Transnational collaborations

The French National Research Agency (ANR) develops partnerships with funding agencies in different countries to facilitate the co-funding of transnational research projects and strengthen cooperation between French teams and the best European and international teams. 

Over 2000 transnational research projects co-funded since 2006

Between 2006 and 2018, 2,334 transnational projects were co-funded by the ANR and its counterparts, out of nearly 18,000 projects funded by the Agency in total.

20% of the projects funded every year by the ANR involve European and international partners, representing about 14% of the Agency’s funding budget for calls for proposals.

View a map of the ANR’s collaborations

The ANR and the European Research Area

Over 80% of the transnational projects co-funded by the ANR involve European partners.

To reinforce the construction of the European Research Area (ERA), the ANR collaborates with European agencies within the framework of the 10 existing Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) of which it is a member. These initiatives aim to define a shared vision and to coordinate the implementation of research programmes at European level on major social challenges. The ANR currently chairs the JPI Water and co-chairs Facce.

The Agency also forges partnerships through ERA-NET and ERA-NET Cofund, European Joint Programmes (EJP), Article 185 and Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) and offers specific multilateral calls for proposals to support European collaborations on targeted themes.

Since its foundation, the ANR has taken part in 134 calls arising from ERA-NET, ERA-NET Cofund, JPI or Article 185 initiatives. It is currently a member of 41 ERA-NET Cofunds, two EJPs, one Article 185 and 9 CSAs in all the scientific fields it funds, and is coordinating nine ERA-NET Cofunds and one CSA. In 2018, the ANR took part in 24 calls for proposals emanating from these European initiatives.

Every year, the Agency also establishes bilateral non-thematic “Lead Agency”-type agreements with counterparts in European countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg), where one agency takes charge of project submissions and evaluations. These agreements enable French researchers to propose projects with teams from one of these countries and create scientific communities that extend across borders. Strategic partnerships on key themes also result in bilateral agreements and specific calls. For example, the ANR collaborates with the German Ministry of Research (BMBF) to strengthen French-German scientific cooperation in fields such as energy, materials, antibiotic resistance and civil security.



The concept of a European Research Area was proposed in 2000 by the European Commission to establish a coherent, coordinated European research policy based on scientific excellence, competitiveness and innovation. The aim is to avoid fragmentation in the European research system through better cooperation and coordination between stakeholders.

Areas of ERA action

Strategic international partnerships

Outside Europe, the ANR also forges bilateral collaborations with international agencies via the International Collaborative Research Projects funding instrument with the Generic Call for Proposals (AAPG). It also establishes bi- or multilateral collaborations via specific calls for proposals on key themes. These partnerships are designed to promote the formation of high-level international teams and reinforce scientific cooperation on themes of mutual interest with shared benefits.

A few international collaborations:

In North America, the Agency has developed several collaborations with the American National Science Foundation (NSF) around the PIRE and CRCNS programmes. It also maintains partnerships with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) in Canada in the fields of the environment, energy and digital technology and with the Quebec Research Fund (FRQ) on the environment and the social sciences and humanities.

216 projects were co-funded by the ANR and its partners in the USA and Canada between 2006 and 2017

Many collaborations have also been settled in Asia, with Japan (JST) on the CREST programme on symbiotic interaction, Singapore (NRF) in fields such as energy and materials, Taiwan (MOST) and Hong Kong (RGC) in a variety of scientific fields.

257 projects were co-funded by the ANR and its partners in Asia between 2006 and 2017

The international collaborations put in place by the ANR also support the strategic priority themes defined by central government. In particular, the Agency supports the development of the Euro-Mediterranean research area through the PRIMA programme (2010-2028). An Article 185 initiative conducted as part of Horizon 2020, PRIMA brings together 19 countries and mobilises nearly €500M to strengthen research cooperation on food systems and water resources in the Mediterranean region.

Collaborations in the Work Programme 2019

Find out more:

Transnational cooperation strategy

Specific initiatives and funding instruments

Last updated on 17 May 2019
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