The AI mission: The National Artificial Intelligence Research Program

Changed on 02/09/2020

In the closing day of "AI for Humanity" debate held in Paris on March 29, 2018, the President of the French Republic presented an ambitious strategy for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and launched the National AI Programme. The National AI strategy gathers three main axes: talents (to have the best expertise in AI), dissemination (to spread AI throughout the economy and administration) and ethics (to initiate a dialogue between performance and humanity). The National AI strategy will mobilise a budget of €1.5 billion over the period 2018-2022, 45% of which will be devoted to research.

IA équipe-projet Tyrex
© Inria / Photo S. Erôme

The kick-off meeting for the research axis took place in Toulouse on 28 November 2018. The objective of the National AI Research Programme is twofold: to sustainably establish France as one of the top 5 countries in AI and to make France the European leader in research in AI.

To this aim, several actions will be carried out in a first phase extending from the end of 2018 to 2022:

Set up national research network in AI coordinated by Inria;

  • Initiate 4 Interdisciplinary Institutes for Artificial Intelligence: 3IA@Côte d'Azur, ANITI in Toulouse, MIAI in Grenoble and PRAIRIE in Paris ;
  • Promote programs of attractiveness and talent support throughout the country;
  • Contribute to the development of a specific program on AI training;
  • Increase the computing resources dedicated to AI and facilitate access to infrastructures;
  • Boost public-private partnerships;
  • Boost research in AI through the ANR calls;
  • Strengthen bilateral, European and international cooperation;
  • Liaise with innovation initiatives in AI, in particular with the Innovation Council's Great Challenges.

Coordination of the research component by Inria

Inria coordinates the research axis of the National AI Research Programme, in cooperation with other research organisations, universities and the French scientific community.

To carry out its mission, clearly separated from its research activity, Inria has set up a dedicated team under the direction of Bertrand BRAUNSCHWEIG (link to

A governance structure devoted to the programme (link to .PDF governance), which brings together the national research operators, was set up during the first half of 2019.

Inria's action focuses on the following points, in close collaboration with its academic partners (universities, engineering schools, research organisations):

  • Propose and coordinate the implementation of actions supported under the programme;
  • Providing scientific and technological expertise;
  • Participate in the development of bilateral cooperation activities;
  • Participate in strengthening the economic impact of public research.

Each year, Inria reports on its coordination action to the interministerial steering committee of the national AI plan.


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Useful links

The French AI strategy

AI for Humanity logo

The national "AI for Humanity" programme, for which Inria is coordinating the scientific part, in order to make France one of the world leaders in digital technology, is a central lever for the Institute's action in artificial intelligence. One of the programme's flagship actions has been the establishment of four consortia of players, the "Interdisciplinary Institutes of Artificial Intelligence (3IA)", which are part of the development of major university research sites and help to give visibility to the French digital ecosystem.

AIforHumanity : Artificial Intelligence at the service of humans

3IA projects


ANITI : Artificial and Natural Intelligence Toulouse Institute

MIAI : Multidisciplinary Institute in Artificial Intelligence 

PRAIRIE : PaRis AI Research InstitutE 

Supporting research

ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche)

AI chairs - selected projects

Doctoral contracts on AI - selected projects

International partnership

GFAIH : Global Forum on AI for Humanity

Joint Franco-German Declaration of Intent in Artificial Intelligence

Other AI Research Initiatives

SCAI : Sorbonne Center for Artificial Intelligence

Alliance HumAIn : Alliance Hauts-de-France en Intelligence Artificielle

Institut Dataia