Open-source tools, vectors of innovation

CEA-List has long demonstrated a commitment to making software available under open-source licenses. Access to our advanced tools makes it easier for end-user companies to innovate, and helps our partners—who integrate our tools into the products and services they sell—grow their businesses.

Open-source software is one of the ways in which CEA-List transfers innovations from our labs to the market. We have been giving companies access to our open-source software for some fifteen years.

Our INCA program is no exception. All the major projects run under INCA have produced open-source software. Our Papyrus MBSE platform, Binsec and Frama-C code analysis tools and LIMA linguistic analyzer are freely available under business-friendly open-source licenses. Plus, unlike open-source licenses with strict contamination clauses, our licenses are relatively non-restrictive, which means that companies can develop and commercialize their own products using our open-source “bricks,” as long as the terms of the license are not violated.

In addition to making our tools available to the developer community, we also help startups and established companies create high-added-value, business-generating products using our solutions.

A solutions integrator for industrial R&D projects

CEA-List’s open-source software is available via several different platforms. But our role doesn’t stop there. Our researchers can also edit and integrate these tools into solutions addressing our partner companies’ unique use cases, including their business-specific processes.

Researchers from our INCA program have helped organizations like SNCF Réseau to implement our Papyrus suite. These integration contracts are another way we are helping to speed up the transfer of our innovations to the companies that need them. And, because our tools are open source, we offer our partners alternatives to the big names in engineering software.

In addition to large integration projects with corporate partners, we also work closely with startups through joint innovation projects. Here, companies can use our open-source code to create new products. For example, CEA-List helped startup CIL4Sys develop its Sim4Sys suite, which is based on the Papyrus.

Building communities, attracting top talents

Building open-source communities and driving the transfer of new technologies to the market have made CEA-List a particularly attractive place to work. The open-source approach is especially appealing to the younger generation of scientists and engineers, for whom alignment of personal and workplace values is important. Our open-source software policy is a vector for innovation and value creation of course, but it is also an expression of who we are as an organization.

CEA-List technologies available under an open- source license

See also

Research programs

Augmented digital engineering

Assisting engineers with the design of increasingly software-intensive complex systems.
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Research programs

Formal methods

The purpose of the INCA program is to make sophisticated formal verification methods accessible to all companies that develop code.
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Research programs

AI for systems engineering

CEA-List develops algorithms to help engineers face the challenges of designing complex systems.
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Success Story


CIL4Sys Engineering, a systems engineering services company that works with major French companies, joined forces with CEA-List on a software engineering venture.
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