Artificial Intelligence

The regional momentum of Data sciences and Artificial Intelligence

One of the major successes of the dynamic initiated by UCAJEDI is to have been able to bring together and boost the research and teaching in the field of Data Sciences, and subsequently AI. Since being awarded UCAJEDI, UCA has been working in conjunction with its ecosystem to build an environment capable of fueling research, innovation and the dissemination of knowledge in this field. At the same time, we are integrating the ethical issues raised by the development of AI and the analysis of its societal impacts. In total, all actions taken together, UCAJEDI has invested €2,191,000 in this field.


UCAJEDI actions that highlight Artificial Intelligence on its region

  • From 2016: creation of the Transdisciplinary Data Sciences Core Program in UCAJEDI
  • In 2016, creation of the Center of Modeling, Simulation, Interactions, which houses centers of expertise such as the Medical Data Lab, the Digital Humanities Lab and soon the SPU Lab, which funded 22 projects focused on modeling, recruited 8 engineers in support of projects, provided support for various initial and continuing training courses and renewed the CICADA meso-computing center
  • In 2016, creation of the first UCAJEDI chair of excellence in a tenured position, in partnership with Inria, also dedicated to Data Sciences. It is currently held by Charles Bouveyron
  • In 2017, submission of the EUR project "Digital Systems for Humans" as part of PIA3's first call for projects for EUR. Success for DS4H which became the first graduate school funded at Université Côte d'Azur
  • In 2018, opening of the UCAJEDI MScs "Data sciences & AI", "BioBank", "Mathematical Sciences for Biomedical Data and Biophysics". Link to the MSc page
  • In 2018, creation of the 9th transdisciplinary Core Program "Digital Sciences, Society, and the Individual" to integrate questions of acceptability, social relevance and uses into digital sciences
  • In 2018, UCAJEDI support for the "Deep Law for Tech" (DL4T) project led by two lawyers concerned with providing legal framework for new technological standards
  • In 2018, 1st edition of the Deep Learning School, a prestigious thematic school organized in response to the training needs of companies
  • In 2018, the 1st edition of the SophI.A summit, an annual international symposium dedicated to AI, resulting from a shared desire between Université Côte d'Azur and the Community of greater Sophia Antipolis, and which has the characteristic of bringing together academic researchers and industrial researchers at the same level of involvement; the annual conference is co-organized by Université Côte d'Azur and the Sophia Club Entreprises
  • In 2018, a second call for thematic post-doctoral projects on Data Sciences and AI

SophI.A summit in three videos

Interdisciplinary Institute for Artificial Intelligence Côte d'Azur

This sustained momentum has produced a success story: in 2019 the award of the 3IA Côte d’Azur, one of the four 3IAs accredited and financed by the PIA3. Since this success, UCAJEDI has supported the dynamics of this program via the UCAJEDI 3IA certification, which broadens its field of action (beyond the chairs, the aim is to double the number of students trained in AI, increasing skills and the number of projects, and disseminating knowledge to various audiences such as company employees, the general public and schools). The success is also evident in the place given to Université Côte d'Azur in the bodies and projects set up at a regional level by communities and businesses. Université Côte d'Azur is present everywhere: - It brings its expertise to the CD06 Smart Deal project and contributes significantly to the activities of the Maison of AI funded by the Department - It manages the Observatory of Technological Economic and Societal Impacts of Artificial Intelligence (OTESIA) governed by the Alpes-Maritimes Department and CASA (the Greater Sophia Antipolis Community), and supports its inception by funding 3 projects in 2020 - It is present at the IA Cluster office in Sophia Antipolis, which brings together small and medium-sized enterprises concerned with IA, and in the ICAIR (Industrial Research Council for IA) steering committee, which brings together large companies.


Université Côte d'Azur was a leader with the Universities of Seville and Genoa in the construction of an Alliance of European Universities (UlyssEUs) project submitted for the second call for Erasmus + projects and selected in July 2020. In addition to these three 'generalist' universities the UlyssEUs project includes three 'technical' universities; MCI (Austria), Haaga Helia (Finland), TUKE (Slovakia). In the same spirit as UCAJEDI IDEX, UlyssEUs builds ecosystems of academic, institutional and economic players to develop themes related to societal challenges.


Wolves of Mercantour National Park

An original project in connection with the Côte d'Azur highlands is based on a collaboration between the Mercantour National Park, and 3IA Côte d'Azur and the MSI of Université Côte d'Azur in order to conduct, using AI tools, analysis of audio-visual data of animal species living in the park. The database has been obtained thanks to intensive camera and video trapping in the Mercantour Park, and bears witness to the richness of the park, one of the 11 French national parks, in terms of biodiversity and the variety of species and ecosystems. Université Côte d'Azur and 3IA Côte d'Azur will provide the project with a team of researchers and engineers specializing in artificial intelligence.
The project has the following objectives:
- Detection of species present in a video and counting of individuals
- Study of the link between the observation of certain species and human presence
- Spatial and temporal modelling of the presence of certain species and correlation with field surveys (GPS tracking) and genetic data.
To do so, the research team will use AI tools, such as deep learning, active learning and learning transfer algorithms. Dedicated learning methodologies will certainly need to be developed for the counting part of objective #1 and for linking to the various types of external data analyzed for objective #3.

The page of the project on the web site of the Mercantour National Park


Artificial intelligence and Health

  • Therapixel is a start-up that emerged from Inria in 2013 and now employs 20 collaborators. Together with the CHU, they submitted the RADVISE-X proposal in 2017 aimed at assisting radiologists in their analyses of lung images for the detection of tumors. By applying A.I. and deep learning approaches, a 20% decrease in false positives was obtained by 2019, and a second project now builds upon these promising results: LUNGSCREEN CT. The latter project was awarded €250k of funding from the Explore call for proposals from the pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca, which enabled the recruitment of 2 data scientists. The software developed in this project is co-owned by Therapixel, the CHU and UCA. Lungscreen CT was presented at the European Congress of Radiology as an exemple of application of AI to medical imaging.
  • MNC3 project: Promoting the use of informatics and ICT to improve diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of neurological and psychiatric diseases by integrating heterogeneous data, and promoting educational programs to connect different disciplines.