AI, Cybersecurity and Quantum, EDF-INRIA Partnership’s New Theme aims to Accelerate Power Transfer

EDF Group and INRIA, the National Research Institute for Digital Sciences and Technology, signed an agreement in 2016 that resulted in their collaboration on about thirty projects. During the VivaTech 2022 show, they announced their intention to strengthen their scientific and technological partnership. Although specific themes such as scientific computing, imaging, and optimization are at the heart of the various collaborations, numerical simulation is now the subject of a joint IDEFIX project team launched in 2021, and new themes such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, or quantum have been added to this strategic partnership.

EDF Group is an integrated energy company, present in all business lines: Generation, Transmission, Distribution, Trading, Energy Sales and Energy Services. With 90% carbon-free electricity being the world’s low-carbon energy leader, it has created a diversified production mix based primarily on nuclear and renewable energy, including hydropower. Its goal is to build a future of CO2-neutral energy that combines planetary conservation, well-being and development, thanks to electricity and innovative solutions and services.

The group relies daily on strong R&D to improve its performance in all its activities and prepare for the future by working on groundbreaking technologies. EDF’s R&D covers all trades and activities in the energy sector, which is why it also conducts research for external, academic or industry sponsors.

EDF-INRIA partnership

EDF R&D and Inria have been working together since 2016 to address the energy transformation challenge, which has already spawned more than thirty joint ventures.

The two players renewed their partnership at the Viva Technology Exhibition and identified new research themes in a wide range of digital topics:

  • Be at the forefront of mathematical optimization strategies to respond to major operating problems and management issues of organizations such as industrial resources such as energy management, scheduling, etc. in the electrical system.
  • Organize and manage tomorrow’s electrical systems.
  • Gain skills in best simulation techniques (physics, AI, etc.) and data management.
  • Effectively design and implement high-performance digital twins.
  • Unlock new technological opportunities through hybridization of AI and simulation.
  • In specific quantum computing, guess the means of tomorrow’s calculation and qualify for it.
  • Integrate AI technologies while ensuring a calm, controlled and responsible use of these technologies.
  • Increase the resilience of power systems in terms of cyber security.

Bernard Salha, EDF R&D Director, says:

“The renewal of our partnership with this leading national research institution is part of a well-established, trusted, long-term partnership. A

Bruno Sports, chairman and CEO of Enrique said:

“This partnership with the EDF is important for Ineria, a major French industrial player for our energy sovereignty. This is part of our active impact policy aimed at French industrial fabrics. A

IDEFIX: The first joint EDF-INRIA project team

IDEFIX, the first joint project team in this partnership, was formed in 2021 and brings together scientists from the Inria Saclay Center, Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris) and EDF R&D.

It consists of four Ineria researchers, four EDF researchers and a research engineer from IP Paris, specializing in developing software for simulating sound events and HPC calculations. It is co-directed by Hausem Haddar, Inria Research Director, and Lorenzo Adibert, whose thesis he supervised, is currently the R&D project manager at EDF.

The IDEFIX project team works on numerous imaging applications using X-rays, radar (electromagnetic) and gold (ultrasonic). The research focuses on biomedical imaging, sound guidance, sound modeling in virtual reality, and modeling of composite materials, among other topics.

Hussein Haddar said,

“The EDF has encountered a variety of field problems (dams, power plants, heat exchangers or alternators, etc.) that are all case studies that help improve and expand our methodology spectrum.

Currently, IDEFIX researchers focus on everything related to the detection of cracks and the measurement of changes in physical properties, for example related to moisture or chemical reactions. They plan to look at specific issues for EDF, which may be studied in the future with comparative techniques, such as dam foundation modeling or wear testing of specific metal components.

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