The Institute’s third fundraising campaign, “IHES, at the avant-garde of science” was launched by Emmanuel Ullmo on 16 November 2018, during a ceremony presided over by Frédérique Vidal, the French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, on the occasion of IHES’ 60th anniversary. This new and ambitious fundraising project focuses on three key elements: “People, Place, Perpetuity”.
“People“, first of all, because, as it was emphasised by the Institute’s Director during his speech, people are at the heart of the IHES project. Concerning permanent professors, the objective is to go from 5 to 7 posts, a number that has not been achieved at the Institute since the 1970s.
Another flagship project of this campaign is the creation of junior positions, in order to provide young talents with an optimal working environment. Developing post-doctoral opportunities remains a priority. Finally, IHES wishes to continue offering associate and visiting professors optimal research conditions.
“Place” because IHES must maintain the high standard of its hosting facilities. Increasing the number of workspaces to match the increase in scientific activity is a vital necessity. The maintenance and development of the Ormaille residence is equally crucial, as the ability to provide accommodation to researchers from around the world is a key asset.
Finally, “Perpetuity” because enabling IHES to move closer to independence by increasing its endowed capital remains a key priority andwill ensurethat the Institute can continue to operate far into the future.
In order to meet the objectives of the “IHES, at the avant-garde of science” project, the Institute must raise €50 million: €30 million from the private sector, €20 million from public institutions (excluding the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation). The silent phase of the campaign, which began in May 2015, raised almost half this sum, including more than €14 million in donations from companies, individuals and foundations. In her speech, Frédérique Vidal highlighted the Institute’s remarkable success in bringing philanthropists together to support its mission over the past 20 years. “The primary reason for IHES having convinced socio-economic players to believe in it and invest in it is the fact that a passion for mathematics does not only concern scientists. Mathematics has that “strange beauty” of which David Ruelle speaks, which fascinates and charms”, she recalled.
The official launch of the third campaign, “IHES, at the avant-garde of science”, ended with the inauguration of a new building completely dedicated to research, with twelve offices and collaborative workspaces. The Institute has chosen to name the new building after Alix and Marwan Lahoud, to mark the close relationship between IHES and its Chairman, and to thank the Lahouds for their extraordinary generosity. “With their donation, Alix and Marwan Lahoud became the Institute’s biggest individual donors in France. I am convinced that their commitment will inspire our donor community,” said Philippe Camus, who co-chairs the fundraising campaign with Jean-Laurent Bonnafé.