THE WHAT? L’Oréal and Kering are amongst the five founding sponsors of the new Hi! Paris research centre, according to WWD.com.
THE DETAILS The research centre has been supported by the Haute École de Commerce Paris and the Institut Polytechnique de Paris and focuses on artificial intelligence and data.
L’Oréal and Kering join other corporate sponsors consultant firm Capgemini, oil major Total, and electric supply company Rexel, with the centre labelling itself as the first interdisciplinary and cross-institutional center in Europe, bringing together education, research and innovation.
The site will recruit 30 professors and 150 doctorate students.
THE WHY? L’Oréal CEO Jean-Paul Agon explained the importance of AI and data for the beauty industry, hailing it the ‘next big revolution’ following the digital boom that began in 2010.
He said, “So it is super important to prepare employees, train young people, and be able to bring about this revolution in our company and all companies.”
Likewise, it is hoped the institution will marry up to the success in U.S. and Asia, with French leaders voicing frustration that the country is falling behind.
Eric Labaye, President of Institut Polytechnique de Paris and president of École Polytechnique, said, “It’s to solve problems…the uniqueness of our center is to bring these skills together to provide solutions to some of the biggest issues.
Peter Todd, Dean of HEC Par, continued, “We need the MIT of France, here you take a world-class engineering institute, you take a world-class business school, you bring them together and you create a kind of magic, you create new ways of thinking about these kinds of problems.”