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Inria and Google sign a partnership agreement

Michel Cosnard and Vinton Cerf signing partnership agreement © Inria / Photo J.M. Ramès Michel Cosnard Inria CEO & Vinton Cerf, Google Vice President - © Inria / Picture J.M. Ramès

Michel Cosnard, Chairman and CEO of Inria, France’s public research body dedicated to computational sciences, and Vinton Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist of Google, have signed a general partnership agreement.

A partnership at the heart of the issues facing the digital world

Google and Inria are looking to further develop their collaboration and bring together their skills in terms of basic research. Inria will support Google's innovation strategy by facilitating interaction with its research teams.

In return, Google will provide Inria employees with the benefit of its research support tools, mainly the ‘Research Awards’*, ‘PhD fellowship’* and ‘Focused Research Awards’*.

This agreement will reinforce the principle of monitoring and supporting high potential actions on subjects such as automatic learning, the semantic web, database management, and more. It bears witness to the drive that has been established between players in the field of research and the world of economics.

"I would like to offer my congratulations to both Google and Inria for this win-win partnership, which is bound to encourage the development of high-level teams in France, working on technologies that are essential to the digital economy " said Geneviève Fioraso, French Minister of Higher Education and Research.

"Inria's research activities are at the heart of the challenges facing the digital society. With the growth of Google's presence in France, it is both logical and desirable that our two organisations should drive forward their partnership." said Michel Cosnard.

Inria's history is replete with breakthroughs in the area of basic research. In particular, some of our researchers were involved in the development of the TCP/IP protocol. As an institution, Inria is instilled with the values of excellence, as well as creativity, and that which resides in the very DNA of Google: innovation. I am delighted with this collaboration, which will pave the way for innovative research projects to take shape" said Vinton Cerf.

"Google, through this partnership, aims to make France one of the spearheads of future technologies, which will later be deployed internationally. Against this background, Inria will bring to bear its expertise in computational sciences and support the efforts made by Google to develop a strong presence in the ecosystem of research in France " said Michel Benard, Google's University Relations Manager.

Inria researchers will enjoy the benefits of Google's research support

Collaboration between Inria and Google began back in 2009. Since the Google Research Awards* were first created, several prizes have been awarded to Inria researchers, and at a much accelerated pace in recent months. Other than the financial support brought by the company, receiving an Award allows the researchers to broaden the potential of their research.

Below are some examples of Inria researchers whose work has enjoyed the support of Google:

  • Francis Bach, from the Sierra project team, won a Faculty Research Award* in 2012. Francis is a statistical learning specialist. The goal of his research is to carry out data analysis with faster learning and optimisation algorithms.
  • For the Regal project team, Marc Shapiro, who won a Google Focused Award* in 2009 and, in 2010, Marek Zawirski, who was awarded a PhD Fellowship under the leadership of Marc Shapiro for his work on CRDT; replicated data updating.
  • Jean-Daniel Fekete, from the Aviz project team, who was rewarded in 2011 with a Faculty Research Award*, for a project on the visualisation of large volumes of data and the evaluation of the techniques involved (Google Public Data). This service offers all sorts of data that can be downloaded as well as visualisation systems that allow for the data to be explored with greater ease.
  • Anne-Marie Kermarrec, from the ASAP project team, won a Google Focused Award* in 2013 for her work on the Web Alter Ego project (in partnership with the EPFL) for the set up of an original architecture for the customisation of web services.
  • Frédéric Chazal from the Geometrica project team (in collaboration with the Ecole Polytechnique) received a Faculty Research Award* in 2013 for his work on digital rendering and computer manipulation of objects in 3D.

Keywords: Research and innovation Industrial partnerships Michel Cosnard