The Investment For The Future Programme (PIA): the approach

Logo PIA

An IDEX project and 8 I-SITE projects were registered on 8 March 2016 for the shortlist for the second series of PIA 2 IDEX/I-SITE calls for projects. The total applications for capital funding amount to 3.6 billion EUROS, with the average application for the ISITES amounting to 350 million Euros. For the first series, in January 2015, they amounted to 20 (7 IDEX and 13 I-SITE). The applications will be heard next June. The short-listed projects will have to hand in their files for the selection in November.

What is the PIA?

Under the auspices of the Commissariat Général à l’Investissement (CGI), the Investment For The Future Programme was launched in 2010 (PIA 1) and again in 2013 (PIA 2). It followed a report called the “Grand Emprunt” issued in 2009 by an expert academic commission and the world of business. This programme includes the Excellence Initiatives (IDEX) as well as the science, innovation, territories and economy initiatives (I-SITE).

Since 2010, the National Research Agency (ANR) has been the main State operator on the tertiary education sector and on research for Future Investments.

Why the PIA?

The goal of the Investment for the Future Programme is to strengthen productivity, to innovate, to increase business competitiveness but also to support employment and to promote equal opportunities by supporting investment and innovation in 5 priority sectors generating growth and employment :

  • Higher education and training
  • Research
  • Industrial sectors and SME
  • Sustainable development
  • Digital

This programme constitutes a unique opportunity, the projects accepted benefitting from the resources enabling them to implement a long term policy for excellence, to develop interactions with their economic environment and to accept internationally known research workers.
PIA 2 aims to pursue the efforts made by PIA 1 in terms of encouraging the emergence of new multidisciplinary excellence centres for higher education and world-class research. With a commitment to equipping the country with about ten large research universities comparable with the best universities in the world.

What budget for the PIA?

Education, higher education and research accounts for half of the 46.5 billion Euros for the PIA overall (PIA 1 and PIA 2 together). 2016 will see PIA 3 with funding amounting to 10 billion Euros, of which a part will be used for higher education and research. The IDEX initiative (Excellence Initiatives) / I-SITE (Science Initiatives – Innovation – Territories – Economy)

The Investment For The Future Programme IDEX / I-SITE’s goal is to select

  • IDEX which, just as in the first Investment For The Future Programme, are research universities with world class reputations for research with high scientific impact and power over wide fields of knowledge;
  • I-SITEs, universities concentrating upon valorising more specific scientific areas which are distinctive, recognised at an international level, and which can use them for leveraging training and as a basis for their development strategy and for partnerships with the business world.

Sources : ANR and MESR websites.