Collaborating with India

Introducing the brand new international joint research unit, RELAX, bringing together teams from Bordeaux and Chennai!

  • 08/02/2017

The international joint research unit (UMI) RELAX, (which stands for Research Lab in Computer Science), was launched on the 1st January 2017. Based in Chennai, India and bringing together teams from France and India (see below), it follows on from the international joint laboratory (LIA), INFORMEL.


After a series of joint projects dating back to 2000, the LIA INFORMEL was founded in 2012 and has strongly boosted scientific collaboration between India and France within the domain of formal methods and their applications to the verification of complex, safety-critical systems. Over a period of five years, it has resulted in 60 joint publications, around 50 research visit exchanges, as well as several jointly supervised PhDs and post-doctoral fellowships.


The creation of the UMI RELAX will strengthen the momentum from the LIA INFORMEL. With a long-standing and structured collaboration already in place, it will build on the basis of the core topics already established. RELAX aims to serve as a hub for Indo-French collaboration in the field of theoretical computer science and to expand its scope to new projects. For example, it will be open to projects in mathematics, a discipline that features important interactions with computer science. The partner institutions in India are particularly interesting in this case, as interactions between computer science and mathematics are greatly facilitated by their interdisciplinary structure.

Another subject of importance is to foster partnerships with industrial players. In India, our partners work with Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys, two India-based multinational actors in information technology. On the French side, LaBRI (the Bordeaux Computer Science Research laboratory) and LSV (ENS Paris Saclay Computer Science Laboratory) work with Thales.

Complementary skills and resources

The UMI RELAX is composed of French teams that are leaders in their domain in France and our Indian partners are also amongst the best computer science research teams in India. Our expertise in theoretical computer science is similar with different, yet complementary approaches. For example, LaBRI has more of an algebraic perspective, and a strong experience in applications. Our Indian partners have more experience with formalisms like Petri nets, with logic in a distributed setting, and they also have very valuable working agreements with large industrial partners. In addition, their student body is exceptionally talented, representing a source of interesting potential joint PhDs for Bordeaux.

The teams directly involved in the LIA INFORMEL will continue to play a central role within UMI RELAX. Thanks to the larger scope of the UMI, collaborations and activities will be opened to a greater number of actors within our respective scientific campuses, notably in mathematics.

Looking ahead

The first official event of UMI RELAX was the ACTS (Automata, Concurrency and Timed Systems) workshop held in Chennai, India from the 30th January to the 3rd February. Amongst the projects planned for the future is the promotion of visit exchanges between the research groups in France and India. Internships by Indian students in France will be encouraged, and the establishment of jointly directed doctoral dissertations will be greatly facilitated. RELAX will also participate in the organization of workshops and conferences on topics within its scope.

RELAX partners

  • France: University of Bordeaux, LaBRI (Bordeaux Computer Science Research laboratory),
  • France: CNRS (the National Center for Scientific Research),
  • France: ENS Paris-Saclay, LSV (ENS Paris Saclay Computer Science Laboratory)
  • India: CMI, (Chennai Mathematical Institute). CMI occupies a unique position in Indian academia, with world-class research groups in mathematics and theoretical computer science, thus attracting substantial funding from both corporate and government sources.
  • India: IMSc (Institute of Mathematical Sciences). IMSc is a research institute within the Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India. It has internationally renowned research groups in mathematics, theoretical computer science and theoretical physics. Recently, IMSc has expanded its activities to include computational biology.