The National Research and Innovation Strategy “France 2030” gives an overview of research and innovation challenges faced by France, and establishes priorities and the allocation of public funding. The strategy provides a strategic agenda for research, technology transfer and innovation that will guide public research support over the long term.
Objectives of the strategic agenda It pursues 10 objectives to better understand, live better and produce by 2030:
- To France develop small, innovative nuclear reactors with better waste management;
- Become the leader in green hydrogen;
- Decarbonising the industry;
- Produce nearly 2 million electric and hybrid vehicles;
- Produce the first low-carbon aircraft;
- Invest in healthy, sustainable and traceable food;
- Produce 20 biomedicines against cancers, chronic diseases including age-related diseases and create the medical devices of tomorrow;
- Placing France back at the forefront of the production of cultural and creative content;
- Take full part in the new space adventure;
- Invest in the seabed field.
The framework for the development of economic sectors is the ‘Grenelle Environment'. Through these laws, the French Government supports the development of an environmentally friendly economy by introducing measures for different economic sectors including energy, construction, transport and agriculture.
Grenelle 1 sees the Government committed to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, whilst Grenelle 2 law, known as the "National Environmental Commitment Act", focuses on building, transport, energy consumption, biodiversity and management, waste and governance.
The Grenelle Environment is the trigger for many changes and developments at the economic, human and territorial levels. Various achievements have already been made at the national level and within the territories. Specifically on transport, the country have seen the introduction of the "bonus-malus" system for vehicles, various rail motorway projects, the port reform, and the first maritime highway.
Research policy planning in France spans across different levels:
1) At the administration level, the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research designs and coordinates research policy. The Ministry is assisted by various consultative bodies, for instance the High Council for Science and Technology (HCST) (who advises the Prime Minister and makes recommendations on national research and innovation strategies), the High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (HCERES) and the High Council for Research and Technology (CSRT). In addition, the Ministry for Economy, Finance and Recovery is responsible for both industrial and energy research and plays a specific role in research carried out by the private sector.
The Ministry of Ecological Transition, in charge of Rail Transport; River Transport, Sea and Ports; and Road Transport, exercises its powers in two distinct areas: infrastructure, transport and the sea on the one hand, and cival aviation on the other. Under the Ministry of Ecological Transition, the National Council for Ecological Transition is the forum for dialogue on ecological transition and sustainable development, with aims to strengthen environmental social dialogue.
2) At the operational level, the research system comprises the following agencies for implementing R&D and innovation policies:
- OSEO innovation - which supports businesses, particularly SMEs, with R&D and innovation projects;
- National Research Agency (ANR) - which funds fundamental research projects on a competitive basis;
- Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADAME) - which was created to support and fund research on the environment and energy on a partnership basis.
- Strategic Research Council - responsible for proposing to the government a strategic agenda for research, knowledge transfer and innovation and participating in monitoring and evaluating its implementation.
- Competitiveness Clusters - brings together large and small firms, research laboratories and educational establishments, all working together in a specific region to develop synergies and cooperative efforts.
3) Public research organisations are also involved in policy implementation, for instance the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).
The public funding for research is made available through the National Agency for Research. Priority research topics are financed, which are determined in the National Research and Innovation Strategy. OSEO Innovation is the main source for funding research for the private sector.
Transport research can be funded through the general research framework and through programmes dedicated to transport. It can also benefit from the funds allocated to the research programmes in related areas, for instance, energy and environment.
The current major programmes for funding transport research are:
- Pôle Véhicule du Futur Programme - enhances synergies through industrial, academic, and training actors in the domain of future vehicles and mobility
- Investments for the Future Programme - increases growth potential by investing in higher education and training, research, industry and SMEs, sustainable development and digitisation.
- Interreg V-A - Italy-France (Maritime) Programme - promotes entrepreneurship, a safer environment, the valorisation of natural and cultural resources, sustainable mobility and social inclusion through economic development. At the same time, it addresses climate change issues, connection of secondary and tertiary nodes to the TEN-T network and joint training schemes in the cross border area.
- The French Environment and Energy Management Agency sometimes launches calls relevant to transport.
- EVE Programme - programme of Voluntary Commitments for the Environment of actors in the logistics chain and passenger transport. The programme provides methodological support for companies in their policy of reducing their greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions. There is a promotion of synergy between all actors in the logistics chain and transport in order to strengthen the effectiveness of actions to control fossil energy consumption.
Other regional programmes include:
- Programme Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and territories Rhône Saône and Massif Central ERDF-ESF+-JTF 2021-2027 - The programme will mainly invest in research, development and innovation; digitalisation of the territory; competitiveness of enterprises; the energy transition and climate change adaptation; waste management and biodiversity; (urban) mobility and health services.
- Programme Bretagne ERDF-ESF+ 2021-2027 - The programme aims to make the region more attractive, innovative, green and inclusive, while tackling the territorial imbalances between urban and rural areas.
- Programme Centre-Val de Loire and interregional Loire ERDF-ESF+ 2021-2027 - The new programme aims to address the structural impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of the economic, environmental, digital and social transition, while working for a sustainable and inclusive territory.
- Programme Corse ERDF-ESF+ 2021-2027 - the Region mobilises four strategic objectives of the European Union, identifying six priorities for intervention in order to address the following threefold challenge: strengthening the competitiveness, regional innovation and digitalization; supporting adaptation to climate change and ecological transition; strengthening cohesion and attractiveness.
- Programme Réunion ERDF-ESF+ 2021-2027 - aims to make the region more attractive, innovative, green and inclusive through ERDF, ESF+ and the specific allocation for outermost regions.
- Programme Sud - Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Massif des Alpes ERDF-ESF+-JTF 2021-2027 - programme aims to make the region more attractive, innovative, green and inclusive. Investments in energy efficiency, sustainable urban mobility and renewable energy will help the region’s “green transition”.
- Programme Guadeloupe ERDF-ESF+ 2021-2027 - The programme will support a gradual introduction of urban sustainable transport and improve transport links with a focus on air connections.
- Programme Guyane ERDF-ESF+ 2021-2027 - The programme aims to support economic recovery and to limit the economic downturn of the health crisis. Coherently with environmental goals, the programme also invests in actions towards sustainable water use, circular economy and urban mobility.
- Programme Hauts de France ERDF-ESF+-JTF 2021-2027 - The programme aims to make the region more attractive, innovative, green and inclusive. Cohesion funds will intervene in helping the region's green transition, including support for sustainable urban mobility, energy efficiency measures and adaptation to climate change actions.
- Programme Martinique ERDF-ESF+ 2021-2027 - Cohesion funds will also be mobilised for the region's green transition, which entails the adaptation to climate change, the support for sustainable urban mobility and measures to ensure a safe and sustainable water supply.
- Programme Mayotte ERDF 2021-2027 - the programme aims to support economic recovery and to remedy to the economic downturn caused by the health crisis. Itcounterbalances major structural investment gaps, especially regarding the access to drinking water, wastewater management and transport infrastructure.
- Programme Normandie ERDF-ESF+-JTF 2021-2027 - The programme aims to make Normandy a more resilient, inclusive, competitive, and structurally sustainable region.
- Programme Nouvelle-Aquitaine ERDF-ESF+ 2021-2027 - the programme aims to make the region more attractive, innovative, green and inclusive. To that end, investment into the green and digital transition will play a key role.
- Programme Occitanie ERDF-ESF+ 2021-2027 - The programme will help redress the limited access to equipment, infrastructure, education, employment and support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
- Programme Pays de la Loire ERDF-ESF+-JTF 2021-2027 - The programme aims to support the economic, demographic, digital, environmental and energy transitions of the region and its citizens. The programme will highly support European Climate ambition by cutting energy emissions, promoting sustainable urban mobility, protecting biodiversity and water quality and developing renewable energy.