Inria is the French national research institute for digital science and technology. World-leading research and technological innovation are an integral part of its DNA. Inria’s 3,500 researchers and engineers put their passion for digital technology to work in nearly 200 project teams, most of which are joint teams with our academic partners, including major research universities and the CNRS. They explore new fields, often in collaboration with different disciplines and industrial partners, with the aim of meeting ambitious challenges.

As a technology institute, Inria supports the development of numerous software products, sometimes making a global impact via the open source model. Because technology start-ups are powerful channels for research outcomes, Inria also supports entrepreneurial risk-taking and start-up creation (Deeptech). Firmly established on major university campuses and in industrial ecosystems, the Institute is at the heart of the digital revolution.

Our role is to further the progress of risky, ambitious projects in the fields of science and digital technology: Inria enables researchers and innovators to nurture either scientific or entrepreneurial projects, before helping to move them forward.

Our responsibility is to create value on a large scale both for society and for the economy , helping to boost France’s appeal and standing.

Inria is a place for scientific vitality, where research is organized based on agile project team model. Its mission is to accelerate, through digital research and innovation, the construction of France’s scientific, technological and industrial leadership in European dynamics.

 Today Inria has 3 500 Researchers & Engineers working in 200 Project Teams located in 9 research centers at the heart of major research universities in France. Inria also had 93 international associated teams active in 2019 with academic institutions from other countries. 


Fabien Gandon is a Research Director and Senior Researcher at Inria, France.

Fabien’s PhD in 2002 pioneered the joint use of distributed artificial intelligence (AI) and semantic Web to manage a variety of data sources and users above a Web architecture. Then, as a research project leader at Carnegie Mellon University (USA), he proposed AI methods to enforce privacy preferences in querying and reasoning about personal data. In 2004, recruited as a researcher at Inria, he started to study models and algorithms to integrate social media and knowledge based AI systems on the Web while keeping humans in the loop. In 2012 he became the representative of Inria at W3C and founded Wimmics, a joint research team on bridging social and formal semantics on the Web with AI methods. In 2017 he established and became the director of the joint research laboratory between Inria the QWANT search engine.

Fabien remarked :

“In Web Science, we should build our research program as a joint effort with two research fields born in the 50s: “AI” for Artificial Intelligence and “IA” for Intelligence Amplification and Intelligence Augmentation. The Web Science research agenda must account for the fact that the long term potential of the Web is to augment and link all forms of intelligence.”

The same year he also became responsible for the research convention between the Ministry of Culture and Inria with a special interest for cultural data and applications. In 2018 Fabien became Vice Head of Science for the research center of Inria Sophia Antipolis – Méditerranée. Over the years and since 2002, Fabien also never stopped teaching Semantic Web and Linked data, and he authored several MOOCs on the topic.

Many research topics at Inria have a direct impact on the Web: Data and knowledge representation and processing; Networks and Telecommunications; Optimization, Learning, and Statistical Methods; Interaction and visualization; Security and Confidentiality; etc. And Inria researchers are internationally recognized and, for instance, Inria received 56 ERC grants since 2007.

Inria has driven digital innovation and research in France and in Europe for over 50 years. Set up to act as a bridge between the academic world and industry, straddling new frontiers in digital research, a pioneer in pushing through new disciplines with their roots in applied mathematics and IT, a pioneer in supporting the dynamism of tech start-ups both in France and across Europe, the Institute has been a visionary and a trailblazer in a range of different fields (computational science, the Internet, the Web). For instance, in 1995, Inria was selected by MIT as a partner within the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), which is responsible for standardizing web technology, becoming leader of the European hub. Today, Inria continues to support the digital transformation of science, the economy and society as a whole: Inria created 170 startups since 1984 75% of which are in operation or acquired. More than ever, “software is taking over the world”, giving scientists new challenges, opening up new opportunities for tech entrepreneurs, and making it more important than ever to enter into dialogue with society to “make sense of the digital world”. More than ever, Inria is supporting those taking scientific and entrepreneurial risks and research with the biggest possible impact.

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