IRIXYS Young Scientists’ Workshop and 15 year MDPS French-German Collaboration Anniversary

From the 10th to the 15th of May 2023, professors and PdD students from INSA Lyon, University of Milan, University of Passau and University of Pau et des pays de l’Adour all met in Lyon for the now traditional “IRIXYS Young Scientists’ Workshop” [].  This new edition had a particularity: the participants did not only gather for the 30th scientific Workshop, they also celebrated the 15-year anniversary of the MDPS (Multimedia Distributed Pervasive Secure Systems) doctoral college. This anniversary translates in 15 years of collaboration within the IRIXYS international research center. [].

As usual, this week was animated with young research scientists’ presentations, with stimulating and enriching scientific discussions between PhD students, professors and supervisors.

This time, however, two special events were added to the programme.

On the 11th of May, the IRIXYS General Assembly took place with all of our partner universities’ coordinators: Professor Lionel Brunie, Dr. Nadia Bennani and Dr. Elöd Egyed-Zgismond from INSA Lyon, Professor Harald Kosch, Alizée Bertrand and Ophélie Coueffé from the University of Passau, Professor Stelvio Cimato and Professor Gabriele Gianini from the University of Milan. Some special guests made the journey to Lyon for this occasion: Professor Dr. Christina Hansen, vice-president in international relations of the University of Passau, and Roland Wossidlo, general director of ATOS Munich, which are industrial partners of the University of Passau. Other guests from Lyon also joined this gathering: Christelle Falconi, from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes administrative region’s rectorate, Marie-Christine Baietto, director of research in INSA Lyon, and Frank Bizet, chief of staff in INSA Lyon.

This meeting aimed to look back on these 15 years’ results, with its successes and obstacles, but mostly to focus on the future of this collaboration. Each participant -whether political, industrial or academic player- were able to suggest lines of thoughts and to share their vision on IRIXYS’ future and longevity.

However, this week’s main event happened on the 12th of May, celebrating the 15 anniversary of the IRIXYS collaboration. The programme included scientific and current political discussions, particularly on the theme of cybersecurity.

First, professors Lionel Brunie and Harald Kosch opened the event by mentioning their long lasting friendship, the root of the IRIXYS project. Some members of the cooperation had then the opportunity to talk about what IRIXYS means to them. Professors Ernesto Amiani, Stelvio Cimato and Grabiele Gianini from the University of Milan, Dr. Nadia Bennani and Alizée Bertrand, coordinators in Lyon and Passau, but also a few students shared their feelings on IRIXYS. Everyone naturally mentioned the enriching professional aspects that were brought by the scientific exchanges made possible by such a cooperation. Most importantly, each interventions mentioned the social and personal enrichment, as well as the multicultural aspects at the core of the IRIXYS project.

The participants were then able to benefit from Professor Ernesto Damiani’s expertise on the themes of security, trust and private life within this era of digital transformation. Discussions followed with a round table on legal and societal aspects of cybersecurity. Pierre Brun-Murol, expert on this subject within ATOS, then concluded on this theme with a presentation of digital sovereignty.

The event followed with an open discussion animated by Axel Honsdorf, manager of BayFrance, an institution on French-Bavarian cooperation. The discussion focused on industrial and academic cooperation, research, innovation and education, and the stakes within IRIXYS. This dense programme full of discussions concluded with interventions from Mrs. Ines Fernandes, the General German Consular in Lyon, Professor Philippe Gréciano, president of the French-German University (UFA) and Professor Frédéric Fotiadu, director of INSA Lyon. The participants could then keep on discussing around a cocktail that closed this day of celebrations.

This IRIXYS Workshop ended with the PhD Thesis defence from the “cotutelle” student Alaa Alhamzeh, who gained a doctorate title both in France and in Germany []. Dr. Alhamzeh becomes the 15th person to receive a diploma through the cotutelle thesis programme between the University of Passau and INSA Lyon. It is a new success for all IRIXYS members, turning all the hard work within this cooperation into something real.

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