CIGREF, A network for large corporations, was founded in 1970 by general managers of large companies, under the name “Club Informatique des Grandes Entreprises Françaises”. The statutes, as written in its founding statements, are inspired by those of the AGREF (An association of large French corporations), today called AFEP.
On December 16, 2010, for its 40 anniversary, CIGREF brought together around his founding president Pierre Lhermitte, all his former presidents, numerous figures and leaders such as Maurice LEVY (AFEP President and Publicis Groupe CEO), Jean-Paul BAILLY (Entreprise & Personnel President and La Poste Group CEO), Jean-François Phelizon (Saint-Gobain Executive VP), and Bruno Racine (President of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France).
Today, CIGREF includes 130 French and European large companies and organizations from every business sector (banking, insurance, energy, retail, manufacturing, services…). All the CIGREF member organizations share the same ambition: "To Promote Digital Culture as a source of innovation and performance"
CIGREF is a non-profit organization (law 1901). Since its beginning, CIGREF has been an association of large corporations whose objective is to help managers to make their companies more innovative and efficient.
For 2015, CIGREF has developed a strategic plan to position itself as a hub for information, analysis, international exchanges and orientations related to businesses at the heart of the digital world.
Since October 19, 2011, CIGREF has been under the direction of Pascal Buffard, (Chairman of AXA Technology Services). Jean-François Pepin has been the General Manager of CIGREF since July 2001.
Each year, CIGREF publishes reports on common interest topics. The Association has relationships with regulators and authorities in both France as well as the rest of Europe. It promotes the interests of large companies and dialogues with all the major players involved in Information technology. Moreover, CIGREF has created its own series on “Digital Economy and Prospective”.
CIGREF is very involved in research. Under the aegis of Foundation Sophia-Antipolis, the CIGREF Foundation (Fondation CIGREF) was created in 2008 in order "to better understand how the digital world will transform the way we live and do business." The CIGREF Foundation has established a scientific committee, coordinated by Professor A. Bounfour, involving teachers and researchers from world famous universities and research institutions.[who?]
CIGREF Foundation leads an international research program, called ISD (Information Systems Dynamics). Its objective is to enlighten the future of the Information Systems function and alert the executives of major corporations, both public and private, to strategic issues related to the changes caused by the transformation from an industrial economy to a network economy, based on knowledge and management of intangibles. More broadly, research projects supported by the CIGREF Foundation are designed to understand emerging developments in order to increase the value and competitiveness of companies, as well as their potential for innovation, and more widely to contribute to the economic, social and human development of our society.
Call for projects and funding: 
- « Wave C »: deadline was 6th of April 2012. (funding for this call: €450,000).
- « Wave B »: deadline was 5th of April 2011. (funding for this call: €450,000).
- « Wave A »: deadline was 27th of April 2010. (funding for this call: €450,000).
Business and digital culture
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As part of its mission, CIGREF offers our leaders a broad perspective on the company in the digital world, with an interpretative framework that encourages them to take action and develop ambitious digital strategies. To achieve that, CIGREF has developed many partnerships, most notably with the Université Laval (Quebec, Canada), creating the position of Chair in Digital Cultures (under the direction of Professor Milad Doueihi) in the College of Letters.