Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in The French Government explains her stance on the importance of investing in education, innovation and research.
While populism rises throughout the world, governments are facing the emergency of tackling climate change and ensuring health, food and energy security. In such a time, France has a major role to play as a Nation committed to the development of knowledge and the fostering of innovative solutions. To succeed, I believe that we have to simultaneously invest massively in higher education and research, and bring together research, innovation and economic clusters. This is what the French Government is currently doing, with an ambitious national roadmap and a strong involvement in the Horizon 2020 European programme.
A long tradition of excellence in research
France has a long tradition of excellence in research and is eventually ranked 3rd for the number of Fields Medals it received and 4th for its number of Nobel Prizes. All French research organisations (CNRS, CEA, Inra, Inserm, Inria, etc.) are also in the very first places of world rankings in their own categories, and 18 French universities are among the 100 most innovative universities in Europe. To go even further, the French Government has taken strong measures to promote transfer and innovation and to ensure France’s place in the European research space.
Firstly, France’s budget for research has increased by 8% between 2017 and 2019. Research laboratories have seen their endowments rise while the National Research Agency (ANR) has been deeply modernised to become a more agile organisation, financing projects quicker and more efficiently. Concomitantly, €3.5 billion from the National Investment Plan (2018-2020) has been dedicated to excellence in research and €4.6 billion to innovation. On February 1st, 2019, the Prime Minister announced that France will put its research trajectory on an ambitious basis in a plurennial dedicated law starting in 2021. Read more