The French National Research Agency Projects for science

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PMRSEI Holds Seminar for Sharing Experiences

Created in 2015, the Setting up European or International Scientific Networks (MRSEI) instrument assists French researchers in putting together transnational networks. The instrument places a particular emphasis on strengthening French participation in European calls (H2020). The kick-off meeting for projects funded under the instrument’s third call for proposals was held on Thursday 22 September. The event provided an opportunity for new grant recipients to hear feedback from former project MRSEI-assisted projects and use advice to draw up proposals on the European level.


ANR CEO Michael Matlosz giving the keynote speech on MRSEI and the importance of transnational networks

Professor Patrice Debré presents figures concerning the first two MRSEI calls

Angèla Samaan (ANR International Scientific Program Manager) Pierre Mathy (DG European Commission - Research & Innovation) *, Philippe Potin (Scientific Coordinator GENIALG Roscoff Biological Station, François-Xavier Testard-Vaillant (Senior Adviser for European R&D Affairs-EDF Lab-Brussels), Deborah Burks (Prof - Prince Felipe Research Centre — Valencia) and Martine Richard-Viard (Research Director at CNRS) give tips and keys for success in applying to H2020 calls.

Three projects selected for EU funding

Among the 66 projects supported under the first two MRSEI editions, three have already resulted in the funding of a Europe-wide project. Georges Lutfalla (1st edition grant recipient) obtained funding from a European Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training network (ITN-ETN 2016) with his ImaginTheEmbryo project. The network’s objective is to raise researchers to a higher level of professionalism and employability by developing new tools and advanced imaging concepts for better visualisation of pathological processes and development in vertebrate embryos. Philippe Potin (1st edition grant recipient) received €11 m for his project on blue growth large-scale algae biomass integrated biorefinery set, recently selected for the call for proposals “Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy”. Lastly, Fréderic Lantier (1st edition grant recipient), coordinator of recent European infrastructure project Vetbionet was selected for funding by the European Commission. Funded to the tune of €10 m over five years, the project comprises roughly thirty partners, including non-EU partners (USA, Canada, Australia, Kenya) as well as six private partners. Vetbionet is scheduled to get underway in January 2017. Please note that not all of the selection results for H2020 calls applied to by coordinators have been published. Many calls are still accepting applications.

Designed with support in mind

MRSEI is among one of ANR’s more specific funding instruments. Previous grant recipients spoke during the event of how supporting project coordinators lies at the heart of MRSEI’s strategy.

MRSEI grant recipient Georges Luftalla said that “through MRSEI, ANR provided crucial and manifold support for setting up ImaginTheEmbryo. Firstly, the evaluation panel’s recommendations improved my project a great deal, clarifying its stated purpose. Secondly, the Agency gave me the financial resources necessary to put together a high-quality project. The kick-off event that the Agency organised for grant recipients was also very helpful. The roundtables bringing together specialists of European projects and their construction gave me a better idea of evaluators’ expectations. Finally, presenting my project orally as well as taking part in ensuing discussions helped me to better tailor my proposal to the requirements of European calls.”

Philippe Potin is similarly praising, bringing up the importance of the recommendations expressed during the roundtables as the key to better understanding the expectations of European evaluators. Potin calls on new recipients to think of their H2020 call proposals as a “long-term investment in their field and a way of building upon previous projects, including national, ANR, PIA, as well as constructing and taking part in international projects and networks”. Potin calls on applicants to capitalizse on scientific excellence, partners’ trust and a spirit of openness toward industrial and societal innovation.