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History of Inria

Bernard Larrouturou: a period of expansion

Bernard Larrouturou © INRIA / F. Jannin

A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique, Bernard Larrouturou showed a certain non-conformism by joining the bridges corps rather than the mines corps, the traditional destination of graduates of his alma mater (1980).

With a specialist postgraduate diploma in numerical analysis (Paris VI University, 1983), he became a junior research scientist at Inria (Sophia Antipolis, 1983). Senior research scientist on the Numerical Simulation in Engineering Sciences project (1987-1989), he also taught applied mathematics at the Ecole Polytechnique. He submitted his PhD thesis in 1987 (Mathematical study and numerical modelling of combustion phenomena ) and obtained his habilitation to advise doctoral theses in 1990. He also taught and led research at Cermics (centre for education and research on computer modelling and scientific computing). A first-rate computer science researcher, his awards include the Prix Laplace in 1980, and the Prix Peccot and Prix Blaise Pascal in 1989.

Inria was recognised as a central part of the national research system in 1995, just before Bernard Larrouturou took charge of the institute on 24 April 1996. Conscious of the increasing importance of the Internet and new ICT in research, but also, more importantly, in civil society, he set out his thoughts in a forward-looking essay entitled "Inria 2007 …. Inria in ten years' time ". His period in charge of the institute was one of expansion. The institute entered a period of prosperity, with a significant increase in its resources, both human and financial. This new era culminated in the signature of a four-year plan between Inria and the State. Bernard Larrouturou reaffirmed the contribution that Inria should make to meeting the big scientific and technology transfer challenges of our time. In 1998, he created Inria-Transfert, appointing Laurent Kott as Director.  In 1997, convinced that Inria must have a resolutely international outlook, he took charge of ERCIM, the European Research Consortium on Informatics and Mathematics.

At the height of this period of expansion, in July 2003, Bernard Larrouturou was appointed Chairman of the CNRS, leaving Rocquencourt, with its new building designed by Henri Ciriani, for Rue Michel-Ange.

Keywords: Applied Mathematics Inria Internet Transfer ERCIM