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A lab on a European scale

Creating new services and developing new technologies in sectors like the quality of life, cities, energy and media is the goal of EIT ICT Labs, a major European laboratory. In cooperation with 22 other European partners, Inria is in charge of coordinating the "French node" of the network and the research dimension, a major responsibility within a European laboratory dedicated to serving the public.

Creating and designing services so dependent persons can be cared for at home, working on intelligent electrical networks that adapt supply to demand  constructing intelligent buildings that control fluid consumption... all these projects have one point in common: they involve information and communication science and technology. In other words, they involve sensors, communication networks, software and many other scientific applications.

Commitments proportional to the stakes involved

Today, information and communication form the backbone of our societies. Europe clearly aims to reinforce its competitive edge and attractiveness in order to create value and jobs in these two fields. How? By creating Knowledge and Innovation Communities, a new type of organisation that brings together a wide range of European partners, each the best in its specialty. These communities include players in education, research and innovation. They are selected by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which was set up by the European Commission.

Thus, the EIT ICT Labs  Community project has been selected to create tomorrow's information society.

Working together on 5 European sites 

EIT ICT Labs is organised around five geographical locations: Berlin, Eindhoven, Helsinki, Paris and Stockholm. The project has 23 partners, including 10 companies, 6 research organisations and 7 leading European universities. The Swedish site coordinates the teaching dimension, through the creation of Masters degrees and doctoral schools. The German site is responsible for coordinating innovation. As for the French site, it ensures general coordination of research. "We are coordinating, among other things, the work concerning the city of the future. Thanks to intelligent buildings, we could, for example, consult real time information on traffic conditions or epidemiological indicators. The technologies developed in EIT ICT Labs will be tested in 5 cities that will serve as full-scale virtual labs. " explains Bruno Le Dantec. The French site associates 7 partners, including Inria, around three cities: Paris (and Saclay), Sophia Antipolis and Rennes.

Governed like a company

EIT ICT Labs will be governed like a major company, with a board of directors, president, general manager and representatives. It should receive up to €100-140 million in funding a year over the next five years, with 25% from the EIT and the rest from various partners, companies, regions, governments... and the EU.

EIT ICT Labs partners

The 7 main French partners are, in addition to Inria, the UPMC (Pierre and Marie Curie university), Paris-Sud 11 University, Institut Télécom and the companies: Alcatel-Lucent, France Telecom-Orange and Technicolor. Other organisations that are also involved, on a non-contractual basis, include Sophia Antipolis and Rennes 1 universities, the Systematic competitiveness cluster, CapDigital, SCS and Images&Réseaux and the Digiteo research hub. Two other partners are associated with the project  : the Inria-Microsoft Research Centre and the LITE (London Institute of Technology and English).

Keywords: EIT ICT Lab Information society Europe Service EIT CCI