Status and location
The Institute was set up in 1992, and the Descartes campus of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENS de Lyon) has been its home since 2002.
The Institute enjoys the status of a research unit jointly supervised by the French National Research Centre (CNRS) and three academic institutions of the University of Lyon — these are the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, which is its main academic supervisory body, the Lyon Institute of Political Studies (IEP de Lyon) and the Université Lumière Lyon 2.
In 2010, the IAO was evaluated by the AERES (the Paris-based « Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education ») and received the A+ grade, the highest in its scale. The agency’s report can be viewed online: (Rapport AERES IAO 2010).
Objectives, research projects and academic events
The IAO’s primary objective is to foster the output of academic studies and publications that will contribute to greater knowledge of the cultural, social, economic and political dynamics at work in East and South-East Asia.
The Institute conducts both intra-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research on environmental issues, and technological and institutional innovation. It works closely with research teams in Asia, North America and Europe through exchange programs in the form of seminars and workshops.
At the same time, the Institute disseminates similar research from other centres around the world to local scholars and students at the University of Lyon as well as to the wider public. This is done through research seminars, exhibitions and other scientific and cultural events.
Documentary resources and training through research
Under its research programmes, the IAO places documentary resources (the IAO Asian Language collections at the Bibliothèque Diderot as well as online resources) at the disposal of the academic community. It also develops tools for data viewing and analysis, especially under the Virtual cities programme, using geographical information systems.
The IAO gives expert guidance and support to students preparing Ph.Ds and Master’s degrees, especially Master’s in Contemporary East Asian Studies and Chinese Studies at the Lyon Ecole Nationale Supérieure and the Master of History degree at the University of Lyon 2.