Thematic reports

The reports published by the French National Research Agency (ANR) explore thematic questions relevant to all the Agency's calls for proposals. They provide perspective on the research, innovations and technological advances taking place in a specific field and an overview of the projects funded by ANR to deepen knowledge in the area. The collection is aimed at researchers, decision-makers and anyone interested in the issues raised by these topics.

“Neurodegenerative diseases: the challenge for neuroscience” – ANR report no. 13 – December 2020

The French National Research Agency (ANR) has published a new thematic report that takes stock of recent advances in research into neurodegenerative diseases and reviews projects funded by the Agency between 2010 and 2018. The report, which is available to download, is intended for scientific communities, political decision-makers and anyone interested in learning more about the research and innovation outlook.

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Download projects summaries

Contribution of genomics to agroecology – ANR report no. 12 – September 2020

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Download projects summaries

Trees, woods, forests and societies - ANR report n°11 – December 2019

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Natural risks and disasters - ANR report no. 10 – October 2019

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Download the pdf summaries of the 61 projects funded

Hardware and software infrastructure (communication networks, processing and storage) for the digital society – ANR report no. 9 – November 2016

The economic and social activity of developed countries is now heavily dependent on digital infrastructure. Controlling its design and development is a major economic challenge for France and for Europe. To provide perspective on the research, innovations and technological advances taking place in this field, the "Hardware and software infrastructure for the digital society" report examines the issues and challenges in this research area and presents an overview of the research projects supported by the Agency on this topic between 2008 and 2011 (carried out between 2009 and 2015).

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Download the pdf summaries of the 84 projects funded

Emergence of agroecology and prospects for the future: the ADD-SYSTERRA-AGROBIOSPHÈRE programmes – ANR report no. 8 – September 2015

Over the last thirty years, many initiatives have emerged that combine agronomic research with sustainable development. What are the relationships between agriculture and climate change? How can agriculture's links with biodiversity and water management be reconsidered? What solutions can be found to address agricultural pollution?

The ANR's "Emergence of Agroecology" report looks back at ten years of research projects funded by ANR in the field of agriculture and ecosystems. These projects were financed through three programmes: "ADD – Agriculture and Sustainable Development" (2005-2006), "SYSTERRA – Ecosystems, territories, living resources and agriculture" (2003-2010) and "AGROBIOSPHÈRE – Viability and adaptation of productive ecosystems, territories and resources faced with global change" (2011-2013). They led to the birth of a French agroecology based on interdisciplinarity and collaboration, between both nations and institutions.

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Download the pdf summaries of the 93 projects funded
Download the impact study of the ADD-SYSTERRA-AGROBIOSPHÈRE programmes conducted in collaboration with INRA (UMR 1326) in pdf format
Download the prospective consultation on soil

Environment and global change: from risks to social vulnerability – ANR report no. 7 – April 2013

Environmental changes (climate change, loss of biodiversity, soil degradation, intensive use of water resources, chemical pollution of air and water etc.) can now be clearly seen on a large and even global scale, and are hence often reduced to the term "global changes". Increased awareness of these changes has led to an increase in research and/or habitat monitoring programmes that have not always encouraged exchanges between disciplines or between the different environmental factors at work. One major challenge is to emphasise a more systemic research approach involving the humanities and social sciences alongside the life and earth sciences, together with greater interaction between science and society in a field of research known as "Earth system science".

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Contaminants and environments: observation, spread, decisions – ANR report no. 6 – December 2012

The productive activity of human society has always led to unexpected consequences that are now described as "externalities", such as the use of lead earlier in history and, more generally, concentrations of polluting elements and their health effects. The industrial revolution marked a turning point in human impact on the planet and the biosphere through the use of fossil energy reserves and its environmental consequences. The rise of the chemical industry brought an even more significant step with the invention of new molecules, many with little biodegradability.

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Nanotechnology: a new paradigm – ANR report no. 5 – July 2012

Over the last twenty years, nanoscience and nanotechnology have been the subject of many research projects within and between multiple scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry, ICT, biology, engineering science and the humanities and social sciences. Nanotechnology research appears very promising due to the specific properties of matter at the nanometric scale, opening the door to previously unimagined new functions.

This report describes the evolution of the scientific and institutional landscape in France since 2006, with comparisons with other European and global institutions. It presents the projects funded by ANR, covering both basic research and work with an applied or economic focus involving partners from the business world. It addresses the toxicological and eco-toxicological risks and the ethical and moral aspects associated with nanotechnology.

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Artificial intelligence and robotics, the convergence of humans and ICT – ANR report no. 4 – March 2012

This report presents 115 projects in the areas of artificial intelligence and robotics, subjects central to information science and technology, where basic research into algorithms, models and methods aligns with applications in many sectors such as health, transport, the web and industrial processes. Artificial intelligence and robotics are also subjects that are very present in the popular imagination. It is important for ANR to help demystify research on the subject and emphasise the rich scientific content it represents.

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Supercomputing: a key technology for the future – ANR report no. 3 – January 2010

A powerful revolution is occurring, the revolution of supercomputing. A key strategic technology for the future, supercomputing involves not just the computing power of high-performance computers, but also a very wide range of applications.

A "petaflop" computer now has a computing capacity equivalent to 100,000 of the fastest laptops. Beyond power, human intelligence is a leading aspect of this work. Research areas include technology, hardware and software, IT architectures and languages, for example. Human intelligence is also at work on modelling and simulation. One cause of the growth in supercomputing is nuclear simulation, which has eliminated the need for real-life tests. Today's applications support discoveries and innovations in many scientific disciplines (from physics to geophysics via biochemistry), the energy and nuclear sector, health and the environment as well as many sectors of industry.

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Shared energy: a new vision of homes, cars and territories – ANR report no. 2 – July 2010

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with fossil fuel consumption and ending the age of oil in the coming decades are two major challenges to be met to ensure the future balance of our societies.

Renewable energy will only be able to increase its reach if it becomes economically competitive relative to the energy sources that are currently dominant. Incentives (tax credits, bonuses and penalties, feed-in tariffs, etc.) and regulatory mechanisms (carbon tax, performance obligations, etc.) can contribute to this competitiveness, but there is also room for progress through improvements in the efficiency of the technologies that capture these energy resources. This is the case with photovoltaic energy, to which a large part of this report is dedicated, but also with other technologies to capture or recover waste energy that could be of interest to niche markets (thermoelectricity, artificial photosynthesis, marine energy, etc.).

These kinds of energy, which are not always produced where they are needed or at times of peak energy consumption, must be able to be transported and possibly stored in forms appropriate for these uses. The search for technical solutions to enhance control over energy distribution networks and improve storage systems, so that production is better matched to need, is vital. This report aims to provide a non-exhaustive overview of work conducted in these areas with ANR support and to show how this research can help respond to the energy challenges of the 21st century.

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Mobility and ubiquity: towards digital nomadism – ANR report no. 1 – June 2009

Human travel is facilitated by the rise of information and communication science and technology. A new dimension is emerging, that of digital nomadism. ICT is able to take the place of all kinds of human travel. Technology is giving humans the power of ubiquity. People can intervene remotely without being present in a precise location.

A mobile, always-online society raises many issues. These include the question of the telecommunication networks that will be necessary in the future. They concern people's mobility and relate, for example, to the fields of smart transport and support for people with disabilities. They are associated with the new social and communication links driven by social networks and virtual worlds. They touch the heart of the human dimension with problems of security, health and the environment.

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