Luc Soler, Directeur of research at IRCAD & CEO of Visible Patient

Luc Soler’s twin passions are IT and surgery and he’s managed to bring the two together in his professional life. His time now is spent devising and developing digital instruments such as Visible Patient, which produces patient-specific 3D anatomical models, for doctors to use and save lives with.

How, jobwise, is Strasbourg the place to be?

Strasbourg is one of the leading cities worldwide in the development of computer-assisted image-guided surgery and minimally invasive surgery. It really is the place to be if you want to develop this kind of technology.

Which of the values embodied by Strasbourg best match your personality?

Humanism. Strasbourg is full of humanists. This is reflected, for a start, through all the European institutions in the city. From a personal point of view, it’s a value I try to defend, keep up and support, on a daily basis.

A highlight of your life in Strasbourg?

The birth of my children, of course!

When you have visitors, what kind of idea do they have of Strasbourg and what do they think once they’ve got to know the city better?

First of all, they think of it as a bit of a provincial town. Some people, who know Europe a little better, see it as strongly political city. Once they’ve actually been to Strasbourg, they leave with a totally different vision of the city, a place driven by innovation and with an outstanding heritage.

How do you see Strasbourg in 10 years?

The vitality of a city can be seen through its development projects and there’s quite a bit of building work going on in Strasbourg! I can see a green city, with a good balance between parkland and urban areas. I see a town with an even more dynamic economy and, as far as we’re concerned, a strong build-up of talents around the Hospitals of Strasbourg, which is set to become a key hub for healthcare and a centre for doctors, businesses and public- and private-sector researchers to meet and work together.

Optimism is…

… Believing that the best is always possible and making it happen,

How does Strasbourg embody optimism?

It has everything a major city needs, in pocket-size. People from a wide variety of backgrounds can meet each other very easily and work together to drive innovation.

What makes you an optimist?

To have people around me who have achieved great things which are or which will be important for Society, that’s Society with a capital S, in other words for everyone. I work in the healthcare sector, which means treating people and saving lives and we’re highly optimistic as far as the future of healthcare’s concerned.

Strasbourg – best on foot, on a bike, on an electric scooter, by tram or by bus?

For me personally, it’s the electric car, as I live outside the city centre, but in Strasbourg itself, it must be the tram, an iconic part of the city.

Your favourite spots?

Going to the city centre, to Strasbourg’s Civil Hospital as that’s where IRCAD and Visible Patient are. And I love going to the historical centre with my family.

The best spot for chilling?

The best spot for chilling is first of all at home, living as we do in a city where everything’s within easy reach and you can go home to have lunch.

A song for walking round the city?

Mika’s Grace Kelly.

A perfect Sunday morning in Strasbourg?

Going to get the bread, cakes and croissants at Aux Mille et Une Saveurs in the city centre and then eating them afterwards, of course!