IRT Nanoelec is marking its first anniversary. The Grenoble-based technology research institute was one of six institutes nationwide to receive funding under the French government’s economic stimulus package. The institute is today a pillar of Grenoble’s renowned research ecosystem, which, thanks to MINATEC, has been Europe’s leading high-tech hub since 2005. The institute’s next objective is to become one of the world’s top-three centers for micro and nanotechnology research. In addition to research activities, the institute will also host educational programs (with financing of €24.45 million for 2012–2019) run jointly by Grenoble Institute of Technology and Grenoble Ecole de Management.
IRT Nanoelec has set ambitious, yet pragmatic goals for its educational programs:
- Get more young people interested in careers in electronics
- Enroll more students and provide them with more advanced training in new technologies
- Facilitate access to research materials that are difficult to obtain or that are located far away
- Broaden the range of skills available locally to bolster Grenoble’s legendary capacity to disseminate technological innovations
- Improve career placement and ensure that students have the skills businesses really need to support their strategies
About the IRTs
IRTs (or Instituts de Recherche Technologiques) are thematic, interdisciplinary technology research institutes that bring together publicly-funded research and industrial R&D. The institutes provide a structure for joint public-private investment in research, education, and innovation. Their goal is to help France strengthen the ecosystems established by the country’s competitive clusters and achieve excellence in scientific and technological fields deemed crucial to tomorrow’s economy and society.
Stakeholders and funding
Plans for the IRT Nanoelec project were submitted jointly by the Minalogic global competitive cluster, research institute CEA-Leti, and semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics. Educational institutions Grenoble Institute of Technology, Grenoble Ecole de Management, Inria, Grenoble University (UJF), the CNRS, and large research instruments ILL and ESRF also contributed. The submission was backed unanimously by regional and local government agencies (the Rhône-Alpes regional government, the lsère General Council, the City of Grenoble, the Greater Grenoble Intermunicipal Authority, and SMTC, Grenoble’s transportation authority) and garnered the support of major manufacturers like STMicroelectronics, Mentor Graphics, Soitec, PRESTO, Schneider Electric, Bouygues, INEO, and JESSICA.
IRT Nanoelec represents a total investment of €460 million over ten years, 50% of which comes from the private sector. The institute houses three major research programs: the Core Technology Program (€310 million), the Technology Transfer Program (€70 million), and the Education Program (€24.45 million). The institute’s IRT status marks the creation of a new end-to-end innovation model – a major step forward in public-private partnerships.