Renewal of the NRF Agreement with the French National Research Institute

Renewal of the NRF Agreement with the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD), the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) – as public institutes of the French Republic

In December 2020 the NRF renewed its scientific cooperation with the three French Research Institutes (i.e. IRD, CNRS and Cirad) with the aim to facilitate and strengthen scientific collaboration between France, South Africa and Southern Africa. The agreement ended in 2019, and the NRF and the three French Research Institutes have now entered into a new five-year agreement in order to further develop their relations within common research projects and to contribute to the training of young researchers and young research teams.

This partnership formally started in 2008, with the signing of the SA/France bilateral agreement on Science, Technology and Innovation. Through this partnership, the NRF has been able to pro-actively contribute to the internationalisation of the South African research and higher education ecosystems, promote globally competitive research and innovation, promote human capacity development programmes, and enhance strategic international engagements. Among others, the co-funding procedure allows the South African – French scientific partnerships to expand beyond the two countries.  

Seven projects have been co-funded thus far. Most of these projects are supported for a 4-year period, some of which have been co-funded as far back as 2010. Those projects that have been renewed more than once have completely changed formats. Projects that have started quite small are now established as International Research Labs. It is these types of long-term partnerships that provide better opportunities for contributing to capacity building.

In 2019, this cooperation was exemplified by the joint organisation of the French-South African Science and Innovation Days, as a side-event of the Science Forum South Africa. This event was a great success bringing together more than 150 participants in an effort to promote cooperation in research, training, and innovation between the two countries.

For more information on how to access opportunities within this partnership, please contact

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