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LH - 12/11/2014

Inria, a genetically French Tech institute

La French Tech

Today some French cities where Inria’s research centres are based have been awarded the “French Tech” label. Antoine Petit, Inria’s Chairman and CEO asserts the institute’s commitment to the dynamic development of French innovation.

The first “French Tech” labels were announced on this day. Did Inria play a role in the submitted projects?

Antoine Petit, CEO - © Inria / Photo C. Helsly

Antoine Petit : I am thrilled with this announcement. It shows the dynamism of many regional ecosystems in the digital field. Inria has set up modestly, yet strongly, in some of the selected ecosystems such as Bordeaux, Grenoble, Lille and Rennes.

Inria fully endorses the ambition behind French Tech. The will to bring together everybody in start-up ecosystems to help them get off the ground echoes our strategy and action in transfer and innovation.

With the “Institut Carnot” label, we are a “genetically French Tech” institute!

Since starting out in 1967, we transfer the results of our research in the world of industry. This includes developing business. Since 1984, more than 120 start-ups have been launched from our researchers’ work. In the coming weeks and months, we shall pay tribute to the “30 years of business development” and all the associated expertise.

Is it important to understand that Inria is a totally separate member of French Tech?

- Definitely! Inria has always played a true, yet little known, role in setting up French Tech. David Monteau, for example, the director of the French Tech mission, used to work at Inria.

Inria is one of the national contributors to French innovation. Our centres work with many fields that are critical to the success of our innovation projects - incubators, investors, clusters, local communities etc. By supporting researchers, our transfer and innovation professionals are key to such constructive synergies.

Like French Tech, we strongly believe in the partnership approach, the necessary approximation of complementary actors to emerge and grow start-ups today and tomorrow. Our country needs to consolidate these skills and energy to move forward and create more businesses, jobs and wealth.

Are you considering further action? Or an evolution in your strategy to move forward and advance even further?

- Our institute plays a role in creation and innovation. Public research in the digital field leads to business development. Our history shows this, and our future must continue to embody it. We need to encourage our researchers as well as PhD students, post-docs, engineers to get things started. It is one of our institute’s priorities.

Beyond entrepreneurship, we are making a special effort for partnerships with SMEs to help them grow. We hope to significantly build up the “Inria Innovation Labs”. These are small laboratories shared between Inria and SMEs for a limited time that work together to increase competitiveness and attract new markets.

In the coming weeks and months, we are celebrating 30 years of business development at Inria. This will also mark the beginning of a new direction. We are proud of our pioneer past, and want be determined and confident within French Tech.

Keywords: French Tech Innovation Start-up Transfer