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HEC Paris Launches New Center for Innovative Research and Education

HEC Paris Launches New Center for Innovative Research and Education main image

Last month, HEC Paris School of Management launched Hi! PARIS, an innovative center for research and education in collaboration with the Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris).

The initiative marks the creation of the first interdisciplinary and interinstitutional center in Europe, bringing together world leaders from a wide range of sectors to foster innovation in AI and Data Science.

Over 300 researchers will join the two institutions and apply AI and data knowledge to different industries, including the health, security, finance, insurance, energy, retail, nutritional and luxury fields, thanks to the financial contribution of business giants such as L’Oréal, Capgemini, TOTAL and Kering.

The need for interinstitutional collaboration

Hi! PARIS is a unique initiative within the higher education sector, encouraging schools and experts across disciplines to collaborate and drive innovation in all areas of society.

Thierry Foucault, Scientific Co-Director at the center and Professor of Finance at HEC Paris, said: “Hi! Paris is one building block of the alliance between HEC Paris and IP Paris.

“The two institutions bring complementary perspectives – IP Paris being a top engineering school and HEC Paris a top business school. This allows Hi! Paris to bring together researchers with a very wide scope of expertise on issues related to AI, Data Science and their implications for society.”

The importance of data in business – and business school

Foucault says the idea behind Hi! Paris stemmed from the increasing importance of data-related skills in society.

He said: “The volume of data collected every day in digital form is mind boggling. Very fast-growing companies have built their business models around their ability to create value from data.

“It’s important for institutions like HEC Paris, whose core mission is the production and transmission of knowledge, to be at the forefront of research and education in this area.”

Foucault says participants of Hi! Paris will work on developing innovative solutions and research for businesses and society as a whole, a goal that requires a great deal of business knowledge and that will benefit future HEC Paris MBA cohorts.  

He said: “It will become critical for managers in all areas to understand how data can be useful and a source of value for their organizations. For instance, HR management in large companies increasingly relies on massive data collected about individual activities within their organizations. This can be a source of gains in efficiency for organizations. But there are also risks and limits.

“Managers will increasingly have to make decisions using forecasts and recommendations generated by machines. They will be better positioned to harness the value of data and cope with risks if their curriculum contains courses on AI, Data Science and the implications on business and society.”

More data in schools

As part of the initiative, Hi! Paris aims to “train the future generations of engineers and managers in Europe” over the course of the next five years. While Foucault recognizes this is an ambitious goal, he emphasizes the need for data education across sectors – and especially in education.

He said: “My hope is that Hi! Paris will enable HEC Paris and IP Paris to contribute significantly to the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the areas of AI, data and business. The goal is that this knowledge will be useful to society and contribute to the ongoing European effort to develop expertise and innovation in this area.”

Written by Linda Mohamed

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 

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