“IA, our ambition for France”, critical feedback and perspective following the publication of this major report for the sector.

By Fran├žois Sabatino, President of Eclairion.

On Wednesday March 13, the French Artificial Intelligence Commission submitted its report – “AI, our ambition for France” – to the President of the Republic. The 130-page report makes 25 recommendations to the French government.
A few months ago, when we launched the Eclairion project – a modular, sovereign computing center for the containerized hosting of HPC (High Performance Computing), supercomputers and solutions dedicated to Artificial Intelligence – a center which will be delivered in a few weeks’ time -, we took a radical step towards the heart of this new ecosystem in France, and its very specific value chain.
Given our unique position, we feel compelled, indeed enjoined, to take a critical look back at the publication of this important report.

First of all, we are delighted to be able to highlight the quality and density of this report. The report audited 600 experts and right-holders, met 23 times in plenary sessions, and is the fruit of a method that balances the contributions of representatives of the High Administration – who will ultimately be the ones to propose the regulatory framework for our activities and practices – and those of experts and citizens to remain realistic and concrete.
The resulting work is extremely detailed and precise and offers relevant and credible perspectives. Our first reaction is therefore one of great approval and enthusiasm for this publication, which intelligently sets out the current and future landscape, with its ambitions but also its limits and constraints.

Among all the recommendations, and through our specific value proposition, it was indeed number 14 that caught our full attention: “Recommendation no. 14: Make France a major hub for computing power, in both the short and medium term.”

In the body of the report, it states: “Our Commission considers it imperative that France and Europe become a major hub for installed computing power, with three objectives: (i) to provide public computing power for sensitive use cases; (ii) to provide accessible and affordable computing power to stimulate research and development for AI start-ups; (iii) to be able to train and use the most advanced AI models on European soil.” “For private or non-sensitive uses, it is imperative to develop data centers on our territory. Setting up a data center on French territory raises issues of land management, coordination of players, administrative procedures, and access to competitively priced electricity. In this respect, electricity consumption represents a significant cost for market players: it is therefore a key factor in the decision to locate. Faced with the financial support offered by certain US states, which are keen to attract data centers, France could strengthen its tax competitiveness. To ensure that our players developing and using AI have access to affordable computing power, we also need to take note of the very tense context in which the market for specialized AI processors finds itself. Access to computing power will be a major differentiator in the next few years and cost a crucial parameter for the competitiveness of players driving AI.”

We couldn’t say it better, nor could we better present the importance of the stakes, nor the key points for successful deployment.
We, on the other hand, have begun to do so.

The content of this report confirms both our ambition and our method and validates the current and future relevance of our unique positioning and offering. In order to help the next AI start-ups, in which the next unicorns of the French digital economy are to be found, to grow and develop, we need to be able to offer them the best hosting solutions, at the best cost for the IT power delivered, and with the lightest possible environmental impact. And it’s even better when the solution delivered is French-owned and -operated.
It is our reason for being, and our pride, to be the only French player – and the only one in France – to offer a hosting infrastructure dedicated to supercomputing, enabling the next stage in the development of these cutting-edge technologies in our country.

We are therefore delighted to welcome this spotlight on our activities, our business, and the affirmation of our necessity.
All that remains is for the public authorities to incorporate this report and its recommendations into their decisions, purchases, and future investments. At the time of writing, this public return has not yet been made, but there is no doubt that it is being prepared. As for us, we are available and open to any discussion and perspective on these subjects.