International relations

Increasing Inria visibility and attractiveness abroad

Hélène Kirchner, Director of International Relations © INRIA / Photo A.Eidelman  © Inria / Photo A.Eidelman

Researchers are driving knowledge and innovation forward through working with scientists all over the world. Supporting them in building balanced scientific partnerships with the best colleagues worldwide makes it possible to not only strengthen Inria scientific potential but also widen its influence and international visibility. These partnerships also aim at further increasing Inria attractiveness for scientists worldwide.

"International relations are firstly driven by collaboration with the best researchers in our fields, while maintaining a high level of scientific pertinence and quality,"  explains Hélène Kirchner, Scientific Director in charge of the International Relations Department. "This is for instance the case with our collaboration with United States, but it is also important to encourage interaction everywhere Inria disciplines are expanding." Inria has accordingly set up collaborations with Asia, where new forces are emerging in research and development, especially in China, Taiwan, Japan and India. This also applies to South America where significant skills are developed in computational science and technology. The consolidation of a high-quality research and education network in Africa is also a source of fruitful collaborations and of contributions made by competent young PhD students, under a jointly-supervised thesis for example.

Developing scientific partnerships abroad by structuring and expanding those of the research teams.

The majority of these international projects have been initiated by researchers themselves who,individually, start working together with other scientists. Such exchanges have increased in recent years thanks to dedicated mechanisms in place. The internship, associate team, explorer and sabbatical programmes make it possible to fit the needs of research teams by supporting various exchanges depending on whether they involve students, young or senior researchers. The DRI also propose other ways for developing collaboration by participating in joint programmes with the French Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs, with the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) for instance in Russia or Japan, or with INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research) and CIRAD (Agricultural Research Centre for International Development) in Africa.

"Nowadays, we want to drive a coherent policy which aims at both increasing Inria visibility and attractiveness abroad, and focusing efforts on strategic subjects for the Institute."  says Hélène Kirchner. This policy is taking shape with the creation of joint laboratories, whether in the United States on high-performance computing with JLPC, China with LIAMA or Africa with LIRIMA. In a similar vein, strategic partnerships are currently gestating in California, Chile and Australia.

What mobility schemes does Inria offer?

The International Relations Department offers various schemes for supporting its policy of foreign exchanges. These schemes make it possible to set up collaboration and encourage researcher exchange visits, by mainly financing mobility. What are these programmes?

  • the associate teams programme  enables researchers to work with a foreign team.
  • the internships programme  encourages visits from foreign masters or PhD students as interns.
  • the sabbatical programme  allows experienced researchers to take much longer trips abroad.
  • the explorer programme encourages young researchers to add to their international experience by visiting foreign universities or research labs.

Keywords: LIRIMA International relations Hélène Kirchner

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