UTC aims at making knowledge disseminate

Technological research at UTC relies on a diverse range of research activities that multiply the frontiers and interfaces, in a context that sees confrontations of concepts resulting in novel innovative prospects. In this light, research at UTC is truly inter-disciplinary and inter-cultural.

Not only is there a mix of scientific specialties, but there are also combinations of sites which help new knowledge and viable practice to circulate and disseminate among the specialty areas, the university and Society, between labs and enterprise and also between public and private spheres.

UTC has close to 300 research 'actor-agents' and 280 PhD students. It aims at promoting research activities that are relevant in a given area but also 'open' at the interfaces between various areas (transportation and communication, biology, health-sector engineering, mechanical engineering, computer sciences and applications, and social sciences and humanities). The projects that arise through applications of this approach lie at the core of the university's public-private partnerships.

Technological research

When we talk about "technology" we refer, in general, to the study of techniques and processes, as distinct from "a technology" which groups together methodologies and techniques implemented in an industrial context.

Technological research is one form of research that can involve several scientific specialities, such as biology, mechanical engineering sciences, chemistry, etc. We can therefore cite examples of Technological Research in biotechnologies, in mechatronics, in process engineering.

One definition for Technological Research was coined by Guy Deniélou when UTC was initially created: "Technology is the word accepted byscience when the subject investigated relates to products and tools usedin human industries".

› What is implicit here for UTC is that :

  • we should aim at combining a large spectrum of scientific specialties, with technological convergence, focusing on technological priorities that have relevant applications from a societal point of view,
  • we should be in a position to avail on site of appropriate means and ways to ensure associate training courses and research work, thereby enhancing local exchange and creativity,
  • we should encourage and facilitate new forms of exchange with our institutional partners and the rest of the socio-economic world, via a local innovation and creativity ecosystem ensuring high international visibility.

Scientific polyvalence

UTC aims at acquiring the means necessary to be in a position to giving an integrated, overarching answer to a small number of reference problem-areas, mobilizing a wide range of scientific specialties. These problem-areas relate to current and future societal challenges, to difficulties that arise in professional work and involving interactions with Society at large, where production of new knowledge is justified by the needs expressed by Society and Mankind in general, depending on the demand for action and the degree of operability of the institution.

Scientific diversity serving the aim of technological divergence revolves round 3 innovation-intensive themes, tackled in a man-technological system interaction approach:

  • Bio or bio-economic inspired technologies 

  • Clean, smart, safe, integrated transportation systems 

  • Health-sector engineering

Through its 9 research units, UTC is building up a 'site logic' that concentrates in and around Compiegne a set of human and scientific skills that rely on a necessary level of complementarity that can aid and enhance interdisciplinary work. The logic that underpins UTC's research policy corroborates its development axes and choices for its research themes; the university is strongly committed to two world-class competiveness poles: i-Trans (land transportation systems) and Industry and Agro-resources (IAR) focused on biotechnologies and, in particular, whole plant exploitation for industrial objectives (e.g., bio-fuels).

With a strong local and regional involvement, notably through a high-level participation in the Picardie Region's research policy options, UTC has been able to build up ambitious structures and gain considerably in national and international visibility.

Creation of the 1st French Collegium (UTC/CNRS-INSIS)

UTC and the CNRS (France's top national research establishment) recently joined forces to create the first French 'Collegium' which represents a unique combination of training, research activities and innovation to aid and enhance even further the interdisciplinarity approach. This creation corresponds to a joint aim to develop partnerships, to reinforce national potential for technological research and to increase national and international visibility and recognition for these institutions.

Scientific partnerships supported by the Ministry in charge of Research or by Public Establishments

UTC has developed scientific partnerships with support notably from the French research establishments known as 'EPIC' (that come with an industrial and commercial purpose), among which we can cite:

  • ADEME (Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Energie) 
  • CEA (Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies alternatives)
  • CIRAD (Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement)
  • CNES (Centre National d'Etudes spatiales)
  • INERIS (Institut National de l'environnement industriel et des risques) 
  • CEREMA (Centre d'Etudes et d'Expertise sur les Risques, l'Environnement, la Mobilité et l'Aménagement)
  • CETIM (Centre Technique des Industries Mécaniques)

Partnerships with enterprise

Partnerships with the economic spheres and enterprises extend to the creation of joint laboratories; the latter concept is important and generally is planned to last for 4 years, combining the efforts of one or several economic agents and one or several research establishments, implying a financial and human commitment by both partners.

Five joint laboratories have been set up:

  • UTC-Valeo to develop the alternator-starter unit;
  • PROCEDIS associating UTC and INERIS (French National Institute for Industrial Environments and Associate Risks) for the purpose of sharing means, skills, process protocols and analysis.
  • LATIM associating UTC, the CNRS and the CETIM (Technical and Industrial Centre for Mechanical Engineering Expertise and Tests) on the theme of data processing in mechanical engineering
  • SIME, associating UTC, the CNRS and SUEZ Environnement, for the development of smart systems related to water-intensive professional sectors
  • LHN associating UTC, the CNRS and the CETMEF (research establishment specialised in maritime and river technologies) on digitized hydraulic systems.

Joint laboratories prove to be excellent tools to engage in a lasting partnership; they also provide opportunities for cross-fertilization of ideas, concepts and technology transfer.

Partnerships with the Picardie Region

Picardie Region's strategic research plan embodies 3 priorities, developed over 7 thematic axes. The 3 priorities are defined in terms of the tryptic training/research/enterprise, as follows:

  • stronger focus: to improve the notoriety of the Picardie Region in several strong sectors where therecould be better industrial competitivity plus opportunities for research activities ;
  • emerging sectors: to prepare for economic development in the near future by stimulating innovative actions in emerging sectors ;
  • projects: to encourage and aid more innovation-intensive projects to emerge in a better co-coordinated regional context ...

› The 7 strategic innovation axes in the Picardie Region's research policy

  • mechanical engineering, material sciences and engineering, fibres
  • agro-resources, green chemistry
  • transportation systems, multi modal transport modes ,advanced logistics
  • sustainable buildings
  • personal self-reliance, health matters
  • risk analysis and control and the environment
  • creation of a Picardie Region Innovation Agency

International partnerships

UTC has opted for a high-profile strategy in international co-operation, with a limited number of countries in order to avoid dispersing its efforts.

  • China: using the Compiegne UTC model as the reference, and in a collaboration with the University of Shanghai, the three French universities of technology UTBM (Belfort-Montbeliard) and UTT (Troyes) created the Sino-European University of Technology (UTSeuS). This new and novel institution enables cross-fertilisation in research activities through creation of joint laboratories and double PhDs, an example being the laboratory ComplexCity.
  • Mexico: the LAFMIA is a joint laboratory created between INPG (Grenobles), the Ecole Central (Nantes) and the CINESTAV, a Mexican research establishment. This joint lab. received the support of the French Industry in charge of Research and the CNRS
  • Brazil: numerous collaborative contracts and agreements already exist between individual Brazilian States, several universities and UTC
  • USA: there are a number of noteworthy scientific projects co-financed by France and the National Science Foundation: NSF
  • The Lebanon: a Master's level training course in research, leading to several joint research programmes has been set up with the Lebanese University, providing research activities that are of interest to several UTC units.

La Recherche à l'UTC