IRCCyN short history

This research institute has been created in 1958 in the frame of the Engineering School ENSM (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique, which became Ecole Centrale de Nantes in 1991), by Professor Romane Mezencev, and has been attached to CNRS since 1968.

At that time, there were about 20 members. Nantes only had 2 research units attached to CNRS : the Laboratory of Chemistry Jean Rouxel (now called IMN) and the Laboratoire d’Automatique de Romane Mezencev (now called IRCCyN). At the beginning, research was focussed on Automatic Control and Signal Processing. Thanks to new members arrivals from University and from CNRS, the research scope enlarged including Real Time, Robotics and Manufacturing Systems. At the end of the 80’s there were about 50 members, PhD students included.

In 1992, the Laboratoire d’Automatique ENSM became LAN (Laboratoire d’Automatique de Nantes), first local research structure to be shared by ENSM and University of Nantes. On the same year, Ecole des Mines has been created in Nantes. Its research domains were automatic control, robotics, and production systems. On the other hand, a significant research was developed by University in the domain of image processing. Therefore, it leads to the creation of a new institute welcoming all these research activities in information sciences (except pure computer science) including a new building (1998) which still is our main building on the campus of ECN.

In fact, LAN became IRCyN (Institut de Recherche en Cybernétique de Nantes) in 1995, with 3 local administrative attachments (University, ECN, EMN), and became UMR CNRS at the beginning 1996-1999. In parallel, the University of Nantes has submitted to the agreement of the CNRS a new laboratory « Systèmes Electroniques et Informatiques ». CNRS was ready to support it in the frame of IRCyN which became in 2000 IRCCyN. in 2001, IRCCyN has integrated a new team from Life Sciences « PsyCoTec » (Psychology, Cognition, Technology) involved in Cognitive Psychology, Ergonomy and Man-Machine interactions. Before the arrival of PsyCoTec, the originality of IRCCyN rested was on the strong coupling between cybernetics and mechanics, supported by ENSM and CNRS since 1984. With this new team, the human dimension enriched this technological context.

Finally, in 2004, University has decided to take out of IRCCyN the former SETRA division (whose the research topics are close from electronics) with a new unsuccessful attempt to get independent CNRS label.