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Inria Awards 2013

Edith Corre, Michel Loyer and Marie-Hélène Pautrat : Support for Research and Innovation Award 2013

Edith Corre, Michel Loyer and Marie-Hélène Pautrat

Prizewinners Edith Corre, Michel Loyer, and Marie-Hélène Pautrat work in Inria's European Partnership Department. All three helped promote the European ideal at Inria and thereby increase the participation of our research teams in R & D and innovational projects financed by the European Commission.

Thierry Priol, head of the European Partnerships Department (DPE)

Thierry Priol, directeur des partenariats européens © Inria / Photo M.Bourguet

"The European Partnerships Department (DPE) plays an essential role in promoting a European attitude at Inria through the support it offers to teams and the information it circulates to researchers via the 'Europe representatives' that each centre has. There are more and more teams involved in research projects funded by the European Commission. Inria project teams participated in 221 projects under the 7th Framework Programme (FPRTD), which represents average annual funding of €15m.

The DPE mainly helps in preparing proposals submitted to the ERC (European Research Council). The results are remarkable – out of 39 grants awarded for computer science in France at the start of 2013, 22 went to Inria researchers! And since the start of the year, four further grants have been awarded to Inria researchers.

In preparing for the next framework programme, Horizon 2020, the DPE team has once again demonstrated its cohesion and the quality of its work. This award is a reward for the whole team. Working together, they have helped researchers make Inria a centre of excellence at a European level."

Michel Loyer, assistant head of the European Partnerships Department (DPE)

Michel Loyer

In the 10 years that he has been looking after European matters, Michel Loyer has become experienced in monitoring framework programmes and other joint initiatives, such as Eureka for example. He monitored the sixth FPRTD (2002-2006), followed by the seventh (2007-2013), and was actively involved in preparing for Horizon 2020, the new name for the eighth.

What he particularly likes about his job is being a facilitator, or a go-between. "We inform, advise and offer support and guidance to our researchers. Along with the scientific departments, we identify opportunities that European programmes offer our staff. We are also the French Ministry of Research's contact point for such European questions, and we are involved in the national working parties that it has set up. But we are also a very small team, and we cannot do everything; fortunately, our research centres put together and monitor proposals for their own teams locally."

In ten years, he has seen how much researchers' perception of what Europe can bring them has changed. "ERC grants are especially appreciated by researchers because they are individual projects which give them substantial resources for undertaking their work." He also notes that Inria and its various support departments are better organised and have really developed the skills needed for these European projects, which encourages researchers to take an interest in them. A situation which makes him, as a committed European, both happy and certain Inria could expand its collaboration in Europe still further.

Marie-Hélène Pautrat, manager of European Affairs, European Partnerships Department (DPE)

Marie-Hélène Pautrat

"Our role is to help researchers decipher and understand European programmes so they get the best out of them," explains Marie-Hélène Pautrat. She joined Inria in 2006, immediately working on European matters for Inria Futurs and then for the Saclay-Ile de France centre. She joined the DPE team full-time in the summer of 2012.

Marie-Hélène Pautrat is more specifically responsible for two major areas, namely Horizon 2020 and EIT ICT Labs. The latter is a European laboratory involving some thirty main partners, including Inria, from six countries, under the aegis of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) created by the European Commission. Horizon 2020 is the framework programme for the period 2014-2020 which covers a broader scope than previous FPRTDs, as it concerns not only research, but also innovation. It has a €70 billion budget over seven years.

"It will give us many opportunities to highlight the research conducted at Inria," she stresses.
In practice, Marie-Hélène Pautrat works closely with the Europe representatives, as do the other members of the DPE. She has been tracking negotiations between the European Commission, Council and Parliament for a year. This entails not only understanding the connections between the Horizon 2020 targets and Inria's strategic priorities, but also assessing the implications for Inria of the arrangements for implementing this programme. "The aim is to enable researchers to participate in European projects under the best possible conditions," she adds.

Edith Corre, management assistant, European Partnerships Department (DPE)

Edith Corre

Edith Corre has been part of the European Partnerships Department since it was formed in 2006. She had previously been looking after European matters since 2003. "The work has changed a lot since the beginning. I assist the head of department and a significant part of my time is spent monitoring, summarising and circulating information," she explains. She starts early in the morning, scouring information sources and circulating the most important to the Europe representatives, and writes articles for the intranet, plus a newsletter which has around 180 subscribers. She also draws up summaries of Inria's bilateral collaborations with European countries at the Ministry's request. She designs or helps produce and monitor KPIs for European projects, especially ERC grants, and the budget.

"The work is intense and varied, and I really like what I do." Like the other members of the DPE, she stresses the friendly atmosphere that prevails within the department. "We are a close-knit and solid team; we trust each other's work and hold each other in high regard." Would she consider changing jobs? "I have not yet done the "European tour", especially now with the forthcoming start of Horizon 2020!" As for the award, Edith Corre stresses that it is a nice collective reward, "which recognises the DPE's work, but the entire chain should be mentioned, especially the Europe representatives and the administration and finance departments".

Keywords: Michel Loyer Edith Corre Marie-Hélène Pautrat Thierry Priol Europe Inria Awards