About us

HISTORY OF IPAL - Image and Pervasive Access Laboratory

IPAL is a French-Singaporean joint research laboratory, based in Singapore and formed in 1998 as a special overseas French National Center for Scientific Research laboratory (Postulant Team — Equipe Postulante EP CNRS) in order to create a local framework for collaborative research projects among CNRS, the National University of Singapore — School of Computing, and the Institute for Infocomm Research of the Agency for Science, Technology And Research. This first research structure evolved to the status of Research Formation in Evolution (Formation de Recherche en Evolution FRE CNRS) since 2000.

In 2007, IPAL became an UMI CNRS lab (CNRS International Mixed research Unit — Unité Mixte Internationale - the highest scientific ranking among the CNRS labs overseas). The UMI agreement was signed in January 2007, for an initial period of 4 years (renewable), between the Institute of Sciences and Technologies for Information and Engineering (INST2I) of the CNRS, I²R/A*STAR, NUS, and the University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France. This agreement has been renewed in February 2011, by adding two new top collaborators : the Institute Mines TELECOM  and the University Pierre et Marie Curie.


Continuing and capitalizing IPAL experience toward natural and medical image/information access, IPAL concentrates its research themes around two axes/teams:

  • BMIU - BioMedical Image Understanding, targeting semantic, cognitive exploration of biomedical images as system biology modeling for prognosis and healthcare,
  • PAWM - Pervasive Access and Wellbeing Management, focusing on ambient intelligence dedicated to ageing and dependent people.

The global framework is related to pervasive access to information, involving symbolic cognitive algorithms for vision and ambient intelligence, to enable the generation of new knowledge and associated services. The application domains span from healthcare to wellness, e.g. biomedical prognosis and ambient assistance.


IPAL aims to bring sustainable benefits to both French and Singaporean Infocomm, Media and Engineering research communities, highlighted as follows:

  • Creation of common intellectual property forground related to Infocomm, Media and Engineering Technologies in the form of high-quality international publications, innovative research prototypes, research contracts, copyrights and patents.
  • An incubation unit for French/European scientists (future research and technology leaders); a window for French/European scientists and engineers to understand the dynamic and vibrant research culture (allowing both scientific and cultural exposure) and operations in a high-growth South-East Asia economy such as Singapore and to bridge to other South-East Asian nations.
  • Research HUB position of Singapore for education through research; a way to connect researchers from surrounding ASEAN countries with French/European networks of excellence.
  • R&D support to French/European industries in the neighborhood of the next wave of emergent ASEAN countries and to Singaporean/ASEAN companies interested to provide innovative services or deploy advanced technologies in France/Europe.
Role of IPAL