Strengthening Canada-France research collaboration: MOU marks new horizon for Waterloo research partnerships with France

Friday, April 28, 2023

A long-term collaboration with academic partners across France has culminated in a memorandum of understanding between the University of Waterloo and Inria — France’s National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology.

The MOU was signed on April 26, 2023 by Charmaine Dean, Vice-President, Research and International at the University of Waterloo, and Cécile Vigouroux, Director of International Relations at the National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology. French Minister of Higher Education and Research Sylvie Retailleau and Ambassador Michel Miraillet were also in attendance.

“I am delighted that the University of Waterloo has signed a memorandum of understanding with L’Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique (Inria),” Charmaine Dean said. “We take immense pride in our international collaborations and the MOU we are signing today outlines a framework for further cooperation between Inria and Waterloo in order to explore possibilities for collaboration on research activities.”

photo of the University of Waterloo–France delegation

Delegation from France and Waterloo senior leaders and researchers stand together after a memorandum of understanding between the University of Waterloo and Inria was signed.

Photo credit: Office of Research (both photos)

Waterloo has strategically collaborated with the University of Bordeaux, also a partner of INRIA, for more than 10 years and has been growing relationships with research partners and institutions across France during the last decade. INRIA is an excellent partner for Waterloo and Canada given its focus on developing international collaborations and existing alignment with a number of French universities and mutual research interests in information and communications technologies, applied mathematics and computational modelling, along with artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, quantum computing, human-computer interaction, robotics, networks and security. 

photo of Raouf Boutaba at Waterloo-Inria MOU signingInria is a leading organization with values similar to Waterloo’s, and this partnership means Waterloo will also benefit from Inria’s connection to the French National Centre for Scientific Research, which is internationally recognized for excellence in scientific research.

The foundation for this partnership can be credited to Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science (standing in photo), who recognized the benefits of collaborating and championing partnerships between researchers at Waterloo and French institutions.

Recently, Cheriton School of Computer Science Professor Edith Law and Professor Hélène Sauzéon at the University of Bordeaux were awarded funding to create an associate team at Inria.

The research consortium — titled Curiosity-driven Learning Across the Lifespan, or CuriousTech for short — will be directed by CS Professor Edith Law and Psychology Professor Myra Fernandes at Waterloo, along with Professors Hélène Sauzéon and Pierre-Yves Oudeyer at the Inria Centre at the University of Bordeaux.

Learn more about the memorandum of understanding between the University of Waterloo and Inria on Waterloo News.


Waterloo–Inria Associate Teams and International Research Chairs

NetMSS — NETwork Monitoring and Service orchestration for Softwarized networks
2018–2020; renewed 2022–2024
NetMSS is an Associate Team formed between Inria RESIST and the University of Waterloo focusing on network softwarization and network security. NetMSS is led by Jérôme François, Inria Research scientist, and by Raouf Boutaba, Professor at the Cheriton School of Computer Science. Professor Raouf Boutaba also held an Inria International Research Chair (2017–2022) attached to Inria RESIST at Nancy Grand-Est.

Loki
2018–2020
Loki’s research explored original ideas, fundamental knowledge, and practical tools to inspire, inform and support the design of human-computer interactions. The late Professor Edward Lank held an Inria International Research Chair attached to the Loki team at the Inria Centre at the University of Lille.

Symbolic
2022–2024
Cheriton School of Computer Science Professor Éric Schost is the Waterloo principal investigator on Symbolic, an Inria Associate Team focusing on symbolic computation research.

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