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Céline Acharian - 10/10/2011

Inria creates centre in Chile

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The project to build a research and innovation centre in Chile (the Communication and Information Research and Innovation Center - CIRIC) has been given the go-ahead and will start in 2012. Inria submitted this project as part of a programme for the creation of ‘international centres of excellence for competitiveness’ in Chile.

During Chilean technology transfer week, the Chilean economic development agency CORFO announced that Inria’s project to create a research and innovation centre had been selected.

The CIRIC will allow scientists from different fields to work closely together and provide a support structure for technology transfer. It will make it possible to introduce a research and development culture into universities in partnership with business, in order to bolster Chile’s competitiveness in computational science and technologies, particularly through the creation of ‘spin-offs’ and technology transfer to large companies and SMEs.

... introducing a research and development culture into universities in partnership with business...

The Centre will be based in Santiago, with a branch in Valparaíso. It will initially be built in partnership with nine Chilean universities. It will focus on three lines of research and development selected by CORFO:

  • Internet and telecommunications networks,
  • Management of natural resources,
  • Hybrid energy sources.

Through the CIRIC, Inria’s project-teams will be able to draw on additional human resources: researchers, PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, young engineers and experts in technology transfer. The research themes chosen will enable the institute to develop new expertise in these fields in an environment with excellent potential for technology transfer to industry.

The purpose of the CIRIC is to host and catalyse all of Inria’s collaborations in Chile and provide the institute with an initial base in Latin America. It will be open to new partnerships in both Latin America and Europe, particularly with those European institutions setting up a base in Chile as part of the programme, notably the Fraunhofer Institute from Germany and CSIRO ( Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) from Australia.

Franco-Chilean research in computational science

This project, submitted in 2009, is part of a long tradition of collaboration between France and Chile in applied mathematics and computer science. For over 20 years, Chilean universities have been taking part in research led by Inria, which, in return, trains a large number of Chilean students every year. The bilateral support programmes for joint scientific projects are very active. In 2001, Inria signed a bilateral agreement with CONICyT (Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica), which has resulted in more than 25 students completing their PhD thesis in an Inria team. Between 2006 and 2010, 23 cooperation projects between Chile and Inria have been launched, involving some forty Chilean researchers and producing 64 joint publications. This year, of the 67 associate teams supported by Inria that involve foreign partners, six are working with Chile, out of a total of nine associate teams in Latin America.

Keywords: CIRIC Centre International Chilean research and innovation Centres of excellence for competitiveness

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