Macron outlines plan to boost efficiency of French research bodies

France Macron outlines plan to boost efficiency of French research bodies
DEC 8, 2023 LISTEN

French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a plan to overhaul the organisation of the country's key scientific research bodies to make them more competitive on a global level.

Speaking to a group of researchers gathered at the Elysée Palace on Thursday, President Macron said that he wanted to stimulate a "real revolution" to remedy what he described as "fragmentation" which weakens the global position of French researchers.

"I hope that we can succeed in transforming our large national research organisations into real program agencies, which are leading strategists in their field," he said, laying out a plan for the next 18 months.

The organisations listed by the President included:

  • *National Centre for Scientific Research on climate, biodiversity and sustainable societies (CNRS)
  • *National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm)
  • *National Institute of Agronomic Research for agriculture, sustainable food, forestry and associated natural resources (INRAE)
  • *Atomic Energy Commission for carbon-free energy (CEA)
  • *National Institute for Research in Digital Sciences and Technologies (Inria)
  • *National Center for Space Studies (Cnes)

Issues of governance

At the same time, he called for giving more autonomy to universities so that they can organise and manage research at the local level.

Macron promises to bring pharmaceutical production 'back home' to France

Macron called for moving forward without taboo on the issues of governance, economic model and incentive financing.

After praising the results of the efforts made since his first election in 2017 to put French research back on track after decades of under investment, Macron acknowledged the "difficult times in recent years".

In this regard, he mentioned the "strange defeat" of the Covid vaccine, France having discovered the principle of messenger RNA but not having been able to develop the remedy.

The "disorderly fragmentation" of the research system "deprives us of focusing on major shared challenges, prevents us from being reactive in emergencies and reduces our ability to be attractive on a global level," he concluded. 

(with AFP)