Labex is a contraction of Laboratory of Excellence. It is one of the instruments of the competitive « Programme d’Investissements d’Avenir » (PIA), designed to support overall collaborative research in all scientific domains. Labex CominLabs was launched in 2011 for a nine-year period until 2019. A five-year extension (2020-2024) was awarded in 2019. CominLabs is mainly supported by government funding under the PIA program and a contract with the ANR (National Agency for Research). CominLabs has collected an additional support from the Région Bretagne through co-financing of PhD and Postdoc fellowships. University of Rennes is now the coordinating institution and Inria is the managing institution. CominLabs involve sixteen supporting institutions and nine partner labs over Brittany and Nantes as listed below.
ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is pervasive in many scientific domains, industry sectors and societal areas, and the digital society has emerged as a central concept. CominLabs efforts have precisely concentrated on investigating the challenges issued from these fundamental changes. These challenges require a broad portfolio of competences and long-term projects of significant size. CominLabs had thus to innovate in the management of networks of researchers distributed in both geography and expertise. Its originality resides in both its organization and its processes. CominLabs thus nicely complements its nine partner labs with strong structuring effects.
The Internet of the future explored by CominLabs, which was the motto of our initial proposal in 2011, including Internet of Things (IoT), ICT and Health, Energy in ICT, the social Web, Security and Privacy, is now here. We were able to tackle many of the challenges raised then, and we have organized our teams in long-lasting projects to produce internationally recognized results.
Today, we face with the return of artificial intelligence, the growing security and trust issues, the challenges of IoT, big data and robotics, and the increasing importance of digital applications in medicine or education. We believe that CominLabs is operational to study these problems and their applications, while addressing the related human and societal issues raised by the digital society.