François Cuny

Deputy CEO for Innovation
Portrait de François Cuny
© Inria / Photo W. Parra

François Cuny was appointed Deputy CEO for Innovation by Bruno Sportisse, CEO of Inria, on October 1st, 2018.

François Cuny left Inria 17 years ago, after having founded his first start-up based on a technology transfer developed during his PhD. VSP Technology was based on Candela software, which improves 3D rendering and has had PSA, Renault, EADS, Daimler, Chevron, Petrobras, Total and EDF as customers. This passionate innovator devoted his post-doc year at the Nancy - Grand Est research centre to launching this entrepreneurial project, which won the national competition to support business creation, before a successful fund raising the following year. As scientific director and doctor in Computer Science, he maintains close links with Inria and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft project teams.

His dual culture as an entrepreneur and researcher led him, in 2005, to take part to the creation of the Paris Region competitiveness cluster Systematic, of which he was promoted to General Delegate in 2011. François Cuny has notably worked to accelerate and develop innovative SMEs within this network, thanks to the Ambition PME programme. At the heart of the cluster's approach is open innovation, which today unites nearly 800 members, including industrialists, academics, investors and local authorities. Among the successes to his credit was his contribution to the creation of the Institute for Technological Research SystemX, dedicated to the digital engineering of the systems of the future located on the Saclay plateau and which now counts more than 200 researchers. The role of the Systematic cluster is to increase the region's scientific and industrial influence on a European and international scale. Under the general delegation of François Cuny, it has been awarded the European Union Gold Label, which evaluates the quality of clusters.

In June 2018, this innovation expert took over the management of competitiveness and knowledge in the Grand Est region, a department of around 100 people with a budget of 150 million euros. He will now take over from Isabelle Ryl, Acting Deputy CEO for innovation since March 2018. Among its priorities, it will strengthen support for technological development and steer the institute's actions to increase its economic impact, in particular through partnerships with major industrial groups and the creation of technological start-ups.

Since the 5th December, François Cuny has been acting as interim director of the Inria Nancy-Grand Est research centre.

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