Interview: Jérôme Garin, Director, IRIG
Categorie(s) : Interviews, Life @ MINATEC, Research
Published : 1 April 2019
Jérôme Garin, Director, IRIG*: “We are working together to address interdisciplinary topics”
INAC, BIG, and IBS merged to form IRIG in early 2019. What is the rationale behind the change?
The idea is to scale up, raise our profile, and present a unified front to our partners like CNRS and the University. With a staff of 1,000, we are close in size to Grenoble’s other major research organizations.
Another important goal is to make it much easier for our biology, physics, chemistry, cryogenics, and mathematics researchers to collaborate on interdisciplinary topics. IBS and BIG had a long-standing relationship prior to the merger, so many of our researchers already know each other. We just want to take things further.
Aren’t you concerned about people spreading themselves too thin?
Not at all. It is quite the opposite, really. Today’s scientific challenges are being addressed by researchers from all of our disciplines. Let me give you an example: It is getting harder and harder to do biology without bringing mathematics into the picture. The new organization reflects that reality. But it has also left our research teams intact. The existing ten Joint Research Units** will remain exactly the same.
How will you promote interdisciplinary research on the ground?
We have already issued a call for projects to generate new interactions between our disciplines. We also plan to communicate much more within the organization. We will hold on-site meetings, events for our PhD candidates, and other activities to give our researchers opportunities to get to know each other and get familiar with each other’s work. IRIG is a diverse place, and it is up to us to find ways to bring people together.
*Grenoble Institute for Interdisciplinary Research
**Multi-partner research units overseen by the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)