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Transfert technologique

Jean-Michel Prima - 22/08/2017

A pool of InriaTech engineers in Rennes

Mélanie Raimbault Mélanie Raimbault, Technology Transfer, Innovation and Partnerships department, Inria Rennes

Backed by Région Bretagne (Brittany regional council), the ERDF and Rennes Métropole, the Inria research centre in Rennes is putting in place a new service aimed at businesses in order to facilitate their access to technology transfer and respond more quickly to their innovation requirements.

"The idea is to provide a small, highly reactive unit of engineers capable of taking action very quickly in order to help companies wishing to base their R&D on Inria technologies and who would require certain additional developments in order to implement them , Mélanie Raimbault , from the technology transfer department, sums up.  InriaTech positions itself as a supplementary tool in relation to the different types of collaboration that we already offer to SMEs. This initiative enables us to work with the company in an extremely flexible way through very short-term contracts. We target jobs of one to three months. " Moreover, this expenditure incurred by the company will be eligible for the French research tax credit.

The starting point of this initiative was an observation: "When an SME knocks on our door with a specific request to try to solve a problem with the help of a technology created by a research team, more often than not prior work is necessary in order to adapt this technology to the context in which the company wishes to use it , Laure Aït-Ali, from the technology transfer department, indicates. However, on occasions the engineers from our research teams cannot satisfy this request because they are working on other projects at the same time. Above all, it is a scheduling issue. However, very often the SME cannot afford to wait as it has immediate needs. From now on, with InriaTech, we will be able to respond to them without delay. "

Stimulating regional R&D

The scheme was first launched in 2015 at the Inria Lille - Nord Europe centre. “There, the InriaTech pool consists of around ten engineers, Mélanie Raimbault points out. In Rennes, we will start off more modestly with three engineers. During the first three years, these positions will be funded, in equal parts, by the Brittany regional council and the ERDF, for a total of €496,000. The objective is then to progressively move towards a balanced budget." A business manager will then complete this team to ensure the interface with industry. "The field of expertise will be structured around the main specialisms of the research centre and depending on the economic context that prevails in the region. Initially, we will therefore concentrate on data analysis, signal processing, images and security."

This InriaTech unit will be distinct from the research centre's own Experimentation and Development department (SED). "That said, in Rennes the engineers in this department are very interested in this initiative. They have expressed the wish to remain associated with the work that will be carried out there." Similarly, the researchers will also contribute their expertise if need be.
The InriaTech team will move into the same workspace as the Inria start-ups preparing their launch. This will allow the new arrivals to evolve in an environment that is sensitive to business creation. Moreover, the entrepreneurial spirit will be one of the selection criteria of these engineers. As for recruitment," it is ongoing. We hope to be able to start work from September onwards."

Keywords: Technologies Mélanie Raimbault INRIA Rennes - Bretagne Atlantique InriaTech Innovation Company Transfer