The Europe of research, a CNRS priority

The leading public research organisation, the CNRS is a major actor in the European Research Area.

A key role in the European Research Area

The CNRS is mobilising for the Horizon 2020 programme

The Treaty of Lisbon (2009) set the goal of creating a European Research Area (ERA) (art. 179 TFUE). To meet its target of building a knowledge-based society, Europe relies on innovation to promote competitiveness, growth, and employment. The CNRS is actively involved in this challenge and has participated in all of the European Commission’s framework programmes for research and development (FP). It is now mobilising for Horizon 2020, the European Union’s research and innovation scheme for 2014-2020, which has three objectives: scientific excellence, industrial innovation, and major societal challenges.

The European priority

For the CNRS, Europe is a priority that translates concretely into the institution’s participation in European calls for proposals, the construction and management of research infrastructures, and the development of European research organisations and networks of influence for research policy. This openness towards Europe is an integral part of the CNRS strategy for promoting both its scientific achievements and attractiveness.

A strong commitment to excellence programmes

European Research Council (ERC) grants

Among excellence programmes, the ERC (European Research Council), which was created in 2007, finances ambitious exploratory research at the frontier of knowledge. Individual grants are given to high-flying scientists across the globe, on the condition that they conduct the research connected to the grant within a European institution. Allocated for a duration of four to five years, ERC grants offer an exceptional opportunity to finance innovative research work that involves risk-taking. They notably allow young researchers to set up teams around their projects. In light of the programme’s selectiveness, being a host institution for ERC grant recipients is a mark of distinction. In 2017, the CNRS launched a dedicated website to assist laureates and enhance their research.

With 440 recipients (2007-2016), the CNRS is the leading beneficiary of ERC grants among European research institutions.
Patick Nédellec, DERCI Director

Learn more about the CNRS and the ERC

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (AMSC)

The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (AMSC), which focus on human resources and promote the careers of researchers in both the academic and non-academic spheres, also receive strong support from the scientific community. With non theme-based programmes, along with researcher training and mobility, they act as a lever for the development of international collaboration between public and private researchers.

Collaborative programmes for major societal challenges

In connection with the Horizon 2020 programme, the CNRS is taking part in collaborative projects focusing on seven major societal challenges — health, bioeconomics, energy, transportation, climate change and resources, inclusive society, security —which no single state can take up alone. 

European financing strengthens the European Union’s global position both in terms of competitiveness and attractiveness. It also stimulates cooperation between researchers from different member states and associated countries. Joining forces in a diversity of approaches makes it possible to reach the critical mass necessary for scientific advances.

Tascmar Programme: promising marine biomolecules

Gorgone octocoralliaire
Gorgonian octocorals, from the Eilat mesophotic coral ecosystem (Israel), are being cultivated and used by the Tascmar European research project. © Erez Shoham & Yehuda Banayahu, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Marine invertebrates (polyps, sponges, etc.) and their microorganisms produce toxins that could be used in medicine, nutrition, and cosmetology. To that effect, Europe is allocating €6.7 million to finance a vast marine biology project called Tascmar. Coordinated by the CNRS, it brings together 110 researchers from 8 countries, as well as 6 industrial partners.

Learn more about Tascmar