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PARTNERSHIP Europe. The Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) came to a close just over a year ago. With many projects still ongoing, we look back at France’s participation in this ambitious €50 billion scheme. BY MATHIEU GROUSSON Launched in 2007, the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), the EU’s Assessing the EU’s 7th Programme for Research main research funding mechanism, ended in 2013. While many projects are still ongoing, Horizon 2020 (H2020), its successor for the period 2014-2020, is already underway. Time has come to evaluate the FP7, in which French researchers—especially from the CNRS—made a good showing. With 5721 projects selected, France participated in 28.7% of all schemes, behind the UK and Germany, and coordinated 37.2% of those it was involved in, ranking third in terms of coordination rates. Moreover, the 25.3% success rate of projects involving French scientists is higher than the European average of around 20%. First in line The CNRS participated in 1258 projects, or 22% of France’s selected programs and 6.3% of the total, which makes it the FP7’s leading recipient organization. It is involved in all ten themes chosen for research actions under the “Cooperation” programme—the FP7’s largest project— which oversees transnational cooperation for priority research activities. French researchers also fared well in the IDEAS-ERC programme, focused on supporting exploratory research “at the cutting edge of knowledge.” With 494 projects selected, or 14.1% of the total, France ranks third in Europe in this category and the CNRS is involved in 5.5% of all IDEAS-ERC projects. “France and the CNRS are well positioned,” points out Günther Hahne, director of the CNRS Brussels office and CNRS representative to the European Commission. “This is all the more important since, beyond the financial aspect, European projects offer great networking potential and provide significant international visibility. They also ensure greater influence on how research develops in a given field.” One example is the UrbaChina project, which received a €2.7 million grant for the 2011-2014 period. Coordinated by François Gipouloux, director of the Centre for Studies on China, Korea and Japan1 in Paris, it brings together some 40 scientists from 11 European and Chinese research institutions. Its objective is to analyze the main trends that 1. Centre Chine, Corée, Japon (CNRS / EHESS). 2. Laboratoire de Reproduction et développement des plantes (CNRS / ENS Lyon / Inra / UCBL). 3. CNRS / ENS Lyon. 4. Mission pilotage et relations avec les délégations régionales et les instituts du CNRS. 5. Service du partenariat et de la valorisation. 6. Dispositif Ingénieurs de projets européens (CNRS). 40 CNRS INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE The PhyMorph project aims to elucidate morphogenesis in plants like Arabidopsis, seen here under the microscope. WORLDWIDE ON LOCATION NEWSWIRE


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