INRIA released a strategic plan for the 1999-2003 period. The plan features ten objectives for conducting an ambitious research policy in the field of Information and Communication Science and Technology. The Institutes strategy is based on the close combination of scientific achievement and technology transfer. In order to meet its objectives, the Institute intends to take up five major scientific challenges: (1) mastering the digital infrastructure by knowing how to code, compute and communicate over the Internet and over heterogeneous networks; (2) designing new applications that make use of the Web and multimedia databases; (3) knowing how to produce reliable software (4) designing and mastering automatic control for complex systems (5) combining simulation and virtual reality. Through these five challenges and in closely coordinated interaction with other scientific disciplines, INRIA will focus its efforts on a few major fields of applications, primarily telecommunications, multi-media, health and biology. The full strategic plan is available at http://www.inria.fr/Strategy/.