Projects for science

The French National Research Agency (ANR) provides funding for project-based research. Employing a method based on competitive peer reviews that complies with international standards, ANR attaches great importance to providing the scientific community with instruments and conditions that promote creativity and openness, and stimulate new ideas and partnerships, particularly between the public and private sectors.

Its activity also contributes to enhancing the competitiveness and the influence of French research in Europe and across the world. Since 2010, ANR has also been the principal operator of the Investments for the Future programme in the field of higher education and research. In this role it ensures the selection, funding and monitoring of projects relating to the centres of excellence, health, biotechnologies, and the transfer of technology and the creation of value from research.

Spotlight on the "Challenge competition" instrument


  • Compare different competing approaches to a given problem


  • Several teams (consortium) compete on the same given topic, the competition is organised by a third party

Expected results

  • Stimulation of research on a focused subject
  • Definition of reference criteria for the comparison of scientific studies
  • Setting of benchmarks
  • Creation of value, applications
  • Creation of lasting collaborations

In the context of the societal challenges, some subjects that are tightly focused on specific objectives justify putting different teams into competition with one another. ANR's "Challenge competition" funding instrument aims to encourage several teams to work on the same topic while enabling them to compare their respective approaches to a scientific application or question.

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ANR wishes to foster creativity through the notion of setting a challenge to different teams on a given topic.

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