Report on the Fourth IRT Forum

The Fourth IRT Forum was hosted by IRT SystemX at EDF Lab Paris-Saclay’s new facility in Palaiseau.

Throughout the morning, some of France’s major research and innovation stakeholders took the stage in a series of presentations and panel talks, sharing their insights into the IRTs before an audience of 350 attendees.

The event highlighted the four core values shared by the country’s eight IRTs—teamwork, creativity, agility, and results—as they work to bring long-term research value to their local innovation ecosystems.

This year’s Forum was marked by a special event: the IRTs signed a partnership agreement with the Instituts Carnot network. The two networks will leverage the new partnership to revitalize public-private R&D to help businesses more effectively respond to the major technological and societal challenges they are facing in today’s global economy.

Forum-IRT System X, Saclay, Edf-Azur, le 18/10/16

The eight IRTs, set up under France’s economic stimulus package, share a common goal: to drive technology research in France by providing all of the country’s local ecosystems with the research and innovation they need to remain competitive on French and international markets.


In just four years, the IRTs have carved out a position as sources for innovation and have earned recognition as fully-operational world-class resources and agile contributors to industrial, economic, and societal advances in France.

The IRTs’ mission is to foster joint R&D projects between publicly-funded research organizations and private-sector businesses to address shared research challenges using pooled research resources. The goals are to set up R&D partnerships at the early stage to facilitate knowledge transfer; to promote knowledge creation by breaking down the traditional silos that separate different disciplines; to achieve excellence and produce innovations in high-growth industries in which France is seeking a position of global leadership; to bolster the local ecosystems anchored by the clusters to support competitive products and services and create value and jobs; and to help recent graduates find jobs by providing them with training at world-class facilities and giving them the skills they need to meet business’ identified recruitment needs.

“The IRTs are proving that their original, unique model is effectively shaping France’s innovation ecosystem. The IRTs are committed to meeting all of their members’ needs and are well on their way to positioning France as a leader in the country’s flagship industries. Above all, the IRTs are working together toward the common goal of making the biggest impact they can on tomorrow’s R&D, both in France and beyond. They are doing this by broadening access to IRT innovations through successful public-private partnerships and projects involving several different IRTs,” said Vincent Marcatté, President, Association of French Institutes of Technology (FIT).

Watch the recording of the Forum at: