Called France Relance, the plan aims to strengthen the French economy and is based on three key themes: cohesion, competitiveness and ecology. €36 billion will be allocated to the first theme, €34 billion to the second and €30 billion to the last.
Two of these three pillars currently involve Inria directly:
- Competitiveness with the Quantum Plan and the Cybersecurity Plan to start with (plus all actions concerning digital technology generally),
- Ecology with energy renovation projects for public buildings, particularly in higher education and research.
In recent months the Institute has already been taking part in implementation of the Recovery Plan, through a number of actions and working with the State. Discover the first three components concerning Inria below.
Making France a major player in quantum technology for the country’s technological sovereignty
When the Recovery Plan was announced, the government’s objective in terms of competitiveness was clear: invest by priority in the most promising areas to transform and support the French economy. These include quantum computing, a strategic sector and one of the priorities in Inria’s 2019-2023 Objectives and Performance Contract.
In January 2021, the President of the Republic unveiled an ambitious Quantum Plan that followed on from the work carried out in recent months by Member of Parliament Paula Forteza. The plan provides for €1.8 billion (partly financed by the PIA 4 and the France Relance plan) to be injected into training, research, innovation and industry in the field of quantum computing.
Echoing its role as coordinator of the research component of the national strategy for artificial intelligence, launched by France in 2018, Inria is fully engaged in the Quantum Plan and has been assigned joint leadership, alongside the CEA and the CNRS, of the associated PEPR (“Priority Research Programmes and Equipment”, a new instrument set up by the Research Programming Law).
Cybersecurity, a major challenge for a digital society of trust
In the same vein, cybersecurity is an important focus of competitiveness for France. In the framework of France Relance, the State plans to assign nearly €1 billion to a dedicated Cybersecurity Plan to strengthen the level of cybersecurity of the State and organisations at the service of its citizens and to allow the French cybersecurity industrial fabric to be structured and significantly developed.
The key aims for 2025 include:
- triple the industry’s turnover (from €7.3 billion to €25 billion);
- position France in relation to international competition by doubling the number of jobs in the sector (from 37,000 to 75,000);
- structure the sector and reposition France in relation to international competition in terms of number of companies;
- create three French cybersecurity unicorns through start-ups in the sector, particularly members of the French Tech 120;
- diffuse a culture of cybersecurity in companies;
- stimulate French cyber research and industrial innovation (20% increase in patents).
The roadmap for this ambitious plan has been entrusted to the French National Cybersecurity Agency (ANSSI). It also relies on a dedicated PEPR to mobilise French research; like for the Quantum Plan, Inria has been appointed co-leader alongside the CEA and the CNRS. The PEPR, which totals €65 million, aims to support research in the field and develop breakthrough technology that will benefit all French players in the face of cyber threats. The creation of a “Cybersecurity Campus” to strengthen the national cybersecurity ecosystem is also one of the plan’s key actions.
Inria is also fully involved in the current development of other digital actions in the Recovery Plan, including the second phase of the national artificial intelligence strategy.
Energy renovation of public buildings
The third component of the France Relance plan, the ecological transition, has been allocated a budget of €30 billion to meet two main objectives: decarbonising the economy by reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 and supporting sectors of the future by focusing on green technologies (hydrogen, recycling, biofuels etc.).
The measures to be implemented include funding of €6.7 billion for building renovation, including €4 billion dedicated to public buildings (schools, universities, town halls, student accommodation, local authority buildings, State administrative facilities, police stations and courts). The investment will be distributed based on calls for proposals and will not only allow the state to reduce its energy bill but will also reduce the energy and environmental impact of buildings. 15 million m² of the State’s 100 million m² of property are concerned.
Two Inria centres will benefit from this renovation project: Sophia Antipolis-Méditerranée and Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes.
Three projects submitted by the Sophia Antipolis-Méditerranée research centre in response to the “Energy renovation of public buildings” call for proposals will receive funding of €231,756:
- energy works and compliance: replacing mixer taps to save water, securing the roof and installing energy meters for the entire site.
- Energy works: replacing air conditioners in the Galois building
- Energy works: replacing the air handling unit (AHU) in the site restaurant.
The Montbonnot site (Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes) will receive €1,517,000, to be distributed between four projects:
- Replacing all lighting in the centre with LED technology.
- Replacing a boiler (25 years old) and air handling units. This replacement will be accompanied by the installation of a system to recover the boiler fumes, which will be re-injected into the heating system.
- Mechanical ventilation and office controls: connecting all the supply outlets in the centre’s offices and replacing all the controls.
- Replacing the automatic fire extinguishing system.