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CNRS, an international institution

While maintaining its commitment to pan-European research programs and continuing the cooperative actions that ensure its prominence and attractiveness at the international level, CNRS is pursuing a strategy of consolidation and mutualization aimed at increasing the visibility of French research worldwide.


CNRS is a global research player in every scientific discipline. While initial contacts are most often made by researchers themselves, reflecting the unquestionably international nature of research, CNRS strives to structure and sustain these actions over time. To this end, it relies on a variety of structures, establishing close collaborations through

  • international programs for scientific cooperation (PICS),
  • European and international associated laboratories (LIA),
  • European and international research networks (GDRI) and
  • international joint units (UMI).

CNRS is also working on adding French extensions to the existing UMIs. Based in French university campuses, they would host students and researchers from our foreign partners. This type of structure should encourage balanced exchanges between French researchers and their foreign collaborators. Furthermore, CNRS promotes the emergence of scientific collaboration clusters by establishing links between various CNRS structures located in the same country or region.

Regarding European strategy, CNRS is in line with the EU research and innovation policy, which seeks to unite the national scientific communities in a cohesive network. CNRS has taken a leading role in European integration and the establishment of the European Research Area through its involvement in the major research programs of the European Commission, with which it has signed over 1250 active contracts in total within the launch of the 7th Framework Program for Research and Development (FP7). Within the "France - Europe 2020" Strategic Agenda, aimed at helping French research tackle important challenges, and in keeping with the momentum of Horizon 2020, CNRS strives to increase the participation of its research teams to European calls for proposals.

In order to support research communities in developing international partnerships and help them meet their scientific objectives, CNRS wishes to consolidate its network of partners – embassies, universities, or other higher education institutions – by giving them access to its infrastructures. In connection with French embassies' scientific and technological services, the 8 CNRS offices abroad (Beijing, Brussels, New-Delhi, Pretoria, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Tokyo, Washington) could become real hubs for French research.

Altogether this strategy aims at increasing the visibility and attractiveness of CNRS worldwide, mainly with regard to young researchers abroad.