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IRT Forum#4: IRTs make the difference

forumirt4_fitThe fourth IRT forum saw over 350 industrial and academic partners of the eight IRTs meet close to organiser IRT SystemX’s own facility at EDF’s Paris-Saclay Lab on 18th of October. The occasion also marked the launch of the brand new corporate identity for IRTs association the French Institutes of Technology (FIT).

A highly positive progress report on the work done over the last four years (or three years for IRT Saint Exupéry) detailing the excellent foundation built was also presented to those attending. Together the IRTs have built a new integrated multi-partner research model with equal state and private sector investment, supporting the rapid diffusion of key results to French industry.


Thierry Mandon (MENESR), Vincent Marcatté (FIT, b-com), Marie-Noëlle Séméria (AI Carnot), Louis Schweitzer (CGI) et Pascal Cléré (SystemX)

FIT is building on its collaborative aims by signing a national partnership agreement with the Carnot Institutes association to energise public-private R&D initiatives through closer collaboration in the ecosytems, similar to the one it signed last year with the association of SATT* .

The forum’s programme was built around the FIT’s four main pillars: teamwork, creativity, agility and results.


Teamwork FIT pillar: on additive layer manufacturing (ALM)

forumirt4_tthomasThe power of joining forces and sharing skills meant that the IRTs could find new technological solutions according to Thierry Thomas, director of Safran Industrial Centre of Competences in Additive Manufacturing. IRT Saint Exupéry is piloting a collaborative initiative involving M2P, IRT Jules Verne and SystemX on this topic with support from Safran. In support of the Alliance Industry of the Future (AIF) ALM manufacturing initiative, it is essential that France is well placed internationally in terms of research and industrial skills for such an important technology which covers manufacturing for the automotive, aviation and naval sectors.

Creativity FIT pillar: university adapts position

forumirt4_trcreativityDuring a round table discussion on how ‘IRTs are changing the rules and setting a new creative agenda’ Eric Papon, who is vice president and innovation delegate at Bordeaux University (one of IRT Saint Exupéry’s founder members) explained that the university believes that being part of this multiple-partnership environment requires a shared strategy. This change in thinking means it will be easier to put in place contracts for multiple research partnerships, promotes better understanding of the industrial roadmap and fosters trust with the IRTs.


Results to date from the eight IRTs were presented by FIT and IRT b-com president Vincent Marcatté, who shared 15 success stories. For IRT Saint Exupéry, he mentioned a technology transfer and an international distinction.

Results FIT pillar

A technology transfer of massive and smart methods for satellite images processing

forumirt4_result1IRT Saint Exupéry has successfully handed over a new analysis method to its partners in the space industry for their own research. Faced with a huge influx of satellite images, photo operators struggle to extract the required information to share with end users fast enough. The new software tool uses artificial intelligence (machine learning) to automatically extract information from the massive arrival of images (big data) being worked on. The architecture of this tool has been designed for operational implementation with a distributed network hosted on the Cloud.

IRT Saint Exupéry researcher honoured – demonstrating the international reach of IRTs

forumirt4_result2PhD student Chaimae Ghfiri was awarded best article at the 7th international Asia-Pacific International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) (APEMC), which took place in Shenzhen, China between 18 and 21 May. This achievement recognises both the talent of this young researcher and the results of an academic and multi sectorial industrial research project. Its theme is the creation and use of digital simulation models for companies developing electronic equipment to meet the robustness requirements of the automotive, air and space industries.

forumirt4_tmandonMinister of State for Higher Education and Research Thierry Mandon gave a speech, during which he said that he believed in the quality of French research and this was something that the IRTs were contributing to. He said that he wanted to see a move from the words ‘Made in France’ to a ‘French Quality’ stamp. He added that: “The fact that the IRTs are being steered by business is a good thing. They are the place where public laboratories and business can converge.”Enregistrer



General Commissioner for Investment Louis Schweitzer said that: “We are proud of the IRTs, you are already being recognised as innovators.” There is still work to be done on building relationships with SMEs and academics however. “When you’re building the future, you need to look further ahead. Government support for the IRTs via the PIA** will continue until 2030.”

* Acceleration Society of Technology Transfer
** Investments for the Future Programme