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April 13, 2021

Media Advisory: UArizona to Enter Into International Research Collaboration With French National Centre for Scientific Research

  • What: In a special ceremony, the University of Arizona and the French National Centre for Scientific Research, or CNRS, will sign a memorandum of understanding to establish the collaborative France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges at UArizona. The institute will conduct research on the environment, space science, data science and global climate change. Elizabeth "Betsy" Cantwell, senior vice president for research at the University of Arizona, will moderate a discussion with the following speakers: 
    • Robert C. Robbins, President of the University of Arizona
    • Antoine Petit, Chairman and CEO of CNRS
    • Philippe Etienne, French Ambassador to the U.S.
    • Edith Heard, Director General of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory
    • Sarah Smallhouse, president of the Thomas R. Brown Foundation
    • Cherry A. Murray, Deputy Director of Research for Biosphere 2
  • When: Wednesday, April 14, 9 a.m. (PT)
  • Where: Event is virtual. Media who wish to ask questions via Zoom must RSVP to Brandon Goldstein at by 8 a.m. (PT) on April 14 to receive the link.
  • Online public broadcast

TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona and the French National Centre for Scientific Research, or CNRS, will sign a research collaboration that establishes the France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges at the University of Arizona. The institute will serve as a regional hub for cutting-edge research on the environment, space science, data science and global climate change.

With more than 1,100 research laboratories in France and on five continents, CNRS is an interdisciplinary public research organization and represents the largest fundamental leading research institution in Europe. CNRS is at the forefront of scientific advancement, operating globally with more than 15,000 researchers and nearly 17,000 engineers and technicians.

The France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges will support UArizona-CNRS projects that address a variety of natural, social and digital grand challenges. In its first five years, the center will set out to lead five major grant-funded projects that produce impactful solutions to global challenges.

CNRS has worked with UArizona on projects in the past, including the university's iGLOBES International Research Laboratory, which organizes 30 to 40 visits of French scientists every year to study natural resource management and societal responses to environmental change. CNRS is formalizing its partnership with the university after an international search to identify strategic partners with potential for strong, lasting collaboration in areas of major significance for science and society.

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Media contacts:
Pam Scott
University Communications
University of Arizona
Office: 520-621-1951 | Cell: 509-570-4610

Priscilla Dacher
CNRS Press Office
+ 33 1 44 96 46 06

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 40 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2019 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $734 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 65 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university's COVID-19 webpage.


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