Official speeches

During the plenary session, Vincent Marcatté, president of French Institutes of Technology (FIT), highlighted the quality of results presented with respect to ambitious objectives for 2018, with industrial transfers doubling in one year to reach 411. With over 760 industry partners, including 300 SMEs, a two-fold increase in academic partners (201) and more than 1,700 publications, the IRTs also participated successfully in 50 European projects.

Guillaume Boudy, the France’s Investment General Secretary, pointed out the relevance of the analysis provided by Alain Juppé and Michel Rocard in 2009 and the accomplishments that were visible at this 6th forum. The collective approach dear to the IRTs is to bring together industrialists, academics, local authorities and competitiveness clusters. For the French government, IRTs are an instrument of technological sovereignty. They are active players for developing tools that generate value: ITE, SATT, Carnot institutes, technical centre platforms…

Frédérique Vidal, French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, expressed France’s need to strengthen interactions between the public and private sectors, which is lower than the European average by around 18%. The government has taken several measures to boost innovation. This includes: overhauling the National Industry Council and strategic sector committees, notably by elaborating a “research” roadmap that involves IRTs to span the entire value chain; creating an Innovation Council combining research, innovation and industry concerns under the co-presidency of IRTs; and committing to disruptive innovation based on industrial innovation and innovation challenges. IRTs already play a role in today’s major digital, energy and ecological transitions.

Creating a bright future with ITEs in 2019

On June 21 at M2P in Metz, the French Prime Minister acknowledged the progress made by IRTs and proposed three measures: bringing together IRTs and ITEs (Institutes for Energy Transition); preparing a sustainable course beyond 2025, with the requirement to consolidate partnerships and the three-tier funding model (State, industry and other co-funding sources); and relaxing employment regulations for public-sector researchers within IRTs. Paul Labrogère, CEO of IRT SystemX, and Philippe Watteau, CEO of VEDECOM Institute, demonstrated this concept with the SAM project (safety and acceptability of autonomous mobility) and the creation of a joint IRT and ITE working group with IRT SystemX and Saint Exupéry, and ITE VEDECOM and Efficacity.