Inria has been present in Lyon for over 25 years and has set up 15 project research teams there. The new centre was created in the framework of the Institute’s 2019-2023 Objectives and Performance Contract and marks the start of a new chapter in its proactive policy to promote the development of world-class university sites with a focus on the sciences and digital technologies.
An ambitious regional strategy
Since opening facilities in Grenoble in 1992, Inria has pursued a strongly regional strategy. The first Lyon-based project team was created in 1995 and 14 more joint project teams have been set up by Inria in the city since then with various partners. The teams, which were hitherto attached to the Inria Grenoble Rhône-Alpes Research Centre, have developed strong collaborative relationships with partners in academic and business organisations in Lyon. Given this solid foundation and its desire to strengthen its presence in Lyon, the opening of a ninth research centre in the city is one of the priorities of Inria’s 2019–2023 strategy. The new centre will also serve to accelerate the momentum of research and innovation carried out at Inria’s Grenoble centre in connection with Grenoble-Alpes University.
Auvergne-Rhône Alpes is now the only region, outside of the Ile-de-France, to be home to two Inria centres.
Over the years, Inria has worked in close collaboration with Claude Bernard Lyon University 1, the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon (ENS) and the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA), launching projects in various fields including:
- IT systems (algorithmic, architecture, compilation, security, high-performance computing),
- Communicating systems (telecommunication, networks, embedded and distributed),
- Life sciences modelling (cellular biology, plant biology, physiology and pathology).
The creation of an Inria research centre in Lyon – a world-class university site where the Institute has already been present for a number of years – is fully in line with our proactive site policy presented in our 2019-2023 Objectives and Performance Contract. It is the first new Inria research centre for 10 years and, as such, is a sign of the State’s commitment to supporting our work. Alongside our academic and institutional partners, particularly Claude Bernard Lyon University 1, ENS Lyon and INSA Lyon, and from our position at the heart of a dynamic ecosystem of digital enterprises, our goal is to significantly strengthen our collective impact. This is the purpose of this initial partnership for developing digital health with the University Hospital in Lyon and Claude Bernard Lyon University 1.
Opening up new avenues for research and the desire to make a difference
The creation of the Lyon Inria Research Centre will not only help strengthen current research but will also open up new avenues, both in the field of computing (quantum computing, systems, etc.) and through multidisciplinary approaches focusing, in particular, on crossovers with humanities and even medicine, as well as developing activities in the area of digital twins, a main focus of engineering, for example.
The creation of an Inria research centre in Lyon is an acknowledgement of the all the work we and our partners have done over the last 25 years in the fields of IT and life sciences. It also allows us to pursue completely new avenues of research, at the crossroads between different scientific disciplines and based on digital science and technology. Our goal is to make a real difference, in whatever way that may be, by harnessing the collective dynamic of the site.
Acting Director of the Inria Centre in Lyon
This desire to make a difference is shared by Inria’s long-standing partners in Lyon – Claude Bernard Lyon University 1, ENS Lyon and INSA Lyon – who all signed a strategic joint agreement during the launch ceremony on 1 December.
Inria has also signed a partnership agreement with the Hospices Civils de Lyon, for which the digital domain is an important area of development, and Claude Bernard Lyon University 1. One of the research focuses of the Lyon Inria Research Centre will be digital health, with the aim of having a direct impact on care pathways and placing teams in contact with healthcare staff at the Hospices Civils de Lyon, the second most important university hospital centre in France.
These collaborations will also provide opportunities to involve the likes of the CNRS (the French National Centre for Scientific Research), INSERM (the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research) and INRAE (the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment).
The new Lyon Inria Research Centre will open doors to new partnerships with other stakeholders in the academic city of Lyon, especially members of the University of Lyon ComUE (community of universities and higher-education institutions).
Like all the regional Inria research centres, the Lyon Research Centre will give site partners access to all of Inria’s powerful and specialised mechanisms in the digital and software fields, such as the Inria Startup Studio, which supports the creation of digital Deeptech startups.