The CNRS, French national center for scientific research


The National Center for Scientific Research, known by its French initials CNRS, is a science and technology agency operating under the auspices of the ministry of research. Its annual budget is about 2.5 billion euros, equal to one-fourth of France’s total civil research budget. The CNRS operates through its own laboratories, as well as others run jointly with universities, fellow research organizations and industry. These laboratories are located throughout France, and several are even outside the country.

With more than 25,000 people, including 11,400 researchers and 13,600 engineers, technicians and office staff, the CNRS covers all fields of knowledge. It operates through 1,235 research and service units, and is organized in eight scientific departments: Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Communication and Information Science and Technology, Engineering Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Sciences of the Universe, Life Sciences and Humanities and Social Sciences, along with the National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics, and the National Institute of Sciences of the Universe. These multidisciplinary capabilities are one of the main assets offered by the CNRS.

In addition to its considerable human and financial resources, the CNRS spans a broad variety of scientific disciplines and teaming arrangements. It plays a pivotal role in French research, as a breeding ground of scientific and technical innovation.

Its primary mission is to advance knowledge, but the CNRS also helps foster the application of its research results. For example, it maintains an extremely active partnership policy with industry.

The CNRS has five major missions:

  • Amplify partnership actions.

  • Leverage the results of research (4,181 active patents, 500 licenses and 3,100 industrial contracts).

  • Help create small businesses (72 businesses created from CNRS laboratories since 1999).

  • Foster the transfer of innovative technologies.

  • Train employees in economic and business practices.


    SNECMA, ONERA and the CNRS launch the INCA project
    INCA Advanced Combustion Initiative
    Combustion dynamics and control
    Injection and mixing
    Emissions and the Environment
    Wall interactions and radiation
    Snecma group
    ONERA, the French aerospace research agency
    The CNRS, French national center for scientific research
    Video, photographic report, inauguration speeches