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IN THE SPOTLIGHT India Extending Cooperation with India 5 SPRING 2015 N° 37 Calls for proposals are still open for the next ESOF meeting, to be held in July 2016 in Manchester (UK). Every two years for five days, researchers and industry representatives meet in one of Europe’s main cities to talk about science and technology. Interdisciplinary and international by nature, the ESOF is dedicated to research and innovation with an impact on society. “All conditions are met to foster exchanges and outline perspectives on key scientific topics,” explains Anne Cambon-Thomsen, CNRS senior researcher emeritus. Initiated by the Euroscience association in 2004, the event was inspired by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Copenhagen (Denmark) hosted the last ESOF meeting, where young researchers, students, and PhDs made up 40% of the 5000 attendees. “This type of forum gives tremendous international visibility to both young and established scientists and gives rise to new collaborations across Europe,” adds Cambon- Thomsen. Each ESOF runs several programs in parallel, focusing on issues including scientific policies, science and business, science and the media, or science in the city. The theme in 2016 will be “science as revolution,” or how the greatest scientific discoveries since the Renaissance have changed the world, and why it is important to foster an environment that encourages such innovations. The forum also gives significant visibility to the host city, which often organizes satellite conferences and events, and is named “European City of Science” for the entire year. In France, where the ESOF will be held for the first time in 2018, Toulouse has been selected to host the event. ii The CNRS Tops ERC Grants In 2014, the CNRS strengthened its position as first recipient institution for European Research Council Starting Grants—awarded to researchers with two to seven years’ experience following their PhD—and Consolidator Grants, designed to support more established scientists wishing to consolidate their own team or program. Starting Grants rewarded a total of 328 projects last year. With 43 candidates selected out of 256 applications at the national level (a significant increase from the previous year’s 30 selections), France ranked third behind Germany (70 projects), and the UK (55). With 18 of the 43 French laureates, the CNRS came in first place, ahead of Germany’s Max Planck Gesellschaft (16 recipients) and Israel’s Tel Aviv University (12). Each laureate will be awarded €1.5 million over five years. The ERC Consolidator Grants, which recognize excellence among researchers with 7-12 years of experience post-PhD, went to 372 projects, 53 of which in France. With 25 candidates selected in 2014, an 80% increase from 2013, the CNRS became the top EU institution, each laureate receiving €2 million over 5 years. EuroScience Open Forum www.esof.eu Manchester Central, the awardwinning convention center that will host the ESOF 2016. © ESOF 2016 MANCHESTER On April 10, 2015 in Paris, the CNRS finalized two scientific cooperation agreements with India, in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President François Hollande. In order to achieve the ambitious goal of creating India’s first marine biology institute of international standard, the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has called upon the know-how of the CNRS and Université Pierre-et-Marie Curie. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the three parties to monitor bilateral exchanges concerning the project. On this occasion, the CNRS also renewed its cooperation agreement with the Indian Department of Science and Technology—also under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology—and is discussing new collaboration projects, which could come to fruition over the next few months. ii From left to right: M. Krishnaswamy VijayRaghavan, Secretary of the DBT, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, CNRS President Alain Fuchs, French President François Hollande, and UPMC President Jean Chambaz. © AMBASSADE DE L’INDE À PARIS


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