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The DATAIA Institute receives the AI-Cluster label

Education Article published on 27 May 2024 , Updated on 30 May 2024

DATAIA is Université Paris-Saclay’s Institute for artificial intelligence. It is one of nine winning projects to be awarded the “AI-Cluster” label by the French government, which celebrates centres of research excellence in artificial intelligence.

As part of a drive to support the emergence of world-class clusters in artificial intelligence (AI), the training of future talents who can meet needs in AI is one the priorities set by the French government in its France 2030 investment plan. In 2023, a call for expressions of interest was launched as part of France’s national AI strategy, the winners of which were announced on Tuesday 21 May 2024 by Emmanuel Macron, the President of the French Republic. Nine centres of excellence for training and research in AI have been awarded the “AI-Cluster” label, receiving a total of 360 million euros in funding.

The DATAIA Institute is Université Paris-Saclay’s AI centre. Since 2017, it has played a key role in structuring the French AI research, education and innovation ecosystem. Among the nine winning laureates, the DATAIA Institute becomes the DATAIA Cluster, coordinated by Université Paris-Saclay. It has been awarded 20 million euros in funding.

At the very heart of Université Paris-Saclay, the DATAIA Cluster brings together 14 higher education institutions and research organisations, an external continuing education company (CentraleSupélec Exed), the Jacques Hadamard Mathematics Foundation (FMJH), and the Gustave Roussy Centre.

The DATAIA Cluster aims to achieve three objectives:

  • Develop an ambitious interdisciplinary programme, combining research and innovation, which is capable of tackling the economic and societal challenges linked to AI.
  • Train excellent students in AI from a wide range of top programmes, who are able to adapt to the professions of the future and pursue international horizons.
  • Create an agile cluster where research, training and innovation meet and interact, breaking down disciplinary barriers and which is capable of adapting to the rapid changes in the field of artificial intelligence.

“We are delighted that the work we carry out at the DATAIA Institute has been recognised for its excellence through the AI-Cluster label. The funding will allow us to deploy an ambitious research programme, through modular research chairs, coordinated by multiple stakeholders and involving researchers and industrial partners. It will allow us to develop innovative projects with jointly-supervised PhD theses, post-doctoral contracts and mobility exchanges with our international partners. The programme will explore core areas, such as AI and interdisciplinary AI, looking closely at AI in relation to mathematics, physics and medicine; areas in which Université Paris-Saclay is well established. In regards to training, our second objective is to train our top students in AI research and innovation, from undergraduate to Master’s levels. A wide range of programmes for teachers and the recruitment of associate professors from industry will also support the AI transformation of our programmes. We also plan to develop a programme open to international talents, which will be exceptional in terms of its appeal both at the university with scholarships and the PhD Track for top programmes, but also beforehand, to arouse interest among young generations in AI careers more generally,” said Frédéric Pascal, professor at CentraleSupélec and director of the DATAIA institute, Sarah Cohen-Boulakia, professor at Université Paris-Saclay and Frédéric Chazal, Inria research director, both deputy directors of the DATAIA institute.