Atos and GENCI announce Winners of Atos Joseph Fourier Award 2018

5 revolutionary projects in numerical simulation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and quantum computing have been rewarded

Paris, June 6 2018

Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, today announces, together with GENCI (Grand Équipement National de Calcul Intensif) , the winners of its scientific competition, the Atos Joseph Fourier Award 2018. The award aims to accelerate research and innovation by rewarding projects in the fields of numerical simulation, and for the first time this year, in the fields of AI, and quantum computing.

The ceremony, presided over by Philippe Vannier, Group CTO, EVP Big Data & Security at Atos, and Philippe Lavocat, GENCI CEO, unfolded in the presence of many representatives of the French scientific community, researchers, engineers, and entrepreneurs.

The jury, which is made up of independent industry figures from the French scientific and industrial sectors, awarded the following winning teams:

Numerical simulation

  • 1st prize (10 000 €): Jean-Philip Piquemal, professor at Sorbonne Université, as well as Félix Aviat, Luc-Henri Jolly, Louis Lagardère and Yvon Maday have been rewarded for their work on dynamic molecular simulation on Tinker-HP (High Performance). This software aims to organize dynamic molecular simulations using advanced force fields. The project could potentially impact a number of sectors, including health and biology.
  • The second prize (200,000 hours of machine time on GENCI supercomputers) honored Ludovic Berthier, first-class numerical simulation researcher in amorphous substances, such as emulsions. The composition of these disorganized substances constitutes one of the most open and unresolved issue in today’s physics, with many potential impacts in biology and computing.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • 1st prize (10 000 €) rewarded to the team composed of Igor Carron and Laurent Daudet, respectively co-founder and CEO & Technical Director of LightOn, a company which develops state-of-the-art optic based IT hardware, in collaboration with Kastler Brossel Laboratory, and “L’Ecole Normale Supérieure” for the creation of an innovative optic processor which allows to accelerate AI programs with unprecedented capabilities. The first results have already been seen in terms of visual and text recognition. Optic processors are a thousand times faster compared to standard processors, while consuming less energy.
  • The second prize (100,000 hours of machine time on GENCI supercomputers) honored Stephan Clémençon, applied mathematics professor at “Telecom ParisTech), who has developed Machine Learning based algorithms which can be applied to social networks, detection of fraud, and predictive maintenance means.

Quantum Computing

  • Quantum computing winner (10,000€): Jean-Charles Faugère, researcher at INRIA, and Ludovic Perret, professor at Sorbonne Université. For the past 15 years, this team has been working on cryptographic algorithms, which will be able to resist future quantum computing based decoding systems. The success of this project has led to the creation of the PQAT startup, which offers ‘quantum safe’ solutions.

At the ceremony, Philippe Vannier, Group CTO and EVP Big Data and Security at Atos, said: "In celebration of the recent 250th anniversary of the emblematic French physicist Joseph Fourier, it’s fascinating to see such high quality ventures in the fields of HPC, AI and Quantum Computing. I want to congratulate all the scientists and researchers for their hard work and innovative ideas which will revolutionize the economy of the future. At Atos, we thrive on pushing the boundaries of science, and it is with pleasure that we reward and support these international-scale projects.’’

Philippe Lavocat, CEO of GENCI added: ”As a member of the jury, we analyzed more entries than in previous years and of a very high scientific quality, in the HPC category, but also in IA and quantum computing. By being part of the Atos Joseph Fourier Award, GENCI wants to not only highlight those scientists who are presenting world-renown research excellence, but also to offer French researchers access to GENCI supercomputers, in order to enable them to make advances in science and meet societal challenges.”


About Atos
Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with approximately 100,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenue of around € 12 billion. The European number one in Big Data, Cybersecurity, High Performance Computing and Digital Workplace, The Group provides Cloud services, Infrastructure & Data Management, Business & Platform solutions, as well as transactional services through Worldline, the European leader in the payment industry. With its cutting-edge technologies, digital expertise and industry knowledge, Atos supports the digital transformation of its clients across various business sectors: Defense, Financial Services, Health, Manufacturing, Media, Energy & Utilities, Public sector, Retail, Telecommunications and Transportation. The Group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and operates under the brands Atos, Atos Consulting, Atos Worldgrid, Bull, Canopy, Unify and Worldline. Atos SE (Societas Europaea) is listed on the CAC40 Paris stock index.

Press contacts:
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GENCI, National Equipment Intensive Computing, is a civil society owned 49% by the State, represented by the Ministry of Higher Education of Research and Innovation (MESRI), 20% by the CEA, 20 % by the CNRS, 10% by the Universities and 1% by Inria. Born from the political desire to place France at the best European and international level in the field of intensive computing, with the weight of the association of main actors of the academic research and the support of the public authorities, GENCI pursues three great missions since its creation in 2007: to finance and coordinate the implementation of a strategic plan of equipment of national centers of computation intensive for the civil research; to be a major player in the organization and the realization of a European space for intensive computing for research (as such, GENCI represents France within PRACE); to promote simulation and intensive computing in basic and industrial research. For more information:

Séverine SAINT HUBERT | + 33 1 42 50 04 15 |