Digital and Environment

Updated on 05/01/2023

In a world where resources are becoming scarce and environmental pressure has reached its limits, innovating for a more sustainable world has become a necessity, especially in the digital sector.
Whether relating to energy, time or capital, the frugal approach seeks to consider how we can make better use of digital technology and develop our ability to “do more with less,” while accelerating innovation.
At Inria, research teams have made the goals of energy transition and more frugal digital innovation a central part of their thinking. Although these digital tools are often seen as too resource-intensive and harmful to the environment, they also represent a tremendous opportunity, in particular AI, to help accelerate processes and energy optimization.
Whether used to rationalize the energy consumption of software and processors, develop optimization tools for complex database management or recover heat energy generated by data centres and inject it back into urban heating networks, frugal applications are wide-ranging and can have a meaningful impact.
We are not just talking about optimisation. We need radical changes in upstream design, including fundamental computing, in order to build an eco-responsible world, for example around low tech, sufficiently digital (there is no point in having extremely sophisticated software when only a small fraction of its functions are used) and resilient (by ensuring, in particular, the sustainability and repairability of systems).
We obviously need to carry out research in relation to the ecological transition on fundamental or applied subjects and we have many public and industrial partners involved in this transition.
At Inria, the research teams at Inria have integrated the objective of the energy transition and a more frugal digital environment at the heart of their thinking.