In developing high-profile international partnerships with leaders in the digital sector, Inria cultivates individual talent and collaborative research.
Profoundly European and international, Inria welcomes researchers from more than 101 different nationalities to its project teams. More than half of its researchers come from abroad. In 2017, Inria strengthened its international partnership strategy by welcoming 29 new associate teams, particularly in Europe, and a number of world-renowned researchers, including David Marcum, Paul Smolensky, Rajesh Gupta, Leonid Fridman and Joanna McGrenere, the five new holders of international chairs.
With 54 winners, nearly 8% of Inria’s researchers received a European Research Council (ERC) grant.
In 2017, Demian Wessermann received a Starting Grant, Damien Woods a Consolidator Grant and François Baccelli, George Drettakis and Xavier Pennec were awarded Advanced Grants. In addition, Radu Horaud received a Proof of Concept Grant to develop the results of his ERC. These honours place Inria among the top three research organisations in Europe in terms of the number of ERCs per number of researchers. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the ERC and its own fiftieth anniversary, Inria invited ten of its winners to present their research projects, which cover subjects ranging from cybersecurity to human-machine interfaces, computer vision, neurosciences and digital simulation, on 13 March 2017.
As part of the European research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, Inria coordinates projects such as TeamPlay, which makes it possible for programmes to directly take into account execution time, energy consumption, security, etc., in the source code. With the Crowdbot project, Inria also coordinates an ICT programme to develop service robots of all kinds to navigate smoothly and safely through a crowd of people.
The European Data Forum (EDF) and the Big Data Value Association (BDVA) Summit have combined forces to organise the European Big Data Value Forum (EBDVF), held at the Palais des Congrès in Versailles on 21-23 November 2017. Inria was partner and co-organizer of this European Big Data event.
Prior to the event, Inria joined the U.S. National Science Foundation, Big Data Innovation Hubs, BDVA and the Horizon 2020 PICASSO project in organising the Transatlantic Workshop on Public-Private Partnerships for Big Data on 20 November. American and European academic and industry leaders gathered to consider research and innovation on big data and workforce development.
Inria reaffirmed its involvement in the field of Big Data with the re-election of Nozha Boujemaa, Inria Director of research and Director of the DATAIA Institute (Data Sciences, Artificial Intelligence & Society), as a member of the BDVA board of directors.
Moreover, Inria published a position paper on the 9thResearch and Innovation Framework Programme (FP9) that will succeed Horizon 2020.
Franco-Chilean innovation was celebrated in 2017. For the occasion, Inria Chile co-organized the Forum ITC Digital, the first event exclusively dedicated to innovation in digital technologies in Chile, on 31 May 2017 in Santiago de Chile. Its goal was to show industry and decision-makers in the public and private sectors the capabilities and potential of the national ecosystem to develop technologies in the country, and the real impact of digital technologies in the world and society.
Inria also confirms its presence in the heart of Silicon Valley with the organization of the 7thInria@SiliconValley Workshop on June 8 and 9. In 2017 Inria@SiliconValley had five Inria International Chairs and five post-doctoral fellows as members of teams associated with this program.
Very active in the fields of high-performance computing (HPC), Big Data, simulation, and networks, Inria participated in the SC17 conference held on 12-17 November 2017 in Denver, Colorado, as it has for 23 years. Inria presented the activities of its project teams and partners. Research that was honoured included HPC projects such as Batsim, DIET, GreenFactory and Simgrid and two startups based on skills developed at Inria: iExec, offering a centralized cloud platform using blockchain technology, and Xtremlogic, which increases computer speed. In addition, two Inria researchers, Issam Raïs and Laurent Lefèvre presented their work, Large scale shutdown policies for HPC systems: the ELCI solution.
Inria continues to develop partnerships with leading international institutions with the signing of an agreement at the end of the year with New York University, the country’s largest private non-profit university. The partnership will strengthen cooperation between Inria and two of the most prestigious components of this major university: the Courant Institute of Mathematical Science and the Center for Data Science (CDS) by promoting exchanges of researchers and students.
A partner in the ongoing dialogue on cybersecurity policy between France and Japan, Inria organized the third Franco-Japanese meeting on cybersecurity at the University of Keio in Tokyo on 24-26 April. Among the topics discussed were cybersecurity strategies, the results of Franco-Japanese collaboration and new challenges related to the Olympic Games, certification and Big Data.
The Sino-European Laboratory of Informatics, Automation and Applied Mathematics (LIAMA) celebrated its 20th anniversary on July 11 and 12 in Beijing. As a founding member of this historic and successful partnership, Inria was of course present. The celebration was marked by the renewal of the agreement of the three founding members of the consortium (Inria, CWI and CASIA) to deepen their cooperation, as well as the signing of an agreement between Inria and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) to support new research projects related to LIAMA and facilitate partnerships between China and Europe in the digital sciences.
As part of the Inria's scientific cooperation with the Taiwanese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Deputy Minister Ju-Han Tsou visited the Inria Saclay Centre in November.
Africa is a region that has experienced strong and sustainable growth for more than ten years and many experts agree that the phenomenon should even increase. At the same time, there are many challenges: food security, water and energy management, urban planning, training, transparency and democracy.
Our long collaboration with the African continent through CARI, the journal ARIMA and the International Laboratory for Research in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics (LIRIMA) gives us visibility with the African academic community (mainly francophone until now) in mathematics and computer science.
In this context, LIRIMA is our most appropriate means of action since it focuses on a few identified teams, each of which focuses on an innovative project. In 2017, eight associated teams will form the basis. They met at the LIRIMA conference organized from 12 to 14 September 2017 on the campus of the University of Tunis El Manar. On 13 September, Inria hosted the Data Sciences Workshop, which brought together around 100 participants.