Institut Polytechnique de Paris and Accenture Form Strategic Partnership to Leverage Science and Technology to Address Major Societal, Economic, and Environmental Challenges

Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and the Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris) have entered into a five-year strategic partnership to co-develop solutions in response to the major social, economic, and environmental challenges that humanity faces. A central aspect of the partnership is the creation of an academic and research chair that aims to foster the development of innovative technologies in response to these challenges.


The partnership is being led by Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO of Accenture in Europe; Olivier Girard, CEO of Accenture in France and Benelux; Eric Labaye, President of Institut Polytechnique de Paris; and Jean-Paul Cottet, Executive Director of the École Polytechnique Foundation.


Building on IP Paris Interdisciplinary Research Centers, the academic and research chair – known as the “Chair of Technology for Change” – seeks to promote industry transformation and the emergence of innovative business models to foster environmental and social sustainability. It aims to accelerate and support environment, economic, social, and societal change through technological innovation.


Established initially for a period of five years, the Chair of Technology for Change will be an integral part of the research and education activities carried out at IP Paris. Its educational program will benefit today’s and tomorrow’s students and decision makers by addressing a broad range of issues such as inclusive innovation, energy transition, sustainable technology, the circular economy, sustainable business models, and responsible finance. The Chair will strongly contribute to a certificate, the level of which will be based on the students’ degree of commitment toward these critical issues.


Chaired by Thierry Rayna, Professor of Innovation Management at École Polytechnique and Research Director at the Innovation Interdisciplinary Institute (i3, a joint CNRS, École Polytechnique, Mines ParisTech, Télécom Paris research lab), the Chair of Technology for Change will build on the expertise of IP Paris’ 30 research laboratories and 950 faculty members. It will act as a platform for rapid responses to the societal and environmental issues outlined in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations Agenda 2030.


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Eric Labaye, President of IP Paris, said, “Addressing the current global societal, economic, and environmental challenges requires new innovation approaches. This new long-term partnership between IP Paris and Accenture, bringing together science, technology, and industry expertise, is a major step in our aspiration to train responsible leaders and develop leading-edge interdisciplinary research on the world’s most pressing issues. The Chair of Technology for Change, linking technology, economics, and sustainable development, will create new educational and research opportunities to shape the next wave of innovation with a positive impact for all.”


Jean-Marc Ollagnier, CEO of Accenture in Europe, said, “The combination of Accenture’s technology expertise and deep industry knowledge with the academic excellence of IP Paris will provide the scientific world with a unique opportunity to promote the latest research-based innovation more widely and rapidly and offer businesses easier access to the latest academic breakthroughs. Harnessing the power of technology and human knowledge and inventiveness is essential for addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow, whether demographic, economic, ecological, or societal. The only way for companies to emerge stronger and build a sustainable world is to embrace change and ensure that it benefits all.”


Olivier Girard, CEO of Accenture in France and Benelux, said, “Our collaboration with IP Paris on realizing the potential of technology for change is consistent with Accenture’s commitment to provide cutting-edge expertise and support the development of tomorrow’s talent. Convergence of industry and science is key to developing solutions to address the economic and societal challenges that lie ahead and building a future that benefits all.”


A key goal of the Chair of Technology for Change is to be a global leader – and a major contributor within European universities – in fostering sustainable development and economy through technological innovation. As such, the Chair of Technology for Change will organize annual events – such as a yearly Global Summit on Technology for Change, as well as international technology challenges and hackathons – bringing together representatives of the general public, academics, businesses, and policy-makers to focus on these issues. The Chair will also publish a yearly report on the latest research surrounding these issues in order to assist decision and policy-makers.