In Montpellier, the Institute of Data Sciences helps companies and researchers manage the complexity of data

Digital data, which is ubiquitous today and whose use fuels all fantasies, is referred to as the black gold of the 21st century. But the exponential growth in the amount of data collected, questions about the reliability of that data, changes in legislation, and the need for cross-referencing between heterogeneous data require new skills.

“It’s becoming more and more true Highlights today Anne Laurent, Professor of Computer Science in the fields of Databases and Artificial Intelligence and Director of the Montpellier Institute of Data Sciences (ISDM). Today you need to know how to cross-check your own data with administrative data, mobility, health, etc. You need to learn to navigate through this complexity and not just look under your own street lamp… The challenges of ISDM , it is not to research data science or artificial intelligence, but to make people understand the wealth of the underlying range of methods and to support them in using the right tool. »

Open the field of possibilities

To address these new challenges (bulk formation of data, complexity of statistical and algorithmic models, ethical and legal issues, etc.) and Microelectronics of Montpellier (LIRMM) Philippe Poignet, the director of the Polytech Montpellier Lionel Torres and the then director of the mathematics laboratory Jean-Michel Marin. With one goal: to bundle regional strengths and actions in data science and make them visible, create synergies, map competencies and democratize data science for the use of researchers or academic engineers, but also for companies for implementation and concrete solutions.

They are sometimes powerless to process the data and it is not up to the research labs to assist them, adds Anne Laurent, who now leads the ten people on these issues. We work at the request of colleagues or companies to open the field of possibilities or point them in a direction. And we also take the initiative in setting up projects. »

A DU Scientific data management

ISDM thus supports the Montpellier startup Kyli, whose goal is to use the potential of artificial intelligence and data science to offer decision support for public or private R&D laboratories and to improve the data from research. These notebooks contain valuable information (hypotheses, experiences or results of analysis), a “data capital” that represents exploitable potential in other research programs.

They offer a solution for electronic lab notebooks with health, biological and diagnostic data and want their solution to be as intelligent as possible, even predictive. points to Anne Laurent. We support you in defining your R&D plan. »

ISDM has also led the Axiaum project, for which seven theses related to finance, health or the environment were co-funded under the National Research Agency’s (ANR) Doctoral Contracts program in AI.

“On the business side, we still have work to do to be better identified, Tip Anne Laurent. We are in contact with incubators, French Tech, but we are often referred to companies that work with data, although they are not always the ones who need us the most. »

Affiliated with the University of Montpellier, the ISDM established a DU Scientific Data Management a year ago and the first PhD will open in 2021. Anne Laurent states that around forty people are registered to date and registrations are still open.

“We particularly address companies that want to discover data science, its diverse aspects and the associated potential for innovation,” specifies Anne Laurent, who, aware of the lack of awareness of the young ISDM, is planning projects that would mix research organizations, the university hospitals of Montpellier and Nîmes or even communities such as the metropolis of Montpellier and its future Med Valley …