IFSTTAR’s 4 unifying projects

Rolled out in 2017, the unifying projects link the research of IFSTTAR's laboratories on the selected topics. The aim of these 4 scientific leadership instruments is to bring the Institute's teams together around cross-cutting, multidisciplinary, themes in order to gain a better understanding of current and future issues.

"To develop partnerships between IFSTTAR's various departments and laboratories to better respond to the scientific and societal challenges of tomorrow." Marie-Line Gallenne, the Scientific Director in charge of IFSTTAR's scientific coordination, thus summarises the purpose of the 4 unifying projects that are being run within the Institute. "These instruments that perform a leadership and communication role and organise research provide a means of bringing together approaches and disciplines in order to build a shared outlook and goals." In addition to making research teams work more closely together, the unifying projects aim to enhance IFSTTAR's profile in its areas of expertise: the city of the future, tomorrow's mobility, the energy transition, the improvement of infrastructure, adaptation to climate change, etc. Like the R5G project (5th Generation Road), they encourage discussion and the setting-up of innovative collaborative projects. Each of them is managed and led by a team of three researchers. An operational committee monitors the overall progress of the work.

Ville 2050

The design of the sustainable and "liveable" cities of tomorrow is at the heart of the "Ville 2050" unifying project, whose objective is to invent development trajectories for the city from an economic, societal and environmental point of view. Four components structure the project: "Socially inclusive and accessible cities", "Energy and resource efficient cities", "Clean and healthy cities" and "Adaptable and resilient cities". The many themes and research topics dealt with include: demotorisation, the impacts of autonomous transport and new mobility systems on urban planning, accessibility in urban areas for wheelchair users, the development of street furniture made from recycled plastic reinforced with vegetable fibres... About twenty IFSTTAR laboratories have expressed an interest in participating in "Ville 2050".

Contacts : michel.andre(at)ifsttar.fr ; olivier.bonin(at)ifsttar.fr ; aline.alauzet(at)ifsttar.fr

Mobility and digital transitions

How is the digital revolution impacting mobility and lifestyles? This key question in connection with the proliferation of mobile terminals and connected devices is raised in the framework of  “Mobility and digital transitions”. This unifying project involves ten or so laboratories and is organised around three themes. First of all, connected mobility, in particular access to real-time data (routes, timetables, etc.) in order to improve traffic conditions and adjust transport supply. The second theme is directly linked to the first and relates to the collection, analysis and use of the above data to design observation, modelling, prediction and mobility assessment tools. Finally, this unifying project addresses the opportunities that digital technology affords actors and geographical areas. Digital technology, which is essential for the development of mobility, is synonymous with progress and profound changes for all: service users, public authorities, service providers, carriers, etc.

Contacts : valerie.renaudin(at)ifsttar.fr ; jimmy.armoogum(at)ifsttar.fr ; laurent.bouillaut(at)ifsttar.fr

Virtual traveller

The goal of the "Virtual Traveller" project is to anticipate how people will choose, adapt to and transform the new transport modes.  This unifying project, which focuses on people and digital technology, brings together ten or so virtual laboratories from three departments: AME, COSYS and TS2. What are the risks and opportunities for drivers, passengers and users when faced with autonomous vehicles? How can urban facilities be adapted to such vehicles? How will users accept these new vehicles and facilities? To answer these questions and predict tomorrow's mobility, "Virtual traveller" studies users' behaviour using virtual approaches: simulators, serious games, etc.

Contacts: philippe.vezin(at)ifsttar.fr ; fabrice.vienne(at)ifsttar.fr ; nadine.chaurand(at)ifsttar.fr

Infrastructure for the energy transition

Developing renewable energies, especially marine energy, fostering the circular economy, saving energy during construction... These issues are all identified in "Infrastructure for the Energy Transition" (ITE). This project aims to assess and manage the environmental impact of infrastructure throughout its life cycle. Green, embodied, smart or measured energy: the four themes covered by ITE bring together teams from roughly thirty IFSTTAR laboratories around the question of the future of strategic infrastructures in the context of climate change and the energy transition.

Contacts : sylvain.chataigner(at)ifsttar.fr ; anne.ventura(at)ifsttar.fr ; pierre-olivier.vandanjon(at)ifsttar.fr

As part of a process set in motion at the end of 2015, the unifying projects are being implemented within the framework of IFSTTAR’s Goals and Performance Contract (COP) 2017-2021. In 2016 and 2017, working groups, workshops and seminars gave the Institute's researchers an opportunity to decide jointly on the different themes and components of the unifying projects.