Science and Research in France

The French Research System

France has a multitude of research structures with different legal forms.

Publicly funded research
falls under the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. What distinguishes France is the coexistence of two major systems :

- Research bodies, including Scientific and Technical Public Establishments (EPST) and Industrial and Commercial Public Establishments (EPIC), such as the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research), (INRA (National Institute for Agronomic Research) and CEA (Atomic Energy Commission). See below for the complete listing.

- Higher education institutions : Scientific, Cultural and Professional Public Establishments, such as universities or the Collège de France, French schools in other countries and research laboratories.

*Private sector research is backed by the Ministry of Industry. This research is
coordinated with the chambers of commerce.

*Innovation as a whole falls under both Ministries. The French Agency for Innovation] (new OSEO-ANVAR) is under both Ministries and supports innovation in small and medium-sized businesses.
In February 2005, the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (National Research Agency - ANR) was set up to promote basic and applied research, innovation and public-private sector partnerships, as well as technology transfer of publicly funded research to the business world.

See a summary on Research and Technological Development in France including the priorities of French Research.

Agronomic Research in France

One of the most developed and diversified national research systems

France is one of the top 3 countries in agriculture, making it Europe’s largest agricultural producer and exporter.

A national effort of public research largely contributed to the recontruction of French agriculture after World War II and its diversification over the last few decades.

Major areas of research:
biotechnology applied to agriculture, animal health and food safety, nutrition and obesity, environmental concerns, economical and sociological aspects of agriculture cooperation with developing countries.

Compared to the American system, where most agronomic research is located in the universities, agronomic research in France is mainly located in large research institutions:

  • 3 institutes dedicated to a large scope of agronomy-related research activities
    - the largest, INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique) covers agriculture, food and nutrition, and the environment.
    - IRD and CIRAD which are specialized in agricultural development.
  • 2 thematic research institutes
    - CEMAGREF which is devoted to agricultural and environmental engineering.
    - IFREMER which is devoted to sea exploitation.
  • 1 general scientific research institute
    - CNRS which conducts fundamental research in plant and animal sciences.
  • Many universities and "écoles d’ingénieurs" laboratories
    The French "école d’ingénieurs" in agronomy give an original education combining the edge in agricultural and life sciences research and management skills.

Links to French Related Websites

Research bodies

Scientific and Technical Public Establishments (EPST)

* CEMAGREF Centre national du Machinisme Agricole, du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts

(French Research Center for Agricultural and Environmental engineering)

* CNRS Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

(French National Center for Scientific Research)

* INED Institut National d’Etudes Démographiques

(French National Institute of Demographic Studies)

* INRA Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique

(French National Institute for Agricultural Research)

* INRETS Institut National de Recherche sur les Transports et leur Sécurité

(French National Institute for Transports and Safety Research)

* INRIA Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique

(French National Institute for Computer Science and Control)

* INSERM Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale

(French National Institute for Health and Biomedical Research)

* IRD Institut de Recherche pour le Développement

(French Institute for Research and Overseas Development)

* LCPC Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussées

(French Public Works Research Laboratory)

Industrial and Commercial Public Establishments (EPIC)

* ADEME Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Energie

(French Environment and Energy Management Agency)

* ADIT Agence pour la Diffusion de l’Information Technologique

(French Agency for the Diffusion of Technological Information)

* ANDRA Agence Nationale de Gestion des Déchets Radioactifs

(French Radioactive Waste Managment Agency)

* BRGM Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières

* CEA Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique

(French Atomic Energy Commission)

* CIRAD Centre de Coopération International en Recherche Agronomique pour lr Développement

(French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development)

* CNES Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales

(French Space Agency)

* CSI Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

* CSTB Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment

* IFP Institut Français du Pétrole

* IFREMER Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer
(French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea)

* INERIS Institut National de l’Environnement Industriel et des Risques

(French National Institute for Environment and Risk Managment in Industry)

* IRSN Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire

(French Institute for Nuclear and Radiological Safety)

* ONERA Office National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales

(French Aerospace Reserach Center)

* OSEO (OSEO Anvar, ex Agence Nationale de Valorisation de la Recherche)

(French Innovation Agency)

portail innovation

Work Opportunities in France

Scientific employment in France

Association Bernard Gregory

See also
- jobs in the news section of the Office for Science and Technology in the U.S.
Newsletter available.
- HR pages in the websites of the research institutions (see above for their websites)

Last modified on 02/07/2010

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