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About ANRInvestments for the future

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Investments for the Future

Launched in 2009 by the French Government, the Investments for the Future programmes are strategic initiatives which aim to boost French competitiveness by investing in research, higher education and vocational training, in industry and SMEs, in sustainable development and in expanding sectors such as digital technology, biotechnology and nuclear energy. Drawing on ANR know-how and expertise, the French Government has entrusted the agency with management of the research and higher education component of the programmes.

The Investments for the Future programmes represent 47 billion euros of which 26.6 billion euros are allocated to higher education and research

2 programmes were launched so far: €22.6 bn in 2010 and €4 bn in 2014

3 types of action: Centres of excellence; Health and biotechnology; Technology transfer and valorisation

The aim is to massively invest over the long-term in innovative S&T projects which will eventually be a source of growth and progress for the French economy. In a global context, an investing effort targeted towards research and innovation is a prerequisite for competitiveness, growth, and employment.

The initiative has a structuring and integrating purpose, and is part of a long-term and dynamic drive to transform higher education, research and innovation. The programmes take the form of a series of calls for proposals designed to promote French excellence in fundamental research and industrial innovation, technology transfer, maturation, etc. One notable goal is to generate university clusters of excellence able to successfully compete on the international stage.

A strong impetus is given to the deployment of basic research for the creation of social and economic values, and to developing resources to provide French research centres with the means to achieve excellence and speed up technology transfer.

Part of the initiative also focuses on health and biotechnology, with a view to bolstering progress on specific areas of knowledge, developing new solutions and allowing for the anticipation, improvement, development and validation of new approaches in medicine and agronomy.

A specific assignment

ANR is in charge of managing the calls for proposals, setting up the evaluation and selection process, preparing the grant agreements, funding the selected teams, and monitoring the activities, i.e. following up on the projects, including accompanying the project leaders, supporting them in their development, and ensuring the review and the provision of monitoring indicators and providing impact analyses for ten years to come.

By virtue of their exceptional nature, the Investments for the Future have some specific features and rely on an efficient and international approach to review and select projects.

The project evaluations are systematically conducted by international juries: the evaluation panels are composed of high-ranking experts from all over the world and they possess a broad range of skills. Projects are assessed according to a peer review process based on international standards and on project selection criteria defined according to the priorities for the programme. The aim is to select innovative projects with a strong potential for growth.

The amount of funding assigned to the projects is substantial, and covers ten-year projects, opening up new perspectives and leading to collaborative associations that would otherwise never have formed.

Furthermore, they enable not only the financing of large-scale research projects, but also the implementation of new objects such as intermediate-sized research equipment, infrastructure for research into biology and health, and the emergence of global research and higher education clusters.