The National Research and Innovation Strategy “France Europe 2020” gives an overview of research and innovation challenges faced by France. It also 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.
The framework for the development of economic sectors is the ‘Grenelle Environnement’ (currently Grenelle 1 and 2). 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.
At the administration level, the Ministry of 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 advises the Prime Minister and makes recommendations on national research and innovation strategies. In addition, the Ministry for Economy, Finance and Industry is responsible for industrial research and energy research and plays a specific role in research carried out by the private sector.
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 Agency for Research, which funds fundamental research projects on a competitive basis;
- Agency for Environment and Energy Management, which was created to support and fund research on the environment and energy on a partnership basis.
Public research organisations are also involved in policy implementation, for instance the National Centre for Scientific Research.
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 public funding for research is made available through the National Agency for Research. Priority research topics are financed, which are determined in the National Strategy for Research and Innovation. OSEO Innovation is the main source for funding research for the private sector. The major source for funding transport research is the PREDIT programme: Programme for Research and Innovation of Land Transport. The French Environment and Energy Management Agency sometimes launches calls relevant to transport.
Organisations responsible for the institutional framework and funding: