The Fabulous World of Research in France┋#1: The LabEx
LabEx (or « Laboratoires d’Excellence ») are the prize-winners of calls for projects launched within the context of the French government’s « Investissements d’avenir » (Investing in the Future) initiative in 2010 and 2012, to finance research teams around innovative and expanding projects. « LabEx », therefore, is a label of scientific excellency for existing laboratories.
Selected by international juries, these laboratories are endowed with significant means allowing the teams to compete with their foreign counterparts. In 2017, it was announced that the LabEx will be pursued for the post-2019 period.
Labex may carry or fund different kinds of projects such as the invitation of researchers or professors, calls for projects, or the support of scientific events.
The ambitions of LabEx are:
- To increase the excellency and scientific originality, the transfer of produced knowledge and, thereby, the international visibility of French R&I;
- To guarantee educational excellency and to play a driving role in undergraduate and graduate training;
- To support the scientific strategy of their institutions and to reinforce their dynamics.
Social sciences and humanities leading within the LabEx universe
The distribution of the LabEx by field of research is:
- 26 % in human and social sciences;
- 23 % in life sciences;
- 17 % in sciences of the environment and the universe;
- 15 % in sciences of the digital technology;
- 10 % in the energy field;
- 9 % in nanotechnologies.
Every year, an interlabex meeting in social sciences and humanities is held to exchange on current and administrative practices.
Les Labex (ENS website)
La dynamique d’excellence des LabEx sera poursuivie (« The excellent dynamics of the LabEx will be pursued »), Thierry Mandon, former Secretary of Sate for Higher Education and Research