Hand in hand

Spotlight on the German–French Academy with ArianeGroup, driver of the industry of the future 10-13-2020 |  7 minutes

Morwenna Joubin

Paul-Guilhem Meunier and Morwenna Joubin, coordinators of the of the German–French Academy institutional research partners, talk to us about their vision for the way forward.

A centerpiece of the 2015 governmental German–French Digital Conference, the German–French Academy is making an impact.

Paul-Guilhem Meunier

It established an exchange framework between French and German academic partners, the Institut Mines-Télécom (IMT) in France and the Technische Universität in München (TUM) in Germany, together with industrial collaborators, with the objective of exploiting beneficial synergies to develop the most innovative digital applications in industry.

The objective is to incite entrepreneurs to modernize their industrial tools and transform their digital strategy for industrial models to achieve their ambitions.

What is the goal of the GFA?

PGM & MJ : The German–French Academy (GFA) for the Industry of the Future was set up as a strategic vehicle to promote collaboration between two leading European academic research institutions, the German TUM in Munich, and the French IMT, of which we are the GFA coordinators, and thus to extend and strengthen German–French relations in a global context.

The GFA’s mission is to master the challenges accompanying the growing digitization of industry processes through collaborative research, education, and innovation.

The goal of the GFA is to provide a response to the needs of industry in skills and know-how for digital transformation through life-long learning tools. In order to keep up with digital transformation, the GFA offers different formats such as open online courses or a portfolio of seminars throughout the year on topics of high interest for industry.

These schools are open to engineers, researchers, and colleagues from industrial partners. A recent example is the ‘The Internet of Things (IoT) meets Security’ online conference held in early October, in which ArianeGroup participated as a keynote speaker.

Today, the GFA community encompasses in total around 150 scientists from TUM and IMT, experts in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), energy efficiency, advanced materials, industrial design and processes, supply chain, advanced manufacturing and industries reorganization.

How did you get in contact with ArianeGroup?

PGM & MJ : The GFA seeks to create strong ties between academia and industry – this is the way forward for industrial excellence.

In 2019, we met with the Digital Transformation team at ArianeGroup. We talked about our common goals: improving competitivity and innovation through research and educational projects, and fostering French–German collaboration by bringing together experts from our two countries. A few months later, the partnership was in orbit.

How do we work together?

PGM & MJ : Our collaboration is structured according to the expertise of the GFA community and the ambitions and specifications of ArianeGroup. As a privileged partner of the GFA, ArianeGroup supports the Academy’s activities and contributes to its development in giving direction for scientific topics to be addressed.

ArianeGroup also actively participates in life-long learning projects such as seminars and provides industrial technological challenges to be addressed by students during hackathons. ArianeGroup has a privileged access to our research community and ecosystem.

ArianeGroup also actively participates in life-long learning projects such as seminars and provides industrial technological challenges to be addressed by students during hackathons.

What is your personal involvement in GFA?

PGM : Franco–German cooperation has always been central in my career. My first work experience as a French national intern in a high-tech startup in Germany gave me the opportunity to see how synergies between our two countries can be a really powerful tool.

Seeing our successes unfold is not only motivating per se but also a clear sign that the time and energy invested is the right direction toward European digital sovereignty. I am a signed-up advocate of German–French cooperation and have great expectations for our future together!

MJ : As a French person based in Germany working in the field of French–German cooperation, I see every day how enriching it is to work closely across both countries and with German and French colleagues who are passionate about their research fields.

For me, the GFA is much more than a strategic instrument for the promotion of cooperation between France and Germany; rather, it is a space where we can share experiences and network, drawing on the excellence of two leading institutions addressing the challenges of our increasingly digital world and industry.

It is a platform where disciplines meet, where researchers, PhD students, and industrial colleagues benefit from everybody else’s expertise, and where ideas take form. That’s why I want to see what the GFA will deliver!