A discipline which is open to the whole world

The INP's international strategy promotes relations with the European Union and countries with high scientific potential, such as the United States, Japan and Canada. The Institute also maintains strong collaborative links with Russia and Singapore and has expanded these in recent years to India and to Latin America. The INP pays particular attention to all projects which promote the expertise behind French research, worldwide.

International influence

The CNRS's different tools enable the INP to give structure to the multitude and wealth of its research teams' international interactions.

The first main example of these tools is the International Emerging Actions initiative (IEA, ex-PICS[1]). There are currently 58 IEA running. On average, 66% of the INP's publications are co-authored with international partners.

In addition, there are currently 12 International Research Networks (IRN, ex-GDRI) and 21 International Research Projects (IRP, ex-LIA[2]), whose respective objectives are to give a structure to networks of laboratories and of "laboratories without walls".

Finally, there are 3 International Research Laboratories (IRL, formerly called International Joint Units or UMI);

  • MajuLab in Singapore (quantum physics and new materials);
  • <MSE>² (MultiScale Material Science for Energy and Environment) in Cambridge, United States (studies of porous materials);
  • the Interdisciplinarity Scientific Center Poncelet (ISCP) in Moscow (theoretical physics and applied mathematics).

[1]           International Scientific Cooperation Projects 

[2]           International Associated Laboratories

MAJULAB (Singapore)

The MajuLab International Research Laboratory (IRL) has its origins in the International Associated Laboratory "France Singapore Quantum Physics and Information Lab" (FSQL). The latter was created in January 2010 to provide a formalized framework for ongoing scientific collaboration between France and Singapore that followed from an International Scientific Cooperation Project (PICS), which ran from 2007 to 2010. In May 2014, the IRL MajuLab was created by the CNRS, Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, Sorbonne University / Pierre and Marie Curie University, the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University. MajuLab's research involves theoretical and experimental work covering many fields, such as quantum information and engineering, ultra-cold quantum gases, quantum matter, quantum photonics and materials chemistry and its applications to nanosciences. In 2018, the CNRS and its historical partners signed a new agreement for MajuLab which marks the birth of two mirror sites for this IRL in France, one at the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis and the other at Sorbonne University.

Interdisciplinary Scientific Center Poncelet (Russia)

The Poncelet "laboratory without walls" was set up in 2002 by the CNRS, the Independent University of Moscow and the Russian Academy of Sciences. It was named in memory of Jean-Victor Poncelet, a French mathematician, engineer and general who shaped the fundamental principles of projective geometry. Its objective is to federate mathematical activities between France and Russia. In 2006, it became an International Research Laboratory (IRL) for mathematics and mathematical physics. The IRL quickly established itself as a platform for cooperation and a center which crystallized Franco-Russian collaborations. In 2017, the CNRS and five Moscow research institutions signed a new agreement to establish the Interdisciplinary Scientific Centre Poncelet (ISCP), widening its scope to include theoretical physics and computer science and its applications to biology.

The key role played by International Emerging Actions (IEA)

The selection of three-year International Emerging Actions (IEA) projects is coordinated at the CNRS by its ten Institutes. These IEAs help to develop fruitful collaboration projects by facilitating scientific exchanges. New fields of sometimes high-risk and high-potential research can thus be launched. The INP highly values IEAs and devotes a substantial fraction of its international budget to them, with an average of 20 new projects supported annually. IEAs sometimes represent the first step towards more structured and sustainable collaboration projects and are intended primarily for young researchers.

En pointe sur Horizon 2020

INP laboratories are strongly involved in the construction of the European Research Area. From 2014 to 2016, they submitted 580 applications to the European Commission in response to calls for tenders in the framework of the Horizon 2020 program.

These applications covered subjects relating to scientific excellence (European Research Council, ERC), Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) and Marie Sklodowska-Curie projects.

A central role in two flagship projects

The INP plays a central role in two European flagship projects, within the framework of the Future and Emerging Technologies program:

  • Graphene: dedicated to the development of applications for this two-dimensional material;
  • ​​​​​​​Quantum Technologies: built around four sub-domains - sensors and metrology, communication and cryptography, quantum simulation and quantum computing.

The ERC - Supporting scientific excellence

The European Research Council (ERC) funds scientific excellence at the frontiers of knowledge. This program is dedicated to exploratory research and its sole selection criterion is scientific excellence. Since the ERC's creation in 2007, nearly 75 researchers from the INP have benefited from its support for work on their scientific projects.

ERC CNRS portal

The ERC is like oxygen for French researchers!
Bruno Chaudret, Laboratoire de physique et chimie des nano-objets (LPCNO), winner of ERC "Advanced Grant" 2015