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24 February 2020

Inria: for scientific, technological and industrial leadership in digital technology

Inria’s three-year project “Ambition Inria 2023” was officially launched on 18 February 2020 in the presence of Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and Cédric O, Minister of State for the Digital Sector. Its objectives and performance contract with the State is based on four focuses: territorial development, Europe, reinforcement of public policies and development of research.

France must lay the foundations for its digital independence if it is to maintain its strategic autonomy. Inria, the French institute for digital research, is determined to meet this challenge through research and innovation. It is a committed member of the academic, industrial and entrepreneurial digital ecosystem.
Inria is the national institute for research in digital science and technology. World-class research and technological innovation are its hallmarks, and it aims to foster and support scientific and entrepreneurial projects that create value for France as part of a Europe-wide approach.

Prioritising the impact of activities

Inria has committed to four strategic activity focuses, in order to ensure their impact during performance of the new objectives and performance contract.

Speeding up development of France's scientific and technological leadership, as part of a Europe-wide approach.

Inria has set itself scientific priorities in terms of digital technology, digital security, artificial intelligence and quantum computing, in order to meet the major challenges of a society where digital technology plays a key role (from personalised medicine to precision farming, via reduction of digital technology's energy footprint). In this context, Inria is reinforcing its unique organisational model – that of agile, focused projects/teams equipped with research and innovation roadmaps, well suited to risk-taking, interdisciplinarity and software development, and committed to partnerships – and making it available to its partners, top research universities and such institutions as CNRS, CEA, INRAE, INSERM and, in the near future, IFPEN.

Its scientific policy also focuses on construction of the European research and innovation space, through its involvement in EU programmes (Horizon Europe, Digital Europe, EIT and EIC) and development of strategic bilateral partnerships, in Germany in particular, as is evidenced by its recent agreement with DFKI on artificial intelligence.

Having an economic impact in the regions, in order to contribute to the revitalisation and perpetuation of a French and European industrial base by and in digital technology

Inria prioritises companies that create jobs in France, through bilateral partnerships and joint projects/teams. Through its partnership with Bpifrance, the institute aims to enter the field of technological entrepreneurship with 100 digital startup projects a year in 2023. Creation of the Inria Startup Studio is central to the initiative, focusing on co-design of entrepreneurial projects backed by public research on digital technology, an initiative anchored in the top research university campuses. By creating a range of continuing training on open-source software resulting from public research, Inria also wishes to contribute to the digital transformation of French SMEs and MSBs.

Increasing its contribution to public policies

From coordination of the AI Plan to the priority it accords to the Security/Defence sector, with partners including the Autorité nationale en matière de sécurité et de défense des systèmes d'information (ANSSI – National Cybersecurity Agency) and the Agence de l’innovation de Défense (AID – Defence Innovation Agency), via digital regulation with the Direction générale des entreprises (DGE – Directorate-General for Enterprise), the institute has a key role to play alongside the State. The institute is also continuing with efforts to encourage young people, upper secondary students in particular, to study science and technology, with its partners and the Minister of National Education and Youth.

Committed to developing leading research universities

Inria is unequivocally committed to developing leading research universities and is rolling out its operational activities with local stakeholders’ strategies very much in mind.

The project includes creation of an Inria centre in Lyon and targeted reinforcement of two branches in Montpelier and Strasbourg, on the basis of existing partnerships and focusing on each region's scientific specificities.