Thierry Coulhon & Francis Mer / President of PSL Université Paris & President of Paris Innovation Review, Former Minister of Economy

Last updated on profile page : February 15th, 2017

BIO

Thierry Coulhon has been Professor of Mathematics since 1992 (université de Cergy-Pontoise), after starting his career as an assistant professor in université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie (UPMC). His research is on heat kernels and analysis on manifolds, graphs, and metric measure spaces. He is a member of the editorial board of the Annales mathématiques Blaise Pascal and of Nonlinear analysis: theory, methods and applications.

Alongside his career as a researcher, he has held several senior officer positions in the higher education system, both in France and abroad. Prior to his election as President of PSL on December 16th, 2014, he was Director of the Mathematical Sciences Institute, Australian National University, Canberra (2012-2014). He also served as President of the Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France (2004-2008), as special advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to Ms. Valérie Pécresse, French Minister of Higher Education and Research (2008-2010) and was Program Director for the French Commissariat Général à l'Investissement's Centres d'Excellence program (2010-2012).

Thierry Coulhon was executive Vice President of the Conference of French University Presidents (CPU) from 2006 to 2008.

Francis Mer is an industrialist, former Minister of Economy. He was among the founders of ParisTech Review and has chaired it till today.

A graduate from Ecole Polytechnique and Mines ParisTech, he joined Saint-Gobain Pont-à-Mousson Group in 1970. He was in charge of Saint-Gobain Industries Strategic Planning (1971), then became Manager of Saint-Gobain Industries (1974-1978) before being appointed in September 1978 Vice-President of Saint-Gobain Pont-à-Mousson, in charge of industrial policy. In July 1982, he became Chairman and CEO of Pont-à-Mousson SA and head of Saint Gobain’s Pipe and Engineering Division.

In September 1986, when the French government (main shareholder), decided the merging of Usinor and Sacilor, Francis Mer became Chairman of the new steel group.

The Governement had assigned Francis Mer the mission to carry out the privatisation of Usinor Sacilor, finaly realized in July 1995. Mr. Mer was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the privatised Usinor Sacilor Group on October, 10, 1995.

He was also appointed Chairman of Cockerill Sambre in April 1999.

From December 1990 to 1997, M. Mer chaired Eurofer, the European steelmakers association. From October 1997 to October 1998, he was chairman of the International Iron an Steel Institute (IISI).

He has been President of the French Steel Federation (FFA) from 1988 to 2002, President of the National Technical Research Association (ANRT) from 1991 to 2002, the EPE (Entreprise pour l’Environnement), and the Cercle de l’Industrie.

In March 2002, he became co-chairman of the board of Arcelor, the company issued from the merger of Arbed, Aceralia and Usinor.

In May 2002, he was appointed Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry, a position he kept till March 31, 2004.

In 2007, Francis Mer became Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Safran, a position he kept till 2011.

By Thierry Coulhon & Francis Mer on Paris Innovation Review

The partnership between PSL and ParisTech Review, which gave rise to the Paris Innovation Review, reflects a shared vision: for developed economies, as well as for institutions with a global vocation, innovation is the very key to power. Yet one does not simply decree innovation. Innovation dynamics, on the other hand, can be enabled, by enhancing exchanges between disciplines, between institutions, between cultures, between public and private stakeholders, between researchers and entrepreneurs. An institution like PSL is an exchange enabler. Such is also the vocation of Paris Innovation Review.
La rencontre entre PSL et ParisTech Review, qui a donné naissance à la Paris Innovation Review, traduit une vision partagée : pour les économies développées, comme pour les institutions à vocation mondiale, l’innovation est la clé de la puissance. Elle ne se décrète pas. Mais on peut activer des dynamiques d’innovation, en valorisant les échanges entre disciplines, entre établissements, entre cultures, entre acteurs publics et privés, entre chercheurs et entrepreneurs. Une institution comme PSL est un activateur d’échanges. C’est aussi la vocation de la Paris Innovation Review.

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