Published on March 26, 2021

La Poste and Inria join forces to accelerate responsible digital innovation for the benefit of society

La Poste, a leader in local services and digital trust, and Inria, the French National Institute for Computer Science, announce the signature of a partnership aimed at helping to enhance France’s digital sovereignty. The goal is to accelerate innovation in trusted digital technologies and make them more environmentally friendly.

This partnership, that also involves the Fondation Inria, support Inria's research activities, while helping La Poste to innovate further in digital trust, artificial intelligence and eHealth. This partnership also includes supporting Inria’s tech entrepreneurship programme and aiding the development of their IT engineers and researchers.

La Poste and Inria are seeking to work together to develop trusted and responsible digital solutions as the digitisation of society continues apace.

Through this partnership, which will run for an initial period of 3 years, La Poste is keen to support French research into digital technology and science. Around twenty or so Inria teams will be given the opportunity to carry out research alongside experts from the La Poste group operating in these areas.

The strategic partnership entered into by La Poste, Inria and the Fondation Inria is based on common values and a shared ambition to strengthen France’s digital sovereignty.

A collaboration focused on digital trust

La Poste recently published its strategic plan “La Poste 2030 - committed for you”, in which it identified digital technologies as one of their key areas for development, and are seeking to consolidate its role as a trusted digital third-party, in particular through its Docaposte subsidiary.

The partnership with Inria will strengthen its capacity for innovation in digital trust services, while reflecting a willingness on the part of the group to become more open to partnerships and to operating within an ecosystem.

Three research and development topics

Three scientific topics have been identified for the partners to work together on :

  • Developing responsible uses of digital services

    The aim is to identify ways of reconciling the digital transformation of society and environmental protection through concepts such as the sustainability by design of digital services.

  • Building a trusted digital ecosystem for businesses and citizens

    Work will centre around data protection, cybersecurity and trust in algorithms (used for artificial intelligence) with a view to striking a balance between the “ethical” usage of anonymised data and privacy.

  • Easing health data usage to improve medicine care

    The focus will be on the conditions for using and processing health data while protecting patients’ privacy.

Supporting entrepreneurship and training

La Poste and Inria are keen to strengthen existing ties between research and entrepreneurship. Within the group’s priority development sectors, La Poste will support Inria Startup Studio in its aim to launch 100 start-ups a year.

La Poste will also assist with the training of Inria engineers and researchers by offering jobs within the company. La Poste will be able to offer career opportunities to Inria experts looking to move into the corporate world.

Through the involvement of the Fondation Inria and its funding programmes for Inria initiatives (for research and innovation), this partnership is very much in keeping with the foundation’s motto “Bring Social Purpose to the Digital World”

Philippe Wahl, CEO of the La Poste group

“At La Poste, we are committed to digital trust, and through our new strategic plan “La Poste 2030 - Committed for you”, are looking to support society in its digital transition. I am proud to launch this collaboration with Inria, a world-renowned centre for research into computer science with whom we share the same commitment for general interest and the same vision of helping to enhance France’s digital sovereignty through ethical and responsible digital technologies. The work carried out within the context of this partnership will help to anticipate any future technological breakthroughs and will act as a catalyst for innovation in response to the expectations of society and our clients.”

Bruno Sportisse, Inria CEO and President of the Fondation Inria

“The ability to control our digital destiny has become a necessity. This will involve mobilising an ecosystem of stakeholders who want to establish our digital sovereignty, in all its forms - for citizens, for businesses and for France within a European dynamic. I am delighted with this partnership with La Poste, who share the same values as Inria, the French National Institute for Computer Science. It was only logical for the Fondation Inria, whose motto is “to give meaning to digital”, to be involved in this partnership in order to support research projects and entrepreneurial projects. With La Poste, we share the ambition to build a digital society centred around trust and innovation.”

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