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Key areas of focus

Your support is essential to the four key areas of educational and scientific focus that are important to us!

Institut d’Optique Graduate School has selected four strategic areas of focus in which to develop major, original initiatives that hold promise for the future and give new impetus to the dynamic of education and research.
Donors may choose how they wish their funds to be distributed.

1. Creation of a research centre on the Bordeaux Optics and Digital Sciences campus

Today, optics and optical instruments are coupled with digital technologies used to simulate environments and produce realistic-looking synthetic images. Originally developed for military applications, they are being put to widespread use in civilian applications such as flight simulators, head-up displays in windscreens, human-machine interfaces, computer-assisted surgery, and even games. Optics brings along knowledge in the physics of images, its sensors and its displays, and incorporates the digital technologies needed for it to broaden its role in nanosciences and neurosciences. It also takes a new perspective on the process of vision by viewing the eye as an instrument and associating with it all the cognitive aspects related to the brain's role in vision. The knowledge bases of these disciplines will be combined and expanded on the Bordeaux campus.

2. Innovation and Entrepreneurs Track

Created in 2006, the Innovation and Entrepreneurs Track helps young engineers at Institut d'Optique Graduate School start their own tech companies. Forty engineering students have already enrolled in this original and innovative programme, and 10 young graduates are currently turning their projects into reality (five companies are in the start-up phase and one is being incubated).

In the few years since its creation, the Innovation and Entrepreneurs Track and the students enrolled in it have already won many awards in recognition of both the programme's originality and relevance and the quality of the students' projects.

3. International development and the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme

We believe that making our high-tech curricula internationally recognised is primordial. This is particularly true for optics. The quality of the education dispensed to our student engineers, the place held by our education system, and the ability of France to attract people from other countries depend on it. Not only must we provide international markets with the level of education they expect, we must also understand and meet their needs perfectly.

  • With this in mind, three years ago we created the Erasmus Mundus Master's degree in Optics in Science and Technology with our partners Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands), Friedrich Schiller University of Jena (Germany), Imperial College London (UK), and Warsaw University of Technology (Poland).
    Students enrolled in this two-year programme spend the first year (M1) at one of the five partner universities and the second year (M2) in a different country. Academic credits are awarded in each period under the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and graduates receive a master's degree from each partner university they attended.
  • Nearly 80% of engineering students acquire international experience during either internships/work experience programmes or long-term studies abroad. These internship/work experience opportunities are created through international relations with either our own research groups or those of our partner companies. Study-abroad opportunities are set up through partnership agreements and the majority of Erasmus Mundus students earn a double degree. A limited number of grants are awarded by the Erasmus Mundus programme and the Ile-de-France region.
  • Making our curricula internationally recognised also entails accepting a growing number of foreign students in our grande école engineering cycle, our joint master's programmes, and our doctoral programme laboratories. Students holding a BSc or MSc are chosen through a selective process either directly or by passing the ParisTech competitive entrance exam. Courses are taught in English and French as a Foreign Language classes are provided to guarantee that these students integrate their studies quickly and, over time, allow them to register for courses taught entirely in French.

This international growth is clearly hampered by the lack of scholarships we are able to offer to foreign students who wish to enrol in our programmes. As a result, the best foreign students choose the USA over France. Some European universities are trying to stem this tide by offering courses and programmes in English. Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, with its Abbe School of Photonics is just one example. The 50-odd scholarships granted to it by the State of Thuringia greatly enhance the school's competitiveness.

4. More open admissions – scholarships

Huge efforts are being made in France and abroad to draw talented youth to master's and grandes écoles programmes of science and engineering. Our future potential for innovation, social welfare and wealth are in their hands. Meeting our economic and societal needs requires resources that allow French students to obtain the education they deserve. It is also in our interest to train students from other countries in our technologies and values. Unless we make it easier for foreign students to study in France, they will go elsewhere and learn values other than our own. The scholarships and financial support necessary to ensure the ranking of the French optics industry amongst international competition continue to be lacking.


Françoise  Chavel
Head of Partnership Development
Tél 01 64 53 31 80