The progress made in terms of research efforts within the various schools in the Group has been significant in recent years and is recognised as such. Despite this, it is not always easy to enter a complex field that requires particularly heavy investments for a group that is self-sufficient.
Research is what determines the reputation of a Grande Ecole. It promotes a mindset built on tenacity, commitment and excellence. In order to solve the difficult equation of resources and ambition, we favour partnerships with institutions that are renowned for their dynamism and their desire to engage in research that reflects societal concerns. Research is also the driving force behind innovative companies, who know that they can count on our involvement and first and foremost on that of our teachers, our lecturing researchers, our students and our resources.
The research undertaken at the schools in the IONIS Education Group adopts a multi-pronged approach. As well as academic research, partnership-based research and technology transfers take place in the fields of expertise of the respective establishments, particularly where our engineering schools (EPITA, ESME Sudria, IPSA and Sup'Biotech) are concerned, and various projects are undertaken based on partnerships we have formed with renowned institutions.
Competitiveness clusters were created by the public authorities in 2004 and comprise companies, research centres and training bodies that are committed to a partnership-based approach to implementing a joint development strategy and capitalising on any synergies that might exist in the framework of innovative projects. Our schools belong to a number of clusters, reflecting their respective specialisations.
«Innovation is vital in the field of biotechnologies, and research is the first link in the innovation chain. Young professionals with a basic grounding in this field will be able to transform their findings into industrial applications, which is why we are keen to emphasise the importance of research at Sup'Biotech whilst developing a technological platform that provides a basis for several research laboratories: the laboratory for innovative student projects and the laboratories for practical biological and bioproduction work respectively. The research conducted at Sup'Biotech is also intended to support educational innovation within the school. Finally, by developing our research programmes we are also training students in cutting-edge biotechnological techniques, as well as the thought processes associated with research. These applied and practical teaching sessions ensure that the skills students acquire at the school match the needs of the bio-industrial research sector. »
Our laboratories have established themselves within both the academic and industrial spheres. Some focus more on basic research and publishing at major international conferences or in scientific journals whilst others participate in national or even European projects and work with laboratories set up by various universities and companies on more practical matters that will more often than not lead to the launch of industrial products. They are also places where students can carry out work in the specialist fields about which they are passionate.
Based on the ISEG Group's firm belief that research is a source of development and visibility and that it continuously contributes to the improvement of both teaching programmes and management practices in the business world, the school created the Institute of Studies and Applied Research in Management (ISERAM) in 2004. One of the institute's primary aims is to provide a scientific and critical interpretation of the current economic and managerial situations and to develop scientific knowledge in connection with the contemporary issues that organisations are facing. Reflecting its multidisciplinary collaborative approach, the ISERAM comprises researchers and PhD students belonging to the ISEG Business & Finance School's permanent teaching body, along with associate researchers and professionals, who help to steer the research work carried out in light of their own experiences in the field. The work conducted at the research centre can be categorised into one of the following three major fields:
The Bioinformatics Research Laboratory (BIRL) is designed to introduce students to new avenues of research in the biotechnologies industry. It provides an interface between computer science and biotechnologies, disciplines that combine biology with computer chemistry for the purposes of cross-disciplinary applied research projects, from health to the environment, genomics to therapeutic molecules.
Every May, ESME Sudria organises a symposium at the school aimed at showcasing the best Research & Development projects undertaken by its 5th-year students to companies, other students at the school and their families. The event sees the students concerned present their internal projects, which are sometimes combined with their final placements and are developed within the school's laboratories under the watchful eye of lecturing researchers and professors. Around a dozen or so projects are presented at the Symposium, which is held every year in the form of a scientific conference.
The school boasts three main research laboratories operating in different fields. The Research and Development Laboratory (LRDE) lies at the crossroads of research, development and education. EPITA's Systems Laboratory (LSE) and Institute of Computing Innovation (3IE) focus on applied research, in conjunction with various companies and institutions.
The school's laboratories have developed a community of enthusiasts who share and apply their expertise in the creation of ground-breaking technological solutions. They give students the opportunity to develop efficient projects involving a team of experienced researchers and offer companies high-level expertise with a technical input and an interpersonal aspect. They deal in particular with the following fields: systems and security (LSE), applied research (ACSEL), video games (GameDev Lab), R&D in Apple technologies (LabMac), open source (LAB'FREE), security (Epitech Security Lab), electronics and mechatronics (LAB'ELEC), and Microsoft technologies (MSLAB), among others.
IPSA is a partner of the Aeronautics and Astronautics Association of France (3AF). Together the two organisations work to promote and propagate the aeronautical culture. With this in mind, IPSA also organises a conference every year that is open to all, with each edition based on a different theme and providing an opportunity for both students and guests to reflect and to look ahead to the future.
Sup'Biotech, meanwhile, has been working with the Institut Pasteur for a number of years now on creating and promoting a series of videos entitled Ils font avancer la recherche ('They are furthering research') and aimed at the general public.
EPITA, a major player in the cybersecurity sector
As a pioneer of teaching in the field of computer security, EPITA trains the top French experts in cybersecurity through a number of educational initiatives:
A variety of innovative projects are developed within the various research clusters, stimulating creativity and promoting reflection in connection with the outside world. These projects also motivate our students by recognising the relevance of what our schools do.
This type of activity involves a series of partnerships between our schools and various players in the economic sphere and other institutions, whereby the laboratories belonging to the schools in the Group undertake certain R&D activities in their respective fields of expertise on behalf of these players. This has resulted in the development of a variety of projects! ESME Sudria is working with EDF R&D, PSA Peugeot Citroën, the SNCF and the DGA (the French government's arms procurement agency), whilst EPITA and Epitech boast laboratories dedicated to the Adobe, Apple and Microsoft technologies, and IPSA collaborates with major companies such as the CNES, Dassault Falcon Service, ALTRAN Technologies and AKKA Technologies, as well as with major universities such as the Ensma Poitier Pprime institute and Supélec's Laboratory of Signals and Systems and the University of Paris.
A team comprising three EPITA students and a graduate of the INSA Lyon finished in first place in a competition run by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in 2012 to support the creation of innovative companies with their WebShell project. The project consisted of a new programming language and a platform that made it possible to design applications with high levels of productivity. The award was accompanied by a €45,000 grant to help finalise the technological, legal and marketing aspects of the project. The project had already been in incubation with Incuballiance since November 2011 and also picked up 2nd prize at the Innovact Campus Awards 2012 and 1st prize at the Dataconnexions competition organised by Etalab.
EPITA is the leading educational partner of the Etalab mission, which was created by the French government in February 2011 with the primary aim of opening up public data and promoting the development of the ecosystem surrounding open data (calls for proposals, the setting up of a laboratory, etc.). With this in mind, two student projects were rewarded in the Open Data Campus competition: a simple interface that made it possible to combine data regarding the cultural consumption patterns of the French people, and an interactive display of data from the Minister of Education, Youth and Community Life in a three-dimensional space.
The research division of a management school must help fuel not only scientific debate but also educational innovation and a renewal of practices. Such contributions can primarily target students (educational case studies, manuals, etc.), practitioners (applied research, publications in professional journals, etc.) or the academic community (papers presented at symposiums or on reading committees, the publication of articles in classified reviews or works aimed at researchers, etc.).
With this in mind, ISG chose to structure its research team within the GrIIsG, which comprises 35 members of the school's permanent teaching body. This interdisciplinary body also comprises researchers lecturing in other fields, such as economics and law, who work in conjunction with management and administration specialists. The GrIIsG favours the avenues of research which reflect the ISG culture: entrepreneurship and market, management and innovation, and management and risks. Each of these three avenues offers opportunities for researchers from different backgrounds to collaborate with one another.
Epitech has been working with Airbus at a new laboratory known as the Airbus Innovation Cell Lab, located at Epitech Toulouse, within the framework of a partnership that has enabled representatives of the school to meet and collaborate with Airbus engineers. The Airbus Innovation Cell Lab spans all aspects of the manufacturer's business, from cutting-edge technology to new working methods and business models. Since the start of the 2011 academic year, nearly a dozen or so short-term projects have been completed, including functional demonstrators used notably by the aircraft manufacturer in its research activities.
Hercule is the first European exoskeleton, designed to assist in human movement and carry a load of 100kg at a walking pace of 5km/h. The project was funded by the French government's arms procurement agency (DGA) and developed over the space of over two years by French company RB3D, which specialises in movement assistance, in partnership with the robotics laboratory of the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and ESME Sudria.