A strategic partnership
For many years, Université Côte d'Azur and Inria - through its Sophia Antipolis research center - have been developing close partnerships, which have led to the implementation of major projects for the Côte d'Azur region: the interdisciplinary artificial intelligence institute 3IA Côte d'Azur, the Neuromod institute for modeling in neuroscience and cognition, and the shared high-performance computing platform OPAL (Observatoire pluridisciplinaire des Alpes maritimes).
Convinced of the complementary nature of their models, laboratories and project-teams, Université Côte d'Azur and Inria wish to enter into a strategic partnership to foster the creation of synergies in the field of digital science and technology in the region. This framework agreement aims to enhance the international attractiveness of the site for the benefit of teaching, research and innovation, as well as local job creation. It also promotes the dissemination of scientific and technical culture.
A number of initiatives will strengthen synergies between Université Côte d'Azur and Inria in terms of research, training and innovation in the digital sector: the creation of joint interdisciplinary project-teams in the digital sector, the development of innovation programs (such as the Inria Startup Studio), continuing education for local SMEs and ETIs, and the involvement of Inria researchers in the training of Université Côte d'Azur students.
The strategic partnership signed today with Université Côte d'Azur will transform the "Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée research center" into the "Inria center at Université Côte d'Azur": it is the concrete expression of Inria's site policy, serving the development of major research universities. This dynamic has been gathering pace for more than two years now, building on the remarkable history of the Université Côté d'Azur and its successes, for which I would like to pay tribute to all those involved. The "Inria center at Université Côte d'Azur" represents a shared vision and strategy for the digital world, and shared operational measures to strengthen our impact on the region.
A site policy
In line with the evolution of Inria's site policy as specified in its Contract of Objectives and Performance for the period 2019-2023, the "Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée research center" is evolving within this framework to become the "Inria center at Université Côte d'Azur", carrying all of these actions.
As part of the site dynamic driven by the new experimental university Université Côte d'Azur, Inria thus continues to actively contribute to the transformation of the Côte d'Azur site into a place with high international visibility for the excellence of its research, particularly in the digital field.
3IA Côte d'Azur is one of 4 interdisciplinary artificial intelligence institutes to be created in France in 2019. Its ambition is to create an innovative and influential ecosystem at local, national and international levels. The 3IA Côte d'Azur institute is operated by Université Côte d'Azur with the major higher education and research partners of Nice and Sophia Antipolis: CNRS, Inria, INSERM, EURECOM, Mines ParisTech and SKEMA Business School.
The NeuroMod Institute for Modeling in Neuroscience and Cognition aims to promote modeling as an approach to integrating brain mechanisms and cognitive functions. To meet this central challenge of integration in cognitive sciences, the institute, which is hosted by Inria, draws on the interdisciplinary resources available within Université Côte d'Azur: over 250 researchers and 16 different laboratories and research entities.
OPAL is a high-performance computing platform shared by Inria, Université Côte d'Azur, Mines ParisTech and the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (OCA), implemented with the support of the Sud Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, the Communauté d'agglomération Sophia Antipolis and the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. It comprises four facilities: OCA's SIGAMM mesocenter, Inria's Nef cluster and immersive room at Sophia Antipolis, and Université Côte d'Azur's Azzurra cluster. OPAL is open to the academic community as a whole, while also being accessible to the region's socio-economic players.
Scientific and technical culture
Terra Numerica is working to spread the culture of digital science in the Alpes-Maritimes and Var regions. It is a federative project of the CNRS, Inria and Université Côte d'Azur, bringing together the French Ministry of Education and a large number of partners and associations, with the aim of creating a Cité du Numérique on the Côte d'Azur.
More on Terra Numerica (only in french)