Home Lifestyle Sylvie Retayo, Minister of Higher Education and Research: “We must accelerate deep technology”

Sylvie Retayo, Minister of Higher Education and Research: “We must accelerate deep technology”

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Sylvie Retayo, former Rector of the University Paris-Saclay and Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research since May 2022, announced in her first press conference that the reform of scholarships based on social criteria will be one of the main axes of his mandate. What are its ambitions in terms of innovation? interview.

France ranks eleventh among the most innovative countries in the world. What measures will the government take to register in the top ten?

RETAILLEAU SELFIE : In accordance with the ambition of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister, the Government’s action to make France a more innovative nation combines three axes: the human being, of course, the driving force behind every innovation, with ambitions in education, vocational training and training in sectors of the future; This is one of the means necessary for research and innovation, as we have made huge investments; and finally regional ecosystems that unify initiatives and make them possible. This ranking shows above all that most countries have understood the role innovation plays in meeting the challenges of our time, and it is now a matter of advancing more quickly in this race to find solutions.

What are your innovation priorities for the next five years?

SR: As I said, unprecedented resources have already been mobilized: the Research Programming Act allocates 25 billion euros over ten years to research, and France 2030 mobilizes an additional 54 billion euros to support innovation. These two programs are growing. For example, 7 billion euros have already been allocated for France 2030, but we also have to be patient because these shifts are happening in the long term. In the digital sphere, France took ten years to accelerate and today we have more than 25 rhinos. My priority will be to ensure the rapid and effective deployment of investments over the next five years!

After that, I remain convinced that France is full of untapped potential for innovation. I want to do everything I can to make sure that behind every scientific discovery there is a reflection of innovation, and a powerful impact on our society. Innovation is already contributing to the ecological and energy transition, it is better care or better eating that responds to the pursuit of meaning for our younger generations!

With an emergence like this, what place will entrepreneurship occupy in university curricula? Will public universities, such as Grandes Ecoles, create innovation programmes?

SR : Today, schools and universities often share the same location, the same tools (university innovation centers, technology transfer accelerators, etc.). That is why entrepreneurship features prominently in higher education programs and we support this approach.

On the other hand, I want to warn against three shortcuts. First of all, innovation can not only be learned in the classroom, it is a smart combination of education, culture and conviction. We must make innovation present in higher education programs and above all the conviction that it can transform our daily lives. Moreover, entrepreneurship is not the only way to innovate: we also need innovators in our research laboratories or in our companies. Finally, innovation must be built for the long term, with an overarching strategy, and must not be seen as a short-term source of income.

In recent years, investment in innovation has reached record levels. why ?

SR All the exchanges you have made testify to the dynamics and French excellence in terms of innovation and research. French technology today benefits from a regulated ecosystem and that is why we have set ourselves the goal of 100 French rhinos in 2030. We will also have to accelerate in deep tech, that is, in highly technological start-ups. This is an ambitious goal, but one made possible by the experience of our researchers and entrepreneurs!

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