Unique cooperation for excellence in research in Normandy
On 14 June 2019, ANR signed a cooperation agreement with Normandy’s regional council. The partnership is designed to reinforce Normandy’s scientific excellence, support the development of the region’s research strategy and better coordinate research programmes at regional level.
Enshrined in the Agency’s missions, support for local authorities and participation in their activities took shape in 2019 with a contract between ANR and the Normandy region signed on 14 June by Hervé Morin, president of the region, and Thierry Damerval, president and CEO of ANR. This three-year cooperation agreement targets strategic support for regional higher education and research policies. Its ambition is to reinforce the excellence of research in Normandy and promote its national and international reach. “Formalising cooperation with strategic partners creates opportunities to promote increased visibility and consistency between project-based funding programmes at regional and national but also European level,” clarifies Isidore Decostaire, ANR’s national partnership manager.
Supporting regional research strategies
One of the goals of these cooperation agreements with the regions is to help them develop their regional strategies in favour of research in consultation with all the regional stakeholders in higher education, research and innovation. “As a partner of higher education, research and innovation players, we help the region to identify its future strategic scientific fields by evaluating their main research tools, their emerging sectors, their best researchers etc.” explains Isidore Decostaire. Another aspect of the agreement covers the assessment and selection of research projects supported by local authorities. With ISO 9001 certification for its project evaluation process, ANR provides independent high-quality assessment. It offers recognition for project coordinators and opens up potential collaborations, especially in Europe. For example, the Agency is called on to evaluate “Emerging”, “Springboard” and “Chairs of Excellence” projects from Normandy.
Helping the region to identify its future strategic scientific fields.
Increasing the impact on the socio-economic world
Finally, the agreement also involves harmonising the different funding tools and simplifying the offer to scientific communities and research stakeholders. This synergy within the public research system increases its impact on the socio-economic world. “Moving closer to the regions allows us to better assess the impact of research funding: how regional science sectors are structured, how many additional doctoral students or lecturers have been hosted, whether companies have set up premises near laboratories...” adds Isidore Decostaire. As well as Normandy, other cooperation projects have also been initiated with several regions to improve the coordination between regional research plans and national strategies.