The CNRS technologies have their networks

Mechanics, electronics engineers, specialists in archaeometry, scientific computing, software development, public scientific publishing or even microscopy… The 23 networks of the Missions of the Interdisciplinary and Interdisciplinary Initiatives (MITI) cover various topics and bring together about 16,000 professionals by profession or field of activity. cross-functional technologies in CNRS. Spaces for dialogue and exchange, they exist” unique in the French landscape of higher education and research (ESR) “, explains Anne-Antonella Serra, manager of the platform supporting these networks.

Indeed, these cross-functional technological networks bring together employees of all CNRS institutes of all statuses – researchers, engineers, technicians, students – and are open to all French research organizations, and sometimes even to industrialists. Thus, they unite the majority of ESR players around each item. ” It is the national vision of the CNRS that allows such operations ” says the manager.

Business questions (what are the skills in developing microcrystals in France?), technical questions (what software for spatial data?) or technology (how to design an onboard pressure accumulator?): by solving research support questions, networks can implement tools to solve difficulties, improve them work and training of their colleagues. They are even able to develop technologies, protocols, new machines and test them online before distributing them to a wider audience.

Certain technological or methodological objects are also at the intersection of several networks or are of common interest: then networks can jointly approach the same object in several aspects, in a complementary way. The application to MITI then becomes ” evident For example, in order to address current health concerns, a network of electronic and mechanical technicians stood out during the Covid-19 crisis, producing visors, flaps, and door handle adapters very quickly, which greatly helped the hospital environment.

Works in the service of society

very active ‘, network ‘ necessary support for research »: they share their know-how, experience, monitoring and best practices through various means. Each year, they organize over 50 themed days, workshops for reflection and discussion, and numerous webinars on a topic relevant to the community (learning how to use ZEMAX optical modeling software, understanding database-related regulatory constraints, etc.). Around thirty National Training Events (ANFs) are also created each year. These wide open learning and outreach activities lead to proposals for action. The RTfmf network, for example, has been recognized by the CNRS for its actions that keep experts at the highest level (see box).

Networks and interweb workshops also give rise to collective production in the service of communities. that are useful to a wide audience “, guarantees Anne-Antonella Serra. For example, the working group recently completed Network animation guidea ” wealth of information » through network activation and maintenance techniques such as CNRS networks, as well as other structures such as associations. Another guide, this time on research data managementprovides scientists in all fields with leads” from a very operational point of view and resources. These two working groups regularly organize training.

To carry out these community structuring activities, these networks are accompanied by a small team from MITI in support of this “network platform”. It helps them in their work and in keeping track of their activities and their budget, and also supports them financially. The platform also allows the networks to operate in a coherent and structured manner through charters and regular evaluations with the help and review of a monitoring committee composed of representatives from various CNRS institutions. Through a cross vision of the activities and needs of different networks, MITI can also stimulate cross-network working groups.