Inauguration of New Premises for the Paris Inria Centre
On Thursday 10 March, Thierry Mandon, Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research to the French Minister of Education, inaugurated Inria’s new Paris premises in the 12th arrondissement. It was an opportunity for our researchers to present their most innovative work (the Rocquencourt research unit is now officially the Inria Paris Centre).
When Inria inaugurates new premises, we don’t stretch the traditional ribbon between two pillars. Instead, we use two hovering drones, piloted by young research workers. The assembled guests loved it, getting out their mobile phones excitedly to film the scene. Thierry Mandon was visibly highly amused. “I support Inria!” chuckled the Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research.
In the presence of Marie-Christine Lemardeley, Counsellor to the Mayor of Paris in charge of Higher Education, Student Life and Research, Inria CEO Antoine Petit and Isabelle Ryl, the Centre’s Director, Thierry Mandon discovered a few of the projects being conducted by the Centre’s teams. Not least among them were the driverless vehicles, a project conducted by the Rits team led by Fawzi Nashashibi. Parked for the occasion on the esplanade of the building, these little vehicles can be ordered up by smartphone and could represent the future of car-sharing in urban environments.
A research centre that reflects society’s concerns
Technology transfer is part of Inria’s ADN. As Antoine Petit reminded us, our ambition is expressed in our motto: “Scientific excellence at the service of technology transfer and society”. Each year, the Inria Paris Centre teams create one or two start-ups. Willow, the team directed by Jean Ponce specialised in computerised imagery, chose to present its partnership with the start-up Iconem by showing a 3D representation of Pompéi. Around the team leader were several young researchers who have chosen the adventure of entrepreneurship, including Guillaume Seguin, co-founder of Regaind with Arnaud Laurenty (an automatic photo sorting tool) and Vincent Delaître, co-creator of Deepomatic (the “Shazam“ of image matching which looks set to revolutionise the world of advertising).
During his visit to the centre, Thierry Mandon showed special interest in the osmosis between research and the business world. In his speech, he spoke of his wish to create a nationwide structure to encourage and simplify the digital mutation of corporations. With its finger on the pulse of society, Inria has shown that it is ready to support such changes. For instance, the CityLab project (the result of a partnership between Clime and Mimove).already has teams involved in the fast growing smart cities sector. Vivien Mallet presented the SoundCity project, an application used to measure noise and thus geolocalise sound pollution within an urban area. The Ange team, represented by Jacques Sainte-Marie, uses mathematical modelling to optimize equipment designed to harness renewable energy sources (wave, hydrokinetic or biomass).
The Secretary of State hailed the high proportion of women in the centre’s teams as an expression of Inria’s firm commitment to encouraging young women to choose scientific careers. Anne Canteaut, for example, showed Thierry Mandon the work of several teams as regards cyber-security and Irène Vignon-Clémentel explained the progress of the Reo team, which, in partnership with doctors, models the circulation of fluids and air in the human body with the aim of improving surgical techniques.
At the end of his visit, Thierry Mandon took the opportunity to announce that the government intended to reinforce its support for research, with the aim of “doubling the rate of acceptance of projects submitted to the French National Research Agency (ANR).”
A new centre in the heart of Paris
Inria was initially set up 1967 at Rocquencourt, west of Paris, as part of General de Gaulle’s IT plan, at the same time as SHAPE, the Allied Powers HQ, departed Camp Voluceau. Now after almost 50 years, the Paris -Rocquencourt research centre is leaving the original site to move into new premises located at 2 rue Simone Iff, in Paris’s 12tharrondissement. The Centre is moving closer to our academic and industrial partners and will have a new name, the Inria Paris Centre.
The Research Centre conducts its scientific activities by developing close partnerships with the best international teams and with the business world. With a staff of 600 persons, the Centre benefits from the wealth of exchanges possible with the many scientific and economic decision-makers in the Paris region (higher education institutes and universities, world-renowned competitiveness hubs etc.). The work of our 35 research teams is based around 4 main scientific priorities:
- Communications networks and systems
- Reliable, secure software
- Modelling of the living world and the environment
- Simulation & learning
© Citizen press