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Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique and IRISA, at the heart of artificial intelligence research in Brittany



In a context of growing interest for AI, Inria’s Rennes - Bretagne Atlantique Research Center and IRISA (Research Institute in Informatics and Random Systems, UMR 6074) surveyed the AI research activities carried out among their 45 teams. The survey highlights a strong involvement in AI, rooted in the DNA of the two Breton research centers and applied to various industrial and societal domains.


AI is not only deep learning. Generally speaking, AI can be defined as “a computer system able to analyze its environment to decide of its actions and act accordingly”. AI is thus a polymorphic research area at the intersection of multiple scientific fields from hardware architecture to decision making via learning theory.

Concretely, about 40% of our teams, accounting for roughly 300 scientists, are conducting research in the broad field of AI, with more than a hundred ongoing national and international collaborative projects with leading academic and industrial partners.

A vast majority of these teams are contributing achievements in the different disciplinary fields of AI, at the forefront of which are robotics and perception, machine learning, knowledge representation and logic reasoning. Other teams are taking advantage of advances in AI to open up new research directions and push forward the state of the art in their own discipline, for instance leveraging machine learning and reasoning for cybersecurity of software engineering.

These research activities are performed in strong synergy with a rich education ecosystem involving partner higher education institutions (Univ. Rennes, INSA Rennes, CentrealeSupelec, IMT Atlantique, ENS Rennes, ENSAI, etc.). 




Reseach in AI at IRISA and Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique is centered around 3 strong broad topics:

1. « machine learning and data mining », to explore and understand big data of any types, to enable prediction and facilitate decision making, gathers 10 research teams.

2. « robotics, perception and vision » groups 8 teams to develop autonomous robots capable of perceiving and comprehending their environment, or daily-life objects equipped with human perception capabilities, like sound and vision.

3. « knowledge representation and logics » involves 6 teams working on formal representation of knowledge and logics to enable intelligent programs implementing reasoning capabilities and facilitate decision making.




Our research activity is performed in strong synergy with a vast number of academic and industrial partners at the national and international level, featuring joint research projects with large groups (Airbus, AFP, Safran, Orange, Technicolor, Huawei, Nokia, Sanofi, SIPA Ouest France, Valeo, Vinci Construction, Total, Facebook, etc.) but also SMEs, taking advantage of a rich regional ecosystem. We’re also deeply involved with local public bodies (Rennes Métropole, Lannion-Tregor Communauté, région Bretagne, etc.) to accompany regional initiatives.

Application domains in these collaborative projects are varied, covering both industry and society concerns:

  • Media, entertainment, culture and education
  • Biology, heath and medecine 
  • Climate, environnement and agriculture
  • Smart cities and smart environments
  • Defense, cybersecurity and surveillance

To discover the whole press release and the applications, please click here (This document is currently only available in French but will soon be available in English)

PDF iconInriaIRISA_RapportIA_210618.pdf