Careers in Engineering and Innovation
© Inria / Photo G. Scagnelli
With scientific and technical expertise in a given field of specialisation, together with skills in project management, engineers are instrumental in the transition between fundamental research and technological innovation.
Become an engineer at Inria
Each year, Inria recruits both young graduates and experienced engineers in fixed-term engineering positions for 1 to 3 years. Engineering positions fall under three main titles, requiring a wide variety of skills: Research & Development Engineers, Transfer & Innovation Engineers and Information Systems Engineers (see the page on Information Systems for more information on this last role).
Inria’s specific characteristics create an environment that combines:
- a predominance of digital-related activities – both in research and transfer and in high-tech research and transfer methods;
- close cooperation between engineers and researchers – essential for co-constructing research projects and sharing the industrial benefits of the results;
- a wealth of transfer and innovation activities – part of Inria's statutory roles.
This leads to a distinction between three professions: ‘Research & Development’ engineers, ‘Transfer & Innovation’ engineers and ‘Information Systems’ engineers (see the web page on Careers in Information Systems).
Research and development engineers
Becoming an R&D engineer at Inria means supporting researchers in their work on a daily basis by developing software programs and tools to facilitate their research and setting up technological experimentation platforms. Our research teams are intentionally small in order to create an atmosphere of exchange, dialogue and respect for each individual. Working for Inria also gives you the opportunity to forge strong links with the industrial world; to participate in the creation of companies originating from the Institute.
In any case, the profession requires a keen ability to apprehend research questions and adapt to the scientists’ way of working along with, as is often the case, an aptitude for managing projects in environments that can involve several teams and/or require awareness of the difficulties of the transfer to industry.
As an R&D engineer, your responsibilities will fall under science and technology:
- Develop software and tools to facilitate research or the transfer of research results; test, verify or consolidate certain elements of knowledge-production work;
- Contribute to setting up and developing technological platforms for use in research or experimentation;
- Propose developments in computing to help bring Inria software to maturity.
Transfer and innovation engineers
Transfer and innovation engineers implement actions to transfer skills, knowledge and technology within Inria's industrial ecosystem, which is conducive to partnerships with large industrial groups and SMEs, and to the creation of start-ups. Often involving technology transfer platforms, it’s a question of providing engineering consultancy services after the prototyping stage to estimate the time to market of products under development by the partner and make quick conclusions (from a few weeks to a few months) on different technological development scenarios. Additionally, future partners expect suitable partnership proposals, such as R&D contracts, consultancy contracts, technology licences, etc. The profession combines scientific and technical responsibilities with business and partnership responsibilities.
- Building or strengthening a network of contacts, in particular by producing demonstration materials;
- Negotiating research contracts;
- Coordinating a business creation project.
Engineers also conduct other activities, for instance international cooperation partnerships (see the page on Careers in Management) or the dissemination of knowledge, such as by creating MOOCs.
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