Research infrastructureINES-CEA, France

French National Institute on Solar Energy (INES-CEA)



INES is the first French and one of the first European centre dedicated to research, innovation and training on solar energy. Set up with the backing of Savoie Departmental Council and Rhône-Alpes Regional Council and staffed by teams from the CEA, the University of Savoie, the CNRS, the CSTB it meets today 300 people from different backgrounds and by the year 2013 will bring together more than 500 people onsite 20,000 sqm.




The idea for a National Solar Energy Institute can be traced back to 1998 when local politicians, most notably Michel Barnier and Jean-Pierre Vial, realized the importance of creating a center of reference for solar energy. The project began to take shape in 2005 with the convergence of four determining factors: the unshakeable support of local politicians (Département of Savoie and Rhône-Alpes Region), the expertise of local associations, including 20 years of unique work by the ASDER (Savoie Association for the Development of Renewable Energies), the long-term presence of pioneering companies in the field (Clipsol, Photowatt, etc.), and the investment of major research laboratories, led by the CEA, CNRS and University of Savoie. Today, all of INES' partners are represented on the institute's steering committee, which is responsible for governing the institute under the co-presidency of the two local authorities (département and region).