doctorate students receive a high-level training in scientific research.
Within FEMTO-ST, research in engineering sciences has long been influenced by the regional manufacturing tradition of microtechniques. It is organized according to the 7 following research departments:
In addition, multidisciplinary research projects aggregate the researchers' competences on specific themes or objectives.
FEMTO-ST runs a microfabrication technology centre, which is recognized nation-wide, mixing technologies from microelectronics and micromechanics.
The institute has an active policy of developing partnerships with both public organisms and industry. On the national level, it participates in the FC-LAB institute in Belfort which works on fuel cell systems. It also manages a laboratory associated with the National Laboratory for Metrology of Time and Frequencies. At the international level, it is involved in the international joint unit (UMI) between Georgia Tech Atlanta in the USA and the CNRS, and develops strong relationships with Swiss research institutes, and the Franco-Japanese laboratory (LIMMS) with Tokyo University.
FEMTO-ST is present at 6 different sites of the university campuses of Besançon, Belfort and Montbéliard.