Bringing stakeholders together, founding partnerships, fostering the conditions for a long-lasting collaboration: these are the objectives through which the CNRS structures its approach to partnerships. These strong links with academia, industry and regional authorities enrich the work of the organisation and play a role in extending the influence of its research.

Multiple partnerships

The CNRS builds strong partnerships with academia and industry for the benefit of scientific innovation.

Public sector partnerships

The CNRS forms partnerships with both regional and national public institutions, such as universities and specialised higher education institutes, research organisations, government ministries and regional authorities. Academic partnerships take the form of shared research laboratories, and involvement in joint research projects or in site policies.

Partnerships with industry

Industries are essential partners for the CNRS. Support in creating a start-up, setting up joint public and private research structures, and patenting are just some of the concrete actions that help position the CNRS as a key stakeholder for innovation in France and on the global stage.

International partnerships

With a foothold on the international stage, the CNRS has played a role in a significant number of major discoveries alongside its foreign partners.

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Richly diverse teams

Mixing in our research units

The CNRS works within the ecosystem of higher education and research in France, which is notable for a high level of cooperation between various institutions. This is demonstrated in the fact that over 90 % of CNRS laboratories have “joint” supervisory authorities. Their human and financial resources are sourced from multiple institutions (CNRS, universities and specialised higher education institutes, other research organisations, etc.) to focus on a shared scientific project and/or infrastructure.

  • 1100 laboratories across the whole of France
  • 2/3 of CNRS staff are based across 11 major university sites that house half of our research and support units
  • 80 laboratories outside France all around the world

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Diversity of talents

Research staff and research support staff: the CNRS is notable for the great diversity of statuses and roles of members that make up its teams.

40.3 % of researchers recruited in 2022 were female, an exceptionally high proportion
10,000 young scientists start a PhD in a laboratory under CNRS supervisory authority every year
Over 200 research support professions

An ecosystem of regional partnerships

The CNRS plays a key unifying role across France and on the global stage in ensuring French research functions properly and in raising its profile.

Centres of excellence

These centres of excellence are major university sites with a global profile that combine higher education, research and innovation. By creating synergies, optimising resources, and through its national and global dimensions, the CNRS contributes to the visibility of these sites and to the promotion of French academic research throughout the world.

The Investments for the Future programme (PIA) and France 2030

This programme is managed by the General Secretariat for Investment (SGPI) and provides funds for investing in innovation. As the CNRS is established across the whole of France it plays an active role in the PIA: it is a partner in all Idex (Excellence Initiative) and I-sites (Initiatives in Science, Innovation, Regions, Economy) projects, as well as in most of the PIA and France 2030 projects that have a research or innovation component.

Site policies

Together with its partners, the CNRS defines a shared scientific strategy and takes part in the construction and monitoring of structuring projects at the site level. The organisation contributes its national and global perspective on scientific topics, relationships with industry, the contribution of science to public policy or even on promoting a scientific culture.
The Northern Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA) observatory is the most powerful millimeter radio telescope in the Northern Hemisphere.© Thibaut VERGOZ/IRAM/CNRS Images

International research infrastructure

International cooperation, in which the CNRS plays a frontline role, can support and build research infrastructure on a global level:

  • Outstanding equipment: telescopes, particle accelerators in high energy physics, sources of neutrons and sychrotron radiation, lasers and powerful magnetic fields, intensive calculation systems, etc.
  • Scientific resources: collections, archives or libraries.
  • Virtual platforms: databases, IT systems and communication networks, etc.

These facilities located in France and throughout the world mean the French, European and global scientific communities have been able to make remarkable advances in countless fields.

Governance of research infrastructure

A very large-scale research infrastructure (IR) is a component of governmental strategy and most of them are also part of European strategy. Governance of IR at the CNRS is handled by a transversal body. A committee affiliated to the CNRS Scientific Office sets out the scientific strategy of this body in consultation with the Institutes and the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

Photo Credit: © Cyril Frésillon / Virgo / CNRS Images