At its general meeting held on 29 April 2020, the FIT (French Institutes of Technology) association approved a change to its articles of association enabling it to welcome the 8 ITEs (Energy Transition Institutes) as members alongside the 8 IRTs (Technology Research Institutes). It is the result of a rapprochement strategy initiated two years ago by the French government. VEDECOM ITE Managing Director Philippe Watteau has just been appointed Deputy Secretary General.

Two new posts created to assist with the ITEs’ integration into the FIT structure

The FIT (French Institute of Technology) is the association created in 2015 by France’s Technology Research Institutes (IRTs) to improve the attractiveness of their public-private model at national and international level, promote dialogue between them and extend their reach. In 2019, at the French government’s request, it expanded to incorporate the ITEs after a rapprochement process lasting nearly a year and a half. Pending changes to the FIT, the ITEs were welcomed as “invited members”. To complete this now-confirmed integration and provide better representation of the ITEs within the organisation, the FIT has just created two new governance positions for two representatives from the ITEs.

A second vice-president’s position and a second secretarial position have been created. VEDECOM Managing Director Philippe Watteau thus becomes the Deputy Secretary General of the association, alongside Stéphane Cassereau, CEO of the Jules Verne IRT. The new Bureau was confirmed during a virtual General Meeting held on 29 April 2020. The new members, in consequence of their new functions, will also be ex officio members of the “Bureau of Managing Directors”, comprising 3 IRT directors and 3 ITE directors.

A rapprochement intended to lend significant extra power and influence to the French Institutes

Created from the French government’s Future Investment Plan, the IRTs and ITEs share the same fundamental principles regarding integrated multi-partner research, and the same commitment to bringing industrial and academic players together to find answers to major economic, social and environmental challenges by means of innovation, and operational and structural models. With their 1,300 industrial partners and 640 academic partners, the IRTs and ITEs use their close relationship to improve their power and influence and develop their work in France and abroad. The 17 French institutes can already boast nearly 900 patents and software applications, some 3,700 scientific publications, 115 technology platforms and 730 technology transfers. They are involved in over 190 European projects, and aim to rival the major world institutes in terms of influence.

Four strategic directions are planned for the next three years, based on the development of sovereign technologies that have been proven in the field, the launch of transverse cross-sector initiatives, joint offers on a French regional level and increased momentum in European projects.

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