IHP Endowment Fund

In 2016, the Institut Henri Poincaré (IHP), the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Université Pierre et Marie Curie (nowadays Sorbonne Université) joined forces with learned societies in mathematics - the Société Mathématique de France (SMF), the Société de Mathématiques Appliquées et Industrielles (SMAI) and the Société Française de Statistique (SFdS) - and a Circle of corporate partners to create the IHP Endowment Fund.

Read the press release - September 2016 (French version only)


IHP Endowment Fund website


IHP's Circle of Corporate Partners

The Institut Henri Poincaré Corporate Partners Circle was created in November 2015 with 9 companies: 80 Cap, Airbus, Atos, BNP Paribas, Huawei, IBM, Orange RTE and Thales.
Its members provide the required contributions to the development of IHP in addition to public funding (CNRS, Sorbonne University and local authorities). The contributions are divided into funding, equipment and expertise.

Since 2015, the Circle has grown and is composed of about fifteen companies that provide financial support in kind and/or in skills, depending on their size and specificity.

The missions of the Endowment Fund

The purpose of the Endowment Fund is to collect funds in order to redistribute them to organizations of general interest working for the development of synergies between mathematical research, teaching, mediation and the diffusion of scientific knowledge. It has the capacity to receive private funds from companies and individual donors whose values and passions are in line with those of the Institut Henri Poincaré. It also appeals to the generosity of the general public through participatory funding campaigns for specific projects.

The Endowment Fund carries out actions to support IHP projects, in particular the development of the Maison Poincaré which will open in 2023. Since its creation, it has focused its support on financing dissemination activities (exhibitions, conferences, events, films for the general public) and has contributed financially to the design of the Maison Poincaré, particularly the museography.

Governance of the Fund

The Fund's Board of Directors was chaired by Cédric Villani from its inception until March 7, 2019, when Sylvie Benzoni took over as interim Chair. Vincent Lefieux, representing IHP's Circle of Corporate Partners on the Board of Directors, was elected President on May 29, 2019.

The Endowment Fund is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of 8 members divided into 3 colleges:

  • Founders' College:
    • For the CNRS: Christophe Besse, mathematician, director of the National Institute of Mathematical Sciences and their Applications (INSMI) ;
    • For Sorbonne University: Pierre-Marie Chauvin, senior lecturer, vicce-president "art, science, culture and society" at Sorbonne University ;
  • For the learned societies :
    • Grégoire Allaire, mathematician, professor at the École Polytechnique;
    • College of partners :
    • Vincent Lefieux, head of the statistical analysis and expertise division, RTE, President of the Endowment Fund;
  • Qualified personalities:
    • Sylvie Benzoni, mathematician, director of IHP;
    • Clothilde Fermanian, mathematician, president of the Comité de Culture Mathématique;
    • Pierre-Emmanuel Juillard, philantrepreneur, Chief Financial Officer AXA Investment Manager Chorus;
    • Cédric Villani, mathematician, honorary president of the Endowment Fund.

The Endowment Fund's actions

The Maison Poincaré

Starting in 2023, new spaces will allow researchers to be welcomed in optimal conditions, as well as non-specialists in the Maison Poincaré.
This extension of the Institut Henri Poincaré (IHP) in the historical Jean Perrin building was initiated by the mathematician Cédric Villani, then director of  IHP. The project is supported by IHP and its supervisors: CNRS and Sorbonne University.
To finance the project, private funds were raised from philanthropic individuals and companies. Corporate sponsors are united in the IHP's Circle of Corporate Partners, created in late 2015. The management of the funds collected is ensured by the IHP Endowment Fund.

The first actions of the Endowment Fund

As of 2016, the collaboration with the IHP's Circle of Corporate Partners was established around two actions:

  • The Mathematics, Digital Oxygen conference, to debate mathematics and the world of tomorrow, which was held on October 20 and 21 on the Sorbonne University campus;
  • The celebration of the Claude Shannon Centenary, as part of the international Shannon100 initiative: an event combining an exhibition in partnership with the Musée des Arts et Métiers, a series of conferences for the general public and a research seminar.
  • The production of the film Maison des mathématiques: chapter 1.

In 2017, the Endowment Fund supported six IHP projects:

  • Math mon modèle participatory funding campaign for the restoration of mathematical models held in the IHP library;
  • Esthétopies, a science and arts exhibition at the IHP library,
  • Enquête chez Poincaré, a discovery tour on app tablet,
  • The making of the film Maison des mathématiques : chapter 2
  • Holo-Math, a mixed reality prototype, on the theme of Brownian motion,
  • Gaston Darboux, for the celebration of the geometer's passing: in addition to the restoration of mathematical models, the Fund participated in the financing of a symposium on the work of Gaston Darboux.

In 2018, the Endowment Fund contributed in particular to the financing of:

  • two exhibitions as an extension of the celebrations of Gaston Darboux's death centenary: La profondeur des surfaces (exhibited at the IHP library) and Sous la surface les maths (exhibited at the Musée des Arts et Métiers and then at the Maison des Mathématiques et de l'Informatique in Lyon starting in September 2019)
  • a documentary on Man Ray and the Shakespearean equations
  • new prefigurations of mixed reality Holo-Math,
  • the exhibition Comme par hasard, in partnership with the Maison des mathématiques et de l'informatique in Lyon

In 2019, the Endowment Fund contributed to the financing of the first episode of Holo-Math (The Brownian movement) notably through a participatory financing campaign De l'autre coté du miroir.
It also contributes to the financing of the spaces design of the Maison Poincaré. A dedicated crowdfunding campaign is underway: La Maison Poincaré, les maths autrement.

Contact IHP Endowment Fund

Brigitte Zana, General manager in charge of development

Cyrielle Raveneau, Fundraising and communication manager