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Artificial intelligence: partnership agreement between Université Côte d'Azur and Canada

On Wednesday, March 27, in Quebec City, Université Côte d'Azur, Université Laval (Quebec), the Sophia Antipolis Urban Community and the Department of the Alpes Maritimes signed an agreement to cooperate on artificial intelligence. The purpose of this partnership is to create a strategic alliance with Canada and develop a transatlantic international and academic cooperation in the field of artificial intelligence and digital transformation. This collaboration, which will include permanent exchanges, work sessions and meetings, should boost research on these two topics, and lead to new applications with a significant societal impact.

Publication : 30/04/2019
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The agreement is the outgrowth of the work carried out by the four entities as part of the call for expression of interest in creating an Interdisciplinary Institute of Artificial Intelligence (3IA) issued by the French government to support and develop artificial intelligence.

For Université Côte d'Azur and Université Laval, this agreement is also cementing the close partnership that has united the two institutions since 2017.

Jean-Marc Gambaudo, President of Université Côte d'Azur, points out: "Université Laval is the preferred partner of Université Côte d'Azur in artificial intelligence. Université Laval is a model in this respect that can serve as an example for our institutional partners. Université Laval has introduced dynamic initiatives in the field of artificial intelligence. What they have achieved, both in basic research and in the field of health applications, with the Pulsar program, is an inspiration for us. The closer partnership between UL and UCA in the field of artificial intelligence is one of the main drivers of the strategic development needed to deal with this key issue of the 21st century. But this vision cannot be limited to universities, because it concerns us all. That is why we are also partnering with the Department of Alpes Maritimes and CASA to work horizontally with different stakeholders, which is a unique approach in France."

For Sophie Damours, Rector of Université Laval, "The challenges of artificial intelligence are global, and competition is fierce between countries to be leaders in this field. We need to join forces and recognize the specific niche of each one of us in a broader partnership. Université Laval is proud to contribute by studying and conducting research on the societal impact of artificial intelligence. With this partnership, we have everything we need to spearhead international research in a responsible way. Our union is promising. The exchanges, meetings and missions held over these last months have confirmed the partners' desire to invest in this agreement and promote our vision of artificial intelligence."

For Jean-Pierre Mascarelli, Vice-President of the Sophia-Antipolis Urban Community: "Sophia-Antipolis, one of the most important technopoles in Europe, is the heart and thrust of the Urban Community. Its growth is a source of envy: 2,200 companies, 38,000 jobs, more than 1,000 additional jobs created each year, and higher revenue than tourism on the Côte d'Azur. I came to Laval University 22 years ago to sign an agreement, but the situation was very different from today because, at the time, we simply shared a common interest. Today, our partnership is much closer, we are sharing our skills and our strengths, especially in AI, and the CASA that I represent, with its President Jean Leonetti, is very happy to be here in Laval to sign this commitment for the future."

For Charles-Ange Ginesy, President of the Alpes Maritimes Department: "The digital revolution we are witnessing today is a major challenge for our society. In just a few years, new technologies have entered our daily lives and have changed the way we live. That's why I wanted to launch a major digital action plan, the SMART Deal, to make the Alpes Maritimes Department a leader in this field and more specifically in artificial intelligence. With the President of Université Côte d'Azur, Jean-Marc Gambaudo, we are working together to ensure that our two institutions and other partners will be able to build the Departmental House of Artificial Intelligence in the heart of Sophia-Antipolis. Many collaborations are underway, notably on aspects of training, acculturation and education with respect to digital challenges."