A partnership agreement has just been signed between Google and Inria. The American giant wants to promote research projects related to the semantic web and machine learning.
Google has strong needs in terms of fundamental research. In order to quench its thirst for new technologies, the firm is getting closer to Inria, with which it has just set up a strategic partnership.
According to the terms of the agreement signed on Monday, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control will “support Google’s innovation strategy” by facilitating interactions with its teams.
In return, the Mountain View Internet group will guarantee the French institute privileged access to its research grants, which are generally conditional on passing a competition.
Up to several hundred thousand euros per project
Research projects, particularly in the fields of machine learning, semantic web and database management, can be funded over a period of one year, from 50,000 to 100,000 euros, through the “Research Awards”.
With the “Focused Research Awards”, the follow-up can be spread over several years, with envelopes of several hundred thousand euros. Financial support for individuals – doctoral students in this case – will be available through “PhD Fellowships”.
The approach is similar to sponsorship, with researchers retaining intellectual property rights to their discoveries, which are systematically published for the community.
Six projects from Inria have already received awards since 2009 and the creation of the “Google Research Awards”. “And the pace has accelerated in recent months,” say the two parties.
An initiative praised by all
Geneviève Fioraso, the French Minister of Higher Education and Research, described the agreement as “a promising one for the development of high-level teams in France that are skilled in the technologies essential to the digital economy.
She is seconded by Fleur Pellerin. The French Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy sees this alliance as “proof of France’s attractiveness in digital technology, a field of excellence for our researchers in companies and laboratories.
And Vinton Cerf, vice-president of Google, concluded: “Inria’s history is rich with discoveries in the field of fundamental research. This institution carries with it values […] of creativity that correspond to Google’s DNA: innovation.”