Marie-Hélène Pautrat

Director of European Partnerships
Marie-Hélène Pautrat
© Inria / Photo G. Scagnelli

Marie-Hélène Pautrat has been appointed, on September 1st 2019, Director of European Partnerships.

After beginning her career as a social sciences engineer, Marie-Hélène Pautrat joined Inria 12 years ago as European Accounts Manager, then moved to head office in 2012. Since 2015 she has held the position of Deputy Director of the European and International Partnerships Department (EIPD), thereby directly contributing to the development and implementation of Inria's external policy and overseeing the work of many people. Marie-Hélène attended the Institute of Higher Studies for Science and Technology (IHEST) as an auditing student in the graduating class of 2018-2019.

Horizon Europe, the new master programme for research & innovation, is scheduled to come into effect in 2021 for a seven-year period. It will be supplemented by the new Digital Europe programme which will support the deployment of digital technologies. Uneven successes are to be expected, but also new opportunities for the Institute.

One of the missions of the new European Partnerships Department is to define and support a policy for lobbying Brussels. Inria intends to advocate the need for Europe to support an ambitious, disruptive research policy in the digital sciences, aiming at scientific excellence. This means ensuring that Europe has the capacity to support long-term research into fundamental issues, and to maintain a balance between pre-competitive research and long-term research within the future Horizon Europe master programme.

But it is also an opportunity for Inria to make the most of new institutions. For example, it succeeded in doing so with the creation 12 years ago of the now highly respected European Research Council (ERC). It must do the same with the European Innovation Council (EIC) with whom the EC is revamping its innovation vision to support entrepreneurial projects arising from excellent ground-breaking research. The same is true of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an entity created by the European Union in 2008 to boost Europe's innovation capability by bringing together the worlds of business, academia, and research. It forms part of the Horizon 2020 programme , the European Union master programme for research and innovation.