A groundbreaking innovation that spans the boundaries between industry and medicine, the artificial heart project was the brainchild of Professor Alain Carpentier and Matra Défense (Airbus Group). The success of their joint research efforts led them to found the Carmat company in 2008, followed by a drive to fine-tune research into haemocompatibility between 2008 and 2009. The partnership established in 2010 with Edwards Lifesciences, the world's leader in heart valves, paved the way for preclinical trials, including biocompatibility tests, bench tests(1) and ex vivo and in vivo(2) testing. Carmat presented its preclinical data on haemocompatibility at the 25th European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) Annual Meeting in 2011. The company received approval from the French ethical research committee (CPP) in late 2011, followed by authorisation from ANSM(3) to begin clinical trials in France in 2013.