The new institute was inaugurated on January 11, 2011, at the Paris campus of the international business school ESCP Europe, was officially opened by Christine Lagarde, French Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance, and Industry, along with Hugues du Rouret, President of the Governing Board of ESCP Europe; Pascal Morand, Chairman of ESCP Europe; and Pierre Guénant and Patrick Gounelle, Co-chairs of the Europe+ Foundation. More than 500 participants attended this event.

Lectra are one of a number of partners who were consulted about the new institute as they have a strong track record in investing in R+D and innovation within their own business. Lectra make high technology cutting equipment for a number of industrial sectors including leather.