To exploit databases better
Did you know that the people of Marseille are good at maths? Belgian company Eura Nova, specialists in machine learning and big data, opened an R&D office at the start of 2017 in the Phocean city of Marseille. The research tax credit provision (CIR) and the ecosystem comprising the Laboratoire d’Informatique Fondamentale de Marseille, data centres and the bio-accelerator ON[e]Life all played a decisive role in the decision to set up in the Provence region. Events organised by Provence Promotion have helped saved time and gain access to the right networks.
At the heart of big data, mathematicians and IT specialists at Eura Nova are inventing algorithms that are intended to exploit databases better. The methods that they are creating are applicable for various fields and applications (targeted marketing, banking fraud prevention, fault diagnosis in manufacturing, etc.). “Machine learning requires the expertise of data engineers and data scientists”, explained Thomas Peel, the man behind the creation of the Eura Nova R&D centre in Marseille at the beginning of the year. This expert in artificial intelligence was able to garner support for his project from management by highlighting the French tax incentives in the field of research and the dynamic Marseille academic environment in maths!
LIF and CIR as trump cards!
“Last year, Business France presented the opportunities in the Montpellier, Marseille and Lyon regions to Eura Nova. The Laboratoire d’Informatique Fondamentale de Marseille (a research centre supported by the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Aix-Marseille University) comprises a machine learning team, with whom we work closely”. Moreover, the CIR helps limit the risk associated with our R&D programme, especially the jeune docteur (young doctor) measures,” said the Managing Director or Eura Nova Marseille.
Provence Promotion, the gateway for companies located in the Aix-Marseille-Provence area, organised a two-day event tailored to the needs of Eura Nova. This event was focussed on discovering the multimedia incubator Belle de Mai, SATT Sud-Est and the Secured Communications Solutions (Solutions Communicantes Sécurisées) competitiveness cluster. The creator also benefited from good advice from a law firm and a CIR expert.
Located at the Château-Gombert Technopôle site as part of the Hôtel Technologique since mid-January 2017, Eura Nova already boasts four employees with PhDs—three in machine learning and one in bio-informatics.
When an R&D research centre quickly becomes profitable
Whilst this research centre initially racked up costs for the Belgian parent company, it quickly turned into a profit-making centre. “Our consultancy activities for companies storing data helped finance our R&D. We are discovering all the potential of Marseille as a new hub for data centres. The city is attracting more and more companies who are working in these fields. We have also signed a partnership with bio-accelerator ON[e]Life. We hope to be able to discover common fields of practice and launch European projects together”, explained Thomas Peel.
Upon completion of Quanta, the future Jaguar Network R&D centre planned for 2017, Eura Nova will move to join ON[e]Life–the incubator for AI start-ups and biotechs (including Abreos Biosciences, Genepred, Secuderm, etc.). This will help facilitate interaction between the players.
Eura Nova, an interface between the academic research milieu and the economic world, employs approximately 50 employees in Belgium. In Marseille, the company is planning further recruitment for 2018, on the back of its recent approval by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation as an organisation accredited to perform research and development work on behalf of contractors.