One of the four "Interdisciplinary Institutes for Artificial Intelligence" in France

3IA Côte d'Azur is one of the four "Interdisciplinary Institutes for Artificial Intelligence" that were created in France in 2019. Its ambition is to create an innovative ecosystem that is influential at the local, national and international level. The 3IA Côte d'Azur institute is led by Université Côte d'Azur in partnership with major higher education and research partners in the region of Nice and Sophia Antipolis: CNRS, Inria, INSERM, EURECOM, and SKEMA Business School. The 3IA Côte d'Azur institute is also supported by ECA, Nice University Hospital Center (CHU Nice), CSTB, CNES, Data Science Tech Institute and INRA. The project has also secured the support of more than 62 companies and start-ups. 


 

Members of 3IA Côte d'Azur

 

Governance

Executive Committee

The management is ensured by the director assisted by an executive director, a scientific director and a deputy scientific director. This Executive Committee makes all the decisions, after consulting with the restricted steering committee.

 

Institute Councils

The Restricted Steering Committee

The Restricted steering committee is a key body: It includes the representatives of the partner institutions and meets every two weeks to discuss the strategic orientations and the actions of the Institute. In an extended form (Extended Steering Committee), it includes all the structures involved in the Institute (such as labs or graduate schools) and other representatives of the ecosystem. This extended committee meets twice a year to give advice on the Institute’s positioning within the overall UCA community policy.

The Scientific Council

The Scientific Council led by the Scientific Director. Its mission is to give advice on the scientific and training program, and to referee the selection of new Chairs, doctoral students and postdocs.

The Local Coordination Committee

A monthly Local Coordination Committee led by the director of 3IA brings together all the public actors of the Region such as local authorities, industrial network representatives, the MIA, and the observatory OTESIA and coordinates AI-related activities in the region.

The Industrial Council

The Industrial Council composed of representatives of partner companies and clusters. This council is headed jointly by the Institute's director and by a representative of a partner company.

The Advisory Committee

An Advisory Committee should be set up in 2022. It will be composed of members external to the consortium and will include at least 1/3 of industry representatives. The constitution of this committee will match the strategic committee of the UCA community. This committee is expected to meet once a year to give its opinion on the Institute's orientations.

 

Operational level

At an operational level, the Executive Committee is assisted by those in charge of specific actions: a project manager for all the Institute's activities, two coordinators for relations with companies, a training coordinator, and a digital communication officer. The members of the Executive Committee and the people in charge of actions meet regularly to discuss the strategy implementation. 
A seminar was also organized in 2021 for all Members staff involved in implementing the project (more than 50 people) at the initiative of the Institute for the purpose of strenghtening the sense of belonging, reinforcing coordination aroud the project and reflecting on actions undertaken together.

Administrative and financial coordination unit

An administrative and financial coordination unit headed by the executive director of 3IA shares information with the administration of partner institutions: rules for the use of resources and recruitment; legal documents (consotium agreements, conventions, etc.); organization of the declaration of expenses for reimbursement and financial statements and monitoring of the project progress indicators.

Business Relations Coordination Unit

A Business Relations Coordination Unit, headed by the 3IA coordinators,meets regurlarly to monitor the Institute's relations and contracts with its partners. A common CRM tool has been set up for this purpose. This Unit also supervises and coordinates the Techpool's activity.

Training coordinator

The follow-up of training courses and students is ensured by the Training coordinator of the Institute in collaboration with the partner institutions and the components of Université Côte d'Azur. A pedagogical engineer has recently been hired to strengthen the 3IA student network.

 

Budget

Partners’ contributions to the overall budget

The overall budget of the Institute was €49.5M over 4 years when the project was approved. With SKEMA joining the consortium, the global budget now amounts to €51.5M, broken down as follows:

  • €19.5M will be contributed by the public partner institutions
  • €16M is expected to be funded by the French State through the ANR. Of the €16M funded by the ANR, €4M is conditional on the justification of contributions valued at 16 M€ by the partner companies, €4M of which must be in cash.

Budget strategy

69 % of the overall budget has been committed to date, which demonstrates progress in line with the initial roadmap.

HR expenses, the largest budget item, were committed during the first year of the project so that the activity of the Chairs could start quickly.

The recruitment of doctoral students and postdocs as well as the bonuses of the Chairs are financed from the PIA grant. Operating packages, co-financed by the PIA and by the partner institutions, are made available to the Chairs each year. 

Other resources will be financed by contributions of the industrial partners as defined in the contracts. At the start of the project, 62 companies supported 3IA Côte d'Azur by committing to carry out collaborative research and development projects with the Institute for a total estimated amount of €18.7M. To date, 3IA Côte d'Azur is in contact with more than 140 companies for actual or planned collaborations. 57 collaboration contracts have been signed with companies, bringing in more than €4.27M in cash to the Members. At the end of 2021, the investment of these companies for these contracts is more than €10.8M. The potential investment of companies is estimated at 19M by 2023. In order to further increase the momentum, the Institute plans to set up an incentive system for researchers who engage in collaborations with companies. This system will be financed by the resources provided by the companies.