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Strategic partnerships

In addition to structurally strong relationships with industry, linked to its economic model, IFPEN is part of a very dense partnership network with French research players.

Integration into the French research and innovation system (SFRI)

IFPEN holds a specific position in the innovation chain, at the interface between research and industrial development. It is one of the few French players to know how to translate an industrial problem into a fundamental research theme.
     
This fits squarely with one of the objectives of the National Research and Innovation Strategy: to strengthen the link between public and private-sector players in order to provide solutions from which energy transition technologies will be developed.
     
IFPEN is strongly involved in the SFRI, taking part in discussions and implementing concrete initiatives in partnership with other research players.

 

A forward-looking approach

IFPEN is one of the players consulted by the public authorities to assist them in their forward-looking reflection processes in the area of energy. Among the various tools of the SFRI, the Alliances coordinate research, proposing a joint R&I policy and fostering synergies.
  
IFPEN is one of the four founding members of Ancre (the French National Alliance for Energy Research Coordination), along with the CEA, the CNRS and the CPU (French Conference of University Vice-Chancellors). Since it was created five years ago, Ancre has created networks that have developed R&D programs making it possible to overcome scientific, technological or societal obstacles.
  
IFPEN is actively involved in Ancre’s CVT (Theme-based Technology Transfer Consortium), responsible for conducting economic intelligence studies in fields relating to strategic technological transfer.
     
IFPEN is also a member of AllEnvi (the French National Alliance for Environment Research), participating in three working groups, in the fields of:

  • water sciences,
  • sustainable chemistry,
  • and environmental assessment.

The funding agencies – ANR (The French National Research Agency) and Ademe (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) – are another major pillar of the SFRI. Another of their objectives is to link together the potential partners of identified research projects.
  
IFPEN took part in the Futurprod “Future production systems” ARP (Forward thinking workshop) aimed at selecting new production system models for profitable and environmentally-friendly industry. On the basis of this preliminary forecasting work, in 2014, the ANR is conducting a research program specifically focusing on production systems and industrial renewal. IFPEN has been appointed as the expert partner for two of the five components of the program.

 

A joint construction approach

The implementation of research partnerships is central to the approach advocated by the SFRI. These are promoted by various tools, which IFPEN has been involved in since their creation in 2006.
  
For example, IFPEN has long been very committed to the success of competitiveness clusters. It is a founding member of the Axelera competitiveness cluster (specializing in chemistry and the environment in Rhône-Alpes), leader of a program at the Lyon Transport and Mobility Systems competitiveness cluster (urban transport), and is one of the governing bodies of the System@tic cluster (digital technologies).
      
In addition, IFPEN is an active member of other clusters, including Tenerrdis, Industrie et Agro-Ressources, ASTech Paris Région and Aerospace Valley.
     
Based on the results of an assessment of these clusters conducted in 2012, IFPEN suggests that they should be given a greater coordinating role with respect to the various tools of the SFRI. Moving from a “project factory” model to a “growth factory” model would allow clusters to drive the emergence of new economic sectors, going beyond the regional approach favored to date. The aim is for these sectors to pull in their wake a set of SMEs and micro-companies, in order to support their international development and help them grow into intermediate-sized companies.
   
In parallel, since 2006, IFPEN has been actively contributing to the vitality of the Instituts Carnot network, which aims to facilitate access to public research for SMEs. IFPEN Transports Energy Carnot Institute label covers all engine and fuel activities, as well as low-carbon energy generation processes.
  
Finally, IFPEN is involved in the Investments for the future program launched by the Government in 2010. As such, it is involved in several Institutes for the Energy Transition (ITE)(1), which bring together training institutions, research bodies and industry. The objective of these initiatives is to equip France with competitive economic networks in promising future sectors related to low-carbon energies. One of these initiatives is the Indeed project, led by IFPEN, which led to the creation of Ideel (Lyon institute of low-carbon energies and eco-technologies) in 2013.
      
IFPEN is also involved in projects led by other research bodies, including two Excellence Laboratories with Pierre and Marie Curie University and the Lyon PRES, further reinforcing its longstanding collaboration with these two entities.

 

(1) Former excellence institutes in the field of low-carbon energies (IEED).


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