Marlène Branca is Head of R&D and Innovation Financing at French AI/Robotics SME Another Brain. Following her appointment to the euRobotics Board of Directors, we give members a reminder about the things Marlène told us are important to her when she stood as a candidate for election.   

Renaud Champion has retired from the Board of Directors through ill-health. On behalf of euRobotics we wish him well and thank him for his years of service to the Association. In line with the by-laws, the Board has filled the vacancy by returning to the list of unsuccessful candidates in the recent election and appointing the highest-ranked candidate from that list by number of votes received, which was Marlène Branca. 

In her statement as a candidate for the BoD, Marlène said that as an active member of euRobotics, she aimed to be strongly involved in the TG AI and Cognition, and to contribute to the definition of the roadmap on several research topics such as machine learning, computer vision and human-robot interaction.  

She highlighted three priorities, which were to:  

  • Facilitate communication by bringing the voice of small companies to BoD meetings; 
  • Strengthen partnerships with AI and Robotic communities from different countries, and 
  • Contribute to the definition of European calls for proposals to help AI and robotic communities at the institutional level and facilitate the emergence of European disruptive R&D projects. 

In her own words: “I would also like to provide another perspective on artificial intelligence by introducing the subfield of neuro-artificial intelligence (Neuro-AI). Neuro-AI is an emerging field of AI that focuses on developing algorithms and systems inspired by the structure and function of the human brain.  

“Neuro-AI aims to create intelligent systems that are more biologically plausible, capable of adapting to new situations and environments. This is one way to improve the capabilities and intelligence of robots, making them more autonomous and able to interact with their environment and with humans in a more intuitive way.” 

Here’s how Marlène’s professional journey has progressed: 

“During my career, I have approached R&D activities from different perspectives. After a PhD in nanomaterials development and a master’s degree in innovation management, I started from an academic point of view as research engineer in the field of renewable energies. After two years, I changed sides and worked as a research project manager in a French SME specialized in printed electronics. I built and managed several European collaborative R&D projects. Passionate about setting up R&D projects and establishing international partnerships, I joined a consulting firm specialized in R&D project financing. For three and a half years, I helped companies and consortia to design projects and find grants. Then I came back to the start-up nation with AnotherBrain, and I am now leading the R&D funding and the construction of a strong research ecosystem in the hope of seeing the birth of a new kind of AI, trustworthy and frugal by design.”