INRIA is the only public research body dedicated to computer sciences. It has eight centres in France where 3400 researchers are inventing the digital technologies of the future in close partnership with the private sector.
David Simplot Ryl, Head of Inria Lille-Northern Europe Centre sums up his organisation’s mission clearly and succinctly on the excellent INRIA website: “INRIA Lille-Nord Europe Research Centre is driven by its project teams, all of which are run jointly with universities and French Institutions of higher learning, focusing on scientific challenges to be faced in order to meet the needs of our society.”
INRIA has 300 researchers in Lille – 200 scientific and 100 technical engineers – working on a variety of exciting projects. As established in the Institute’s national strategic plan, INRIA Lille has three priority areas of research:
• Software infrastructures for ambient intelligence
• Bio-modelling, interactions with living things
• Modelling and simulation – complex systems, environment
“One of our top priorities is in medicine where the accent is on interaction with the living patient. We are working closely with Lille 2 Hospital on new cancer treatments,” says David Simplot Ryl. “Another practical example is the work we are doing with museums to design made-to-measure tours for people based on their cultural preferences. We currently have a project with the new Louvre-Lens.”
An international dimension
“All our teams work in cooperation with foreign institutions. In fact, 50% of the researchers here are from overseas and we have 36 different nationalities represented in the centre”, explains David Simplot Ryl. “We’ve also started an overseas project in Amsterdam with our first team based outside France”, he adds.
Research breeds meetings
Meetings are an important part of research providing the opportunity to meet colleagues face-to-face, discuss results and share creative ideas. Each year the 13 different INRIA teams at the Lille-Nord Europe centre hold at least one workshop or conference, with from 50 to 260 participants.
Supporting regional industry
In 2010, as part of its regional technology transfer policy and to encourage interaction between researchers and business, INRIA Lille opened its first demonstration area at EuraTechnologies, the new centre of excellence for information and communication technologies. The 200m2 exhibition space is a place of discovery and dialogue for anyone involved in ICT.
David Simplot Ryl is from the Nord Pas de Calais and has lived in Lille for the last 20 years. He has witnessed at first hand the transformation of the city and its new dynamic. “Everyone who comes here feels and comments on Lille’s new dynamism”, he says proudly.
For more info on INRIA’s pioneering work