The University of Chicago's sign at Blackstone Avenue and the Midway Plaisance.

The University of Chicago and the French National Center for Scientific Research, or CNRS, plan to establish an International Research Center for Fundamental Scientific Discovery (IRC Discovery) in Hyde Park and Paris. 

Associated researchers from the university and the French government's state basic research organization will focus on large-scale interdisciplinary projects in energy, communication technologies, climate, mobility, health and social sciences.

U. of C. President Paul Alivisatos and CNRS President and CEO Antoine Petit signed the agreement to establish IRC Discovery on Nov. 30 in Washington, D.C. during French President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit.

“IRC Discovery represents the culmination of the efforts of many across the University of Chicago, the CNRS, and the French government,” said Juan de Pablo, the U. of C. vice president for science, innovation, the National Laboratories and global initiatives, to the university news service. 

“With significant support from UChicago Global, IRC Discovery will foster collaborative research across all disciplines and facilitate collaboration across our institutions’ vast resources — in CNRS’s case, the largest fundamental science agency in Europe, which houses and has access to top minds, facilities, and funding agencies in the region.

IRC Discovery builds on the U.S-France Science and Technology Cooperation research framework and the UChicago-CNRS Research Collaboration Program, which focuses on doctoral education. The two institutions have had a research relationship for decades.

CNRS has 1,144 affiliated research labs and more than 30,000 researchers.

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