The Research Directorate’s Central Department supports the laboratories in their research activities. To this end, it provides skills and expertise in the preparation and management of public and private contracts, cost accounting for individual projects, management for scientist recruitment, protection and promotion of research results. The quality of the “managing research” process was assessed as compliant in the 2014 audit for the renewal of ISO 9001 certification.
In 2015, research partnerships were developed in particular through 14 industrial chairs, two of which were extended. Through long-term partnerships with companies, they aim to create scientific and educational value for the School, and competitive innovation for the businesses concerned. The dynamics of the research projects are illustrated theme by theme below. The three main contributing laboratories are mentioned, although since they are essentially multidisciplinary, they can develop their activities within other themes.
The new total costs economic model applied by the Research Directorate’s Legal Protection and Valuation unit led to a 2.5% increase in revenues compared with 2014, of which 42% came from bilateral relations with companies and 64% involved a socio-economic partner. This reflects the attractiveness of the research conducted by the School’s laboratories in an economic context that is difficult for companies.
The certification audit carried out by Afnor in December 2015 described the research management process as “fully under the control” of the Research Directorate.
The dynamic of academic research was maintained in two aspects: education through research, and the quality of Rank A publications. In 2015, 420 PhD candidates (41% from abroad), including 21% new entrants, were preparing their theses in one of the School’s laboratories. In all, 133 doctoral theses were defended. Among the different sources of funding for PhD candidates, more than 35% were linked with research contracts with companies, thus fostering the link between doctoral education and economic competitiveness, while maintaining a balance with more theoretical PhD research.
Extracts from HAL, the Web of Science and Scopus reveal 632 publications in 2015, a similar number to 2014. The average SJR (Scimago Journal Rank) grew by more than 12% compared with 2014. This indicator, which is close to the Thomson Reuters impact factor, scores the quality of a journal and therefore of its associated publications, providing a measurement of scientific quality.