Published on 19 March 2018

Monday 19 March 2018 – the government is extending the IdEx Paris-Saclay project which is “nearing its goal”. This sanctions both the relevance of the defined strategy as well as the means allocated to UPSaclay to “convert the try” as planned, at the latest in 30 months. Université Paris-Saclay is thus maintaining its course and a new institution will be created in January 2020.

Université Paris-Sud, Université d’Evry Val-d’Essonne, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Ecole CentraleSupélec, Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, Institut d’Optique Graduate School, AgroParisTech, Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques as well as the CNRS, CEA, Inra, Inria, Inserm and Onera constitute Université Paris-Saclay.

As such, Université Paris-Saclay is a higher education institute of a new kind, based on the synergy and collective strengths of institutions that represent the best of French Higher Education and Research.

Together, we represent some 275 leading joint research units (UMR – Unité Mixte de Recherche) i.e. 15 % of French research, 11 laboratories of excellence, 4,600 PhD students (13% of French potential), 65,000 students of which 9,000 in Master’s programmes, and a potential for innovation of over a hundred start-ups.

Today’s decision shows the State’s trust in this new model, embodied by Université Paris-Saclay, a world-class, modern and humanist university of research, aware of the issues of today’s society.

This is the message that was conveyed to the visiting committee in the February meetings with the numerous communities of our partner institutions – students, faculty, scientists, and administrative staff alike. This was also the message conveyed by the five heads of institutions representing the strongly committed community, in the course of the oral presentation that took place on Tuesday 13 March in front of the jury.

Gilles Bloch, President of Université Paris-Saclay

“We are overjoyed by this decision. It confirms the relevance of the vision we carry and underlines the ambitious work we are carrying out together”, says Gilles Bloch, President of Université Paris-Saclay.

Vincent Berger, Director of fundamental research at the CEA

Vincent Berger, Director of fundamental research at the CEA, adds: “The CEA fully contributes to the construction of French higher education and research. CEA researchers sign their work under ‘Université Paris-Saclay’, even when they are not part of a joint research unit because this contributes to the visibility of the project which, in turn, increases their own visibility, for student recruitment for instance. We are an integral part of this environment and, as such, we are fully committed to increasing its attractiveness. It is also in our own interest. In the same way, from now on, our strategy of fundamental research and equipment is being developed jointly with our Université Paris-Saclay partners.”

Hervé Biausser, General Director of CentraleSupélec

Hervé Biausser, General Director of CentraleSupélec, said: “It is with great satisfaction that we welcome the validation of the project by the international jury. All together, we can, from this point onwards, continue to commit fully to the construction of Université Paris-Saclay. The experimentation period will enable us to build a flexible and original model, which is up to our expectations and beneficial for all. This is what CentraleSupélec is fully committed to doing, drawing on its areas of excellence embodied by its professionalizing education, its close ties to the industry, and its presence on the international stage.”

Alain Bui, President of Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines

Alain Bui, President of Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, adds: “The validation of the IdEx for Université Paris-Saclay is great news for our university community. The international jury’s decision confirms the quality of the project, which associates both universities, grandes écoles and research institutes. It also bodes well for our ranking among the best higher education institutes of the world. The great quality of training and research at UVSQ in many areas will actively contribute to the success of the Paris-Saclay project."

Bertrand Braunschweig, Director of the Inria Saclay-Île-de-France research centre

“The Inria, through its Saclay Île-de-France research centre, will be a founding institution of Université Paris Saclay. The Saclay site is key in the areas of information technology and applied mathematics. Several of the 14 members who will make up the university are historical partners of the centre which has been on the plateau for ten years. The investment made by Inria will not only materialize through joint research and technology transfer actions, thanks to our contribution to digital sciences education, but also by the establishment of the Institute headquarters in Palaiseau in a few years. As such, we are glad to see this long-term project come into being and are determined to increase our actions in the future”, adds Bertrand Braunschweig, Director of the Inria Saclay-Île-de-France research centre.

Patrick Curmi, President of Université d’Evry-Val d’Essonne

According to Patrick Curmi, President of Université d’Evry Val-d’Essonne: “This decision recognises the hard work relentlessly carried out by the communities, which are committed to the creation of knowledge of the highest level, and are determined to share them for the profit of France and towards the success and welfare of future generations. This qualification is an honour and adds to our reputation. It reinforces our trust in the future.”

Professor Yves Lévy, CEO of Inserm

“We are delighted by the jury’s decision which recognizes the efforts made these past years by the Université Paris-Saclay community. This innovative and multi-disciplinary environment is, in fact, a key asset for biomedical research and for the research units that partner with Inserm in this field”, explains Professor Yves Lévy, CEO of Inserm.

Jean-Louis Martin, General Director of the Institut d’Optique Graduate School

“The confirmation of the IdEx Paris-Saclay by the international jury is a testimony to the quality of work and the perseverance of partner members for ten years. During this period, the IOGS has been fully involved in the emergence of Université Paris-Saclay which marks the beginning of a new era in the governance of a university which combines the assets of universities and grandes écoles. The building of a common future which takes into account the culture of each member provides the right conditions to the development of Université Paris-Saclay on the best international level”, applauds Jean-Louis Martin, General Director of the Institut d’Optique Graduate School.

Philippe Mauguin, CEO of the Inra

“Like all great French institutions of research, the Inra has been strongly committed, from the start, alongside the écoles and universities, to the building of this new environment which will stand at the cutting-edge of worldwide research and innovation. The jury’s decision recognises both the work accomplished but also, and above all, the exceptional potential of UPSaclay”, adds Philippe Mauguin, CEO of the Inra.

Antoine Petit, CEO of the CNRS

Antoine Petit, CEO of the CNRS, underlines that “this decision is excellent news. It rewards the efforts of a major site for the CNRS and can only reinforce the attractiveness of Université Paris Saclay on the world stage.”

Sylvie Retailleau, President of Université Paris-Sud

Sylvie Retailleau, President of Université Paris-Sud, states that “we are excited to continue the Idex Université Paris-Saclay project. The integration of Université Paris-Sud in 2020 will be the next big step in the outstanding collective work towards the construction of a new university of the 21st century. The certification by the State of this Initiative of excellence will thus confirm the relevance and the strength of this model.”

Bruno Sainjon, Chairman of the ONERA

Bruno Sainjon, Chairman of the ONERA, says: “The confirmation of the IdEx is excellent news that encourages the ONERA in the opening of its themes of research to its Université Paris-Saclay partners. This also reinforces its will to increase the visibility of spatial and aeronautical targets within UPSaclay.”

Gilles Trystram, General Director of AgroParisTech

According to Gilles Trystram, General Director of AgroParisTech, “This is truly great news which pays tribute to the work and commitment of the community as a whole. It is an important step. We must continue to work together towards the creation of synergy that will consolidate the university and increase its outreach along with its institutions and thematic areas of research.”

Emmanuel Ullmo, Director of the IHES

Emmanuel Ullmo, Director of the IHES, applauds “the trust that the IdEx jury has put in our project. IHES will stand alongside its partners in the construction of a world-class university, which is research intensive and mindful of its societal responsibility.”

Pierre-Paul Zalio, President of the ENS Paris-Saclay

For the ENS Paris-Saclay, its President, Pierre-Paul Zalio, adds: “This reinforces our determination to define our mission as part of a University that will be, in all areas, exceptional. Now that we have passed this milestone, we can focus on the future with equanimity – establish and reinvent the ENS on the Université Paris-Saclay campus.”

Université Paris-Saclay is the result of the strong determination by the heads of institutions and the strong commitment of the community of personnel and students that have been carrying this project with conviction for several years. Together, we have built an ambitious course and have already reached key results in all areas (education, research, innovation, campus life, creation of a common brand, international attractiveness…) all the while keeping in mind students and their success, both in France and abroad.

The trust of the jury and the State reinforces our joint determination to blend the best of French Higher Education and Research institutions in order to create Université Paris-Saclay and guarantee its international outreach.