The French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MAEE) has set up a number of programmes aimed at developing scientific cooperation between France and partner countries. These bilateral programmes provide funding for international mobility among researchers and encourage the emergence of new partnerships.
Hubert Curien Partnerships (PHC)
France and its partners operate a total of 67 programmes known as the "Hubert Curien Partnerships" (PHC). The longest established among them were set up over thirty years ago with certain European partners (Spain, Germany), and some of the most recent are in Asia (Indonesia, China). Projects are selected according to criteria of scientific excellence and the complementary nature of the French and foreign teams. The involvement of young researchers and the innovative nature of the research are also taken into consideration. In most cases, calls for projects are open to all the scientific disciplines, including social and human sciences.
Other programmes such as COFECUB (Comité Français d’Evaluation de la Coopération Universitaire et Scientifique avec le Brésil), ECOS (Évaluation Orientation de la Coopération Scientifique) with Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay or the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA) are very similar to PHC partnerships.
Networked research programmes(P2R)
P2R networked research programmes are theme-oriented (health, water, environment, etc.) and confined to a limited number of countries (Germany, India, China, Israel, South Africa). Their aim is to promote the development of cooperation on scientific priorities, whilst also fostering the creation of themed research networks.
In 2007, the MAEE partnered the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in launching "Frontiers of Science" (FOS) programmes with the United States, Japan and Taiwan. A new programme, "Frontiers of Engineering"(FOE) was set up with Japan in 2010. The programmes organise seminars for young researchers to engage in interdisciplinary discussions on designated scientific themes, which will hopefully identify new avenues for bilateral scientific cooperation.
Promoting regional scientific cooperation
The main aim of the regional scientific cooperation promoted by the MAEE is to strengthen the links between France and the scientific communities of countries in a particular region. It enables researchers to work together more closely and encourages the emergence of new research networks.
The programmes developed to date cover specific themes such as life sciences, information and communication science and technology, and mathematics.
The aim is to create a dynamic centred around joint research projects involving teams from different backgrounds. Calls for proposals are generally issued annually. Programme steering committees convene to select the successful projects. The funding provided by the French and foreign partners helps to support mobility amongst researchers. The involvement of young researchers is strongly recommended ; indeed, it is one of the selection criteria.
Regional cooperation enables teams from the different countries concerned to carry out shared research but it also offers them an opportunity to prepare for future responses to European calls for projects.
Updated on : 30.08.10
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