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Ecole Polytechnique looks beyond the pandemic with its 2021 agenda

While Ecole Polytechnique's priority remains to protect the health of its entire community and to deliver outstanding teaching and research despite the ongoing health crisis, its 2021 priorities look beyond the pandemic.

Le campus de l'Ecole polytechnique au printemps

École Polytechnique's priority remains to protect the health of everyone - students, teachers, researchers and staff - while ensuring the continuity of its fundamental missions of training, research and innovation in the context of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. It also strives to ensure its development and that of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, which it has launched alongside ENSAE Paris, ENSTA Paris, Télécom Paris and Télécom SudParis.

In 2021, École Polytechnique will thus continue to make progress on its three missions while placing sustainable development issues at the very heart of its strategy and improving its internal operations and the on-campus experience.

As part of its training mission, the School plans to move forward in the review of its engineering cycle, so that it remains of the highest standard and retains its international appeal. The main improvements concern the engineering cycle, whose previous reform dates back to 2010, and include a greater emphasis on the students’ choice of courses, the importance given to teamwork, and a strengthening of teaching on international and geopolitical issues as well as management.

The School also intends to capitalize on the success of its Bachelor of Sciences and Masters in Science & Technology (MSC&T) programs, for which recruitment increased significantly in 2020, to further strengthen their worldwide recognition.

The success of the Executive Master will result in the recruitment of a second cohort this year.

Winner of the EuroteQ European university project with TUM (Munich), DTU (Copenhagen), TU/e (Eindhoven), CTU (Poland) and TalTech (Tallinn), the School will pursue with its partners the implementation of a European engineering education program with a particular emphasis on social and environmental responsibility.

Building on the online courses scaled-up during lockdowns related to the Covid-19 pandemic and on its pioneering expertise in digital education, the School will pursue the development of e-learning and digital training offers, keeping fully in mind the crucial importance of face-to-face time.

Finally, the School will carry on with the implementation of its action plan for diversity, presented in October 2019, with the goal of reaching 16,000 youth - compared to 7,000 in 2020 - to get them involved in scientific studies and help them succeed with the support of its Diversity and Success Center and the commitment of its students.

Research: IP Paris impact

In terms of research, new projects are increasingly starting under the Institut Polytechnique de Paris umbrella, which makes it possible both to bid for larger research projects and to build ever more ambitious partnerships and sponsorships, helping to tap into new sources of funding.

Two directions will continue to be privileged in 2021. The establishment of interdisciplinary research centers will continue, with a third launch in the security and defense fields in the very near future following the success of Energy 4 Climate (E4C) dedicated to energy efficiency and Hi! PARIS on artificial intelligence and data sciences. Discussions are underway in areas such as lasers - where the School's pre-eminence is well established - quantum technologies or materials.

The strengthening of academic partnerships with national research organizations, illustrated by the agreement signed at the end of 2020 with INRIA, is another major area of development for 2021.

In terms of innovation, the challenge will be to relaunch a very positive dynamic that has been slowed down by the Covid-19 pandemic, by enhancing the availability of seed funding and increasing the number of companies hosted by the Drahi-X Center, the School's incubator, to promote entrepreneurship. The School will continue to develop its innovation ecosystem in close collaboration with its partners within IP Paris.

The School also plans to take another step forward in its sustainable development strategy after meeting its 2019 commitments in this area. It will spell out its sustainability targets, action governance plan in a climate plan to be finalized during the year.

After adopting a master plan for its campus at the level of Institut Polytechnique de Paris in 2020, it will enhance its efforts to provide a welcoming environment that meets the highest international standards in order to offer the best possible experience to its entire community.