The Côte d'Azur is a candidate to host an interdisciplinary institute of artificial intelligence (3IA)

Publish on 22/01/2020
The Côte d'Azur has one of the highest scientific densities in digital science and mathematics in France. Sophia Antipolis is the largest and oldest technology park in Europe with nearly 60% of the 36,000 employees from more than 60 nationalities involved in digital technologies. It is in this dual capacity that the academic actors of Nice-Sophia Antipolis are preparing an application for an interdisciplinary institute of artificial intelligence (3IA) initiated by the Université Côte d'Azur, the CNRS and Inria to respond to the first call of the "artificial intelligence" plan launched by Emmanuel Macron at the end of March following the submission of the Villani report.

Structured around chairs held by internationally renowned researchers, the transdisciplinary research ambition of the Université Côte d'Azur (UCA) and its UCAJEDI Excellence Initiative (IDEX) are a major component of the territory's strategy and benefit from very significant support from the economic and industrial ecosystem, whose high-tech activities have become prevalent and have profoundly transformed the attractiveness of the Côte d'Azur.

More than a hundred AI researchers

Bringing together the main members of the Côte d'Azur University of Artificial Intelligence such as CNRS and Inria and the other academic institutions of the site such as the two engineering schools EURECOM and MINES ParisTech, the institute will bring together more than a hundred researchers and teacher-researchers specialized in the field around the three missions: 

  • of training ;
  • research, and
  • of transfer to companies. 

Specialized training courses

UCA already offers high-level training courses on artificial intelligence in initial and continuing training:

  • Bachelor and Master's degree in computer science and mathematics;
  • MSc Data Sciences ;
  • engineering curriculum;
  • European EIT Digital network
  • summer school in Deep Learning.

The institute aims to train doctoral degree specialists and enable companies in its territory to be competitive on these issues, particularly for the continuing training of executives from local companies.

Strong growth in partnerships

Research partnerships between Côte d'Azur academic actors and companies are growing rapidly, with in particular

  • Accenture
  • Amadeus,
  • Bosch,
  • IBM,
  • NXP,
  • Qwant,
  • Renault Software Labs

and have the ambition to move to a new level through a joint laboratory program.

Develop research-based start-ups

As for the creation of start-ups, the development of those resulting from research will be a key focus in partnership with the French Tech Côte d'Azur and the IA Cluster, but also Telecom Valley, Sophia Club Entreprises, Nice Start-up or competitiveness clusters such as the SCS (Secure Communicating Solutions) cluster, following the success of the Therapixel start-up from Inria, which has won several awards, including the prestigious Digital Mammography Challenge on breast cancer screening.

SophI.A Summit on 7-8-9 november, with the best AI specialists

Extremely dynamic, the Côte d'Azur is experiencing numerous public and private initiatives such as the smart vehicle cluster initiated by IBM, Renault Software labs, Magnetti Marelli, NXP and Epicnpoc, which brings together nearly a hundred researchers and engineers every month to set up a large number of the world's leading car manufacturers to develop their future embedded electronics. The territory also hosts major events on artificial intelligence. On November 7, 8 and 9, 2018, Sophia Antipolis will host the best specialists in the field at a summit - called the Soph.I.A Summit - for researchers, companies, citizens, economic partners, students.