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Inria Bordeaux – Sud-Ouest : A clear strategy scientific to achieve regional ambitions

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From High Performance Computing to modelling heart rhythm, the scope of research carried out at the Inria Bordeaux – Sud-Ouest Research Centre is vast. To ensure that its activities are clearly visible, the Scientific Department has structured them around four strategic priority research areas. Here, all is explained.

Since being set up in 2008, the Inria Bordeaux – Sud-Ouest Research Centre has developed many scientific projects, both in its core field of expertise - Computer Science and Mathematics - and on subjects as diverse as health, energy, transport, society, education and the environment. In spite of their interest, the range of these subjects may seem so diverse as to cause confusion regarding the Centre's positioning within the scientific and economic ecosystem of France's southwest region. In 2012, to ensure that this research is clearly visible, the Centre's scientific management decided to structure research content around four key priorities. This approach is designed to facilitate communication with the Centre's partners and is in line with Inria's overall strategic plan.

Clear and ambitious research priorities

The first priority area, christened "Modelling, High Performance Computing and Parallel Architectures " focuses on speeding up the mathematical operations required to produce digital simulations. "This is one of our strengths, as we cover the entire field of modelling, from Applied Mathematics to High Performance Computing," said Frédéric Alexandre, Vice-Chair of the Centre's Projects Committee*. The research carried out by the eight teams working in this area focuses, for example, on modelling seismic waves, on aerodynamic flows or water motion.

The second priority area is "Uncertainty Management and Optimisation "."This subject stands at the crossroads between probability, statistics and stochastic computing," explained Frédéric Alexandre. “It attempts to answer a growing need in numerous scientific, technological and business fields, including Big Data, where huge amounts of data need to be processed with a significant level of uncertainty."

The third priority area, on which five research teams work, is "Modelling and Simulation for Healthcare and Biology ". This is an area that has seen amazing development in recent years, within the framework of partnerships with other players in the world of research, such as the IHU Liryc, specialised in modelling heart rhythm, the NeuroScience Campus and the Institut Bergonié, in the case of tumour modelling.

The fourth priority area is "Human and Digital: interaction and visualisation " and covers the broad field of human-machine interaction. In particular, this deals with learning by robots or the development of brain-computer interfaces.

A recognised local partner

"Making what we do more clearly visible for our partners, this division into four priority areas also has advantages within our own organisation", explained Frédéric Alexandre. "It allows us to evaluate the relevance of new research projects more effectively by looking at them in relation to our priorities." In 2015, the Research Centre will pursue its research in these four areas, aiming to encourage technology transfer to industry."We want our research to drive dynamic scientific and economic growth in our region, with which we have very close ties," concluded Frédéric Alexandre.

New teams, new projects

There are currently 21 research teams working at the Inria Bordeaux – Sud-Ouest Research Centre. Of the teams set up most recently, four new project teams are related to Priority 1: CARDAMOM , TADAAM , STORM and MEMPHIS . The third priority research area is also the focus of two new teams: PLEIADE and MONC . POSET , the latest project team to be set up, at the beginning of 2015, comes under Priority 4.

*The Projects Committee is an advisory body specific to each research centre. It interacts directly on a national level with the evaluation committee, which is responsible for evaluating research teams and scientific personnel. It also consults with the centre's management.

Keywords: Scientific priorities Project teams Strategy Research