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Partnerships - Universities


Universities and the Inria agree on means of cooperation

Based on the model of framework agreements already reached with other research organisations and in line with the recommendations of the Aubert report, the CPU (French Conference of University Chancellors) and Inria have signed today, in the presence of Mrs. Valerie Pécresse, French Minister for Higher Education and Research, a framework agreement designed to facilitate and multiply partnerships between the Inria and universities throughout France in the field of ICST (Information and Communication Sciences and Technologies).

Universities aim to develop the quality of their own courses and ICST research and, in addition, to create new multidisciplinary fields of study (IT and life sciences, IT and health, IT and linguistics...).
As for the Inria, it is aligning its work in research and innovation with the development of competitiveness clusters in the context of its relations with all its French and foreign partners, consolidating synergies with regional research programmes and thereby enhancing and contributing to the reputation of these networks of excellence.
According to local conditions, the means of cooperation between universities and the eight Inria research centres outlined in this agreement can take on various forms:

  • Participation of the Inria in site policies and PRES (Pôle de Recherche et d'Enseignement Supérieur), by becoming, for example, an associate member
  • Creation of mixed research teams referred to as “joint project teams”
  • Opening Inria programmes to research teams and units of CPU member organisations such as "Large-scale Actions", “Collaborative Research Actions” and “Associate Teams”
  • Involvement in doctoral schools: the Institute could serve as an associate organisation for several doctoral schools whose orientations are considered strategic
  • Joint chairs could be set up, thus ensuring beneficiaries relief from 2/3 of their teaching duties, payment of a bonus and a quality research environment

An important dimension of this agreement concerns transfer activities with, on the one hand, the scheduled creation of SATT (Sociétés d’Accélération de Transfert de Technologie) and, on the other hand, opening to universities of Inria technology transfer and development programmes. As a national player in transfer of ICST, the Institute promotes the pooling of skills. It offers access to means and solutions dedicated to technology transfer and innovation it has developed to all its public research partners in this field. Thus, in the context of partnerships with the CPU, this concerns in particular:

  • access to national technology transfer networks set up by the Inria, via, for example, its involvement in more than twenty competitiveness clusters
  • participation in presentations of public research results for companies, such as Inria-Industry regional meetings

and the contribution of various skills in:

  • setting up industrial consortiums to promote distribution of software
  • distribution of software, in particular open source software
  • strategic and legal advice
  • creation of innovative firms based on public research via its subsidiary Inria-Transfert, which is currently under development…

Finally, member organisations of the CPU and Inria research centres will conduct initiatives to develop technologies, particularly in relation to platforms, and will also develop international projects. These two parties also plan to simplify their scientific communications (only the names of the Inria and the CPU member organisations and PRES will be prominently displayed) and to settle any intellectual property questions according to the unique development mandate rule.
After the IRD (Research and Development Institute) and INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research), the Inria is the third research organisation to sign an agreement with the CPU.


A public science and technology institution under the supervision of the ministries for Research and for Industry. Executives: Michel COSNARD, Chairman and CEO of Inria - Jean-Pierre VERJUS, Deputy Managing Director. Annual budget (2009): €200m, of which 21% is from its own resources. Regional research centres:  Paris - Rocquencourt, Sophia Antipolis – Méditerranée, Grenoble – Rhône-Alpes, Nancy – Grand Est, Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique, Bordeaux – Sud Ouest, Lille – Nord Europe, Saclay – Île-de-France. 2,800 researchers, including more than 1,000 PhD students, working within more than 160 project-teams, the majority of which are shared with other bodies, Grandes Ecoles and universities.  790 ongoing research agreements. 79 associate teams around the world. 94 businesses started since 1984.


Created in 1971, the French Conference of University Chancellors is a voluntary association of recognised public interest governed by the French law of 1901. It represents the common interests of 106 French institutions in higher education including: Universities, Institutes of Technology, National Polytechnic Institutes, French Ecoles Normales Supérieures and Grands Etablissements. A key player in public debate on higher education and research in France, today the CPU is an essential voice in discussions with public authorities on university issues.

Keywords: Press release Framework agreements Universities CPU Academic Partnerships