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Research and Innovation

The École Polytechnique Research Department incorporates fundamental and applied research, training through research in the Doctoral School, development and partnerships.

The Research Centre aims to combine further study of the more fundamental aspects of research aimed at adding to our knowledge with the development of the major, more applied areas that will meet the scientific, technological and societal challenges of the 21st Century.
The variety of disciplines involved in these areas is an asset for our Palaiseau campus: by organising and encouraging dialogue and collaboration, within our own Research Centre (between disciplines) or with our Saclay and ParisTech partners, we will be able to build joint projects that will allow us to rise to the challenges of future years.

The École Polytechnique supports the development of its Research Centre in several ways:

  • It supports the scientific policy of its laboratories by providing the resources they need to achieve the targets they have been set under the collaboration agreement between the CNRS and the École Polytechnique.
  • It encourages the recruitment of new teams formed around eminent scientists recruited at an international level, such as Luca Perfetti in the physics department and Abdul Barakat and Nick Triantafyllidis in the mechanics department.
    As a result of the fund-raising campaign launched by the École Polytechnique Foundation in March 2008, these researchers were recruited to set up their own teams to work on innovative projects. By recruiting the best lecturer-researchers, The École maintains a high quality of teaching and continues to spread its influence abroad.
  • 5,000 m2 of new laboratories will be built to house these new activities.
    The École is looking to double its biology potential as part of the "biology and interfaces" program. New teams will be recruited in physics, in the optics, laser and plasma fields, where the École is already at the cutting edge, and in the nanosciences and nanotechnologies. Finally, new activities will be developed in mechanics, the environment, sustainable development, materials, mechanical systems and energetics.
  • It supports a laboratory equipment policy that encourages the sharing of major resources: the SIRTA environmental station, the SIRIUS accelerator at the Irradiated Solids Laboratory and the recent acquisition of an electronic microscopy platform that will be of interest to over 6 laboratories.

The École encourages exchanges between laboratories aimed at developing transverse themes, thereby preparing for the arrival of future partners on the Palaiseau campus, whose presence will extend and reinforce these themes.

Key figures

  • 20 laboratories representing 1600 people (including 640 researchers).
  • Over 1250 publications a year in scientific journals.
  • An average of 20 patents a year: a patent portfolio of 71 families, including 19 exploitations sub-contracts; 14 million research contracts; research partnerships with over 50 companies.
  • A company nursery (X-Technologies) covering 1000 m² on the campus, close to the laboratories, 7 companies hosted in 2008 with sales of over 5 M€ and 60 direct jobs.
  • 15 teaching and research chairs in partnership with AFG, AGF, Arcelor-Mittal, AXA, Dassault Systèmes, Dupont, EADS, EDF, FFB, France Telecom/Orange, Lafarge, Renault-Nissan, Saint-Gobain, Samsung, Société Générale, Suez, Thales, Unilever, Valéo and Calyon.
  • Participation in 2 of France's 13 research excellence networks (physics, software technology).

Research center brochure


  • Albert MEIGE, researcher in the Plasma Physics laboratoryWinner of the École Polytechnique prize for innovation October 28, 2009

    Albert Meige, a researcher in the Plasma Physics Laboratory (LPP), was awarded the 2009 École Polytechnique prize for innovation in the “business start-up” category. The École Polytechnique, particularly through its Department of Industrial Relations and Partnerships, and the CNRS are major partners to the initiative. Lire la suite

  • “An atypical chair, looking to the future” December 10, 2009

    Yvan BONNASSIEUX, holder of the “Nanosciences and Nanotechnologies for electronics on large substrates and flat screens” chair Lire la suite