The Institute puts the strengths of its laboratories to work on important transversal issues corresponding to national research priorities, including cybersecurity, AI and quantum computing among others.
High performance computing
High-performance computing for digital simulation and the processing of large amounts of data (also known intensive computing or high-performance data analysis) represents a strategic challenge for the production of new scientific knowledge. The scientific competitiveness and attractiveness of the CNRS and of the French academic community in general depend how this field is structured.
In all disciplines, intensive computing has become essential to produce new knowledge. The considerable resources it requires means many research actors are needed to work together.
The Institute for Development and Resources in Intensive Scientific Computing (Idris)
Idris is located on the Université Paris-Sud Orsay campus and is the CNRS's main centre for high-performance intensive numerical computing. This computing centre under the authority of the INS2I makes its exceptional IT resources available to the public sector scientific community. Since 2013, Idris has particularly been able to benefit from using the computing power of the Ada and Turing supercomputers. The 2019 launch of the Jean Zay supercomputer partly dedicated to Artificial Intelligence at Idris confirms the importance of developing powerful computing tools for all scientific disciplines.
The Computing–Data Mission (MiCaDo)
The INS2I plays a leading role in the Computing–Data Mission (MiCaDo) which implements CNRS policy on high-performance computing, grids, clouds and massive data infrastructures. MiCaDo particularly focuses on building a joint strategy with CNRS partners and ensuring this is coherent with national and international projects.
The Big National Equipment for Intensive Computing (Genci)
The INS2I works on developing its HPC strategy in collaboration with the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI), CEA, Inria and the Conference of University Presidents (CPU) in the framework of the Big National Equipment for Intensive Computing. This civil company ensures the project management of national computing resources, a Very Large Research Infrastructure (TGIR) located in three computing centres in Bruyères-le-Châtel (TGCC), Montpellier (CINES) and Orsay (Idris).
Artificial intelligence: knowledge is in the data and intelligence in the algorithms
Artificial intelligence has benefited from the development of information technology and recently experienced spectacular growth thanks to the development of new learning algorithms which use very large amounts of data and intensive computing architectures. Beyond learning which crystallizes hopes and questions, AI research covers a wide range of thematics with new fields of application such as robotics and human-machine interaction, autonomous vehicles, support for decision-making, control of and commanding complex industrial systems, personalized health, language processing and text analysis, etc.
The INS2I can draw on the support of a broad internationally visible community and is one of the main partners in national initiatives launched around AI, both in terms of scientific management, structuring and the development of AI-specific computing infrastructures.
The Institute has created a research network (GdR) on the fundamental aspects of artificial intelligence to drive the scientific community made up of its laboratories. This research network also participates in scientific monitoring and national debates on artificial intelligence.
Cybersecurity: an essential requirement to preserve freedom and democracy
The development of the digital society contributes to citizens' well-being and the fluidity of their exchanges with public authorities and the economic sector but the multiplication of communication channels (the Internet of things, connected homes, self-driving cars, domestic robots, environmental sensors, etc.) has also introduced vulnerabilities which can threaten people's private lives and endanger both the industrial sector and public power. The INS2I is a major player in research and innovation on data protection, network and transaction security, cryptography and the fight against intrusions into sensitive computer systems.
The French "security" community is currently made up of different segmented sub-communities each with their own different facilitation tools. In this context, the Computer Security research network is a unified scientific community working on all aspects of computer security, such as cryptology and encryption, verification, privacy issues, vulnerability and protection mechanisms, physical security, etc.