Inria is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. While remembering all the men and women who, from 1967 to 2017, have made Inria what it is, we shall also be looking ahead to what the future may bring. We want to take the opportunity afforded by this anniversary to think about the digital world in which we would like to live, as well as all the scientific, technological, ethical and philosophical questions it brings with it. For, while the advent of a digital world may be unstoppable, it is up to us all to construct it.
Kayak project, 1979-83 : the "buroviseur", a desktop tool with word processing, graphic screen, mouse, speech synthesis and voice recognition.
Since 1967, Inria has been at the forefront of the major shifts in our society , thanks to the excellence of our research: Inria has built its reputation on initiating and developing research in line with contemporary needs and concerns, addressing issues such as secure personal data, sustainable development and medical research. We therefore define our priority research objectives: communication systems and networks, reliable software and security solutions, modelling and simulation for the Life Sciences and Environment Science, robotics and programming, data processing and automatic learning. Here at Inria, we have a deep-seated belief that research should be pursued for the good of society and industry… implying research that may be high-risk but that also has a strong impact, thanks to our ambitious choice of scientific subjects.
Developing high-profile partnerships with the leaders in the digital sector worldwide, Inria has consistently encouraged individual talent and collaborative research. Inria opens up a wealth of opportunities for people to benefit from, supporting the transfer of results and skills to business - from startups to major groups. Inria enables the development of research with a long-term view while also tackling more immediate problems. Its project-team model has proven its worth: it is a unique way of organising research, agile and efficient, which focuses on small teams (around twenty members in a team) working on a scientific project that runs for four years. Inria researchers are given close support, as well as the opportunity for real discussion and an openness to their needs and their ideas. Focused on the values of creativity and responsibility, the Institute enables original avenues of research to be explored in collaboration with its industrial and academic partners .
Inria is inherently European, with a strong international outlook: our success in connection with the ERC (European Research Council) has made us a European leader in Digital Science. Inria has always promoted ways of sharing and spreading expertise, welcoming researchers from all over the world - indeed, over half the researchers at Inria are not French -, and encouraging and boosting research exchange and mobility programmes.Start-up Therapixel : the technology Fluid relies on depth sensing, research algorithms and innovative user interfaces to provide touchless information systems that comply with sterility constraints.
Digital Science is in constant dialogue with other scientific disciplines (Biology, Physics, Astrophysics, Medical Research, etc.) and, more recently, since digital technology is becoming part of all our daily lives, with the Social Sciences and Humanities. The issues facing our society in this century often have a technological or digital dimension, and Inria has a duty to bring useful scientific expertise to the debate. The digital technologies that we see emerging raise a multitude of ethical questions, and so dialogue with the public and with the users of such technology is vital, now more than ever before.
This is why we have chosen the future and our collective intelligence as the themes for celebrating Inria's anniversary. Tomorrow's digital world will be the world that we have designed together. It's time to imagine what our digital future will look like!