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History of Inria

Antoine Petit, transfer and innovation

Antoine Petit © INRIA - Photo C. Lebedinsky  © Inria / Photo C. Lebedinsky

Born in 1960, Antoine Petit is an agrégé  in mathematics, doctor of science and a specialist in formal methods. He is the author of some fifty scientific publications. Professor at ENS Cachan, he was CEO of Inria from 2014 to 2018.

After completing his studies in mathematics, Antoine Petit decided to study computer science after graduating in 1982. He defended a PhD on language theory at Paris-Diderot University (1985). His preferred field of research was then focused on the study of models, mainly based on transition systems for parallelism and real time. The use of these models for specification and verification purposes has over the years become one of the main motivations for its work.

Antoine Petit began his career as a teacher-researcher in 1984 at the University of Orléans as an assistant professor before joining Paris-Sud University in 1989 as a lecturer. In 1991, he was seconded to the CNRS for two years as a research fellow, assigned to the Computer Science Research Laboratory (CNRS and Paris-Sud University). In 1993, he supported an authorization to conduct research at Paris-Sud University. Antoine Petit enriches his academic career with a first experience in research management and animation by being also in charge of a part-time IT mission within the Scientific and Technical Mission of the Ministry in charge of research, a position he held from December 1993 to October 1996.

In September 1994, he became a university professor at the École normale supérieure de Cachan. In 1995, he took over the management of the IT department, where he remained until October 2001.

In December 2001, its research management and facilitation activities took on a larger share. He became Deputy Director of the Research Directorate of the Ministry of Research. He is responsible for the Mathematics and Information and Communication Science and Technology sector.

In January 2004, he joined the CNRS, where he became head of the STIC department (Sciences et technologies de l' information et de la communication). In September of that same year, he became director of the South-West inter-region (DIR) in September. He held this position until January 2006, when the DIRs, as requested by CNRS Director General Bernard Larrouturou, were abolished by his successors.

In July 2006, Antoine Petit left the CNRS for Inria, where he managed the Paris-Rocquencourt research centre. In September 2010, he became Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Institute and, on September 28, 2014, succeeded Michel Cosnard as head of Inria, thus becoming the 7th CEO of the Institute, developing, during his term of office, the idea of scientific excellence at the service of transfer and society.

In early 2018, he was appointed president of the CNRS.

Keywords: History of Inria Formal methods Management team