The CNRS Institute of Chemistry (INC) is active in Europe, especially through the Horizon 2020 European Research Framework Programme. In other parts of the world, it focuses its efforts on the creation of UMIs, International Joint Units and international laboratories and networks around cutting-edge scientific topics, usually linked to reputable universities and major industrial groups.

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Active participation in European research steered by the EU

The CNRS Institute of Chemistry (INC) laboratories are extremely successful in the calls for projects of the EU Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

This programme structures its funding around three priorities: "Scientific Excellence" (axe 1), "Industrial Leadership" (axe 2), "Societal Challenges" (axe 3). Between 2014 and 2017, CNRS researchers from the Institute of Chemistry were granted more than 120 collaborative or individual project awards with an average success rate close to 14%.

Scientific excellence

Nearly two-thirds of the successes fall under axe 1 with (still considering 2014-2017):

  • 23 ERC awards (European Research Council),
  • 38 MSCA awards (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions) focused on the mobility of researchers,
  • 13 winners of FET projects (Future Emerging Technologies), collaborative projects aimed at new multidisciplinary and high-risk research fields that are likely to lead to ground-breaking technologies in the medium or even long term.

The research infrastructure projects in which INC CNRS researchers are involved have also had an excellent success rate (19%, with 8 funded projects).

Industrial leadership and societal challenges

The INC is also well-represented in axe 2 dedicated to industrial innovation, because of the applicative nature of chemistry. Notably, the INC has been successful 12 times in NMBP calls (Nanotechnologies, Materials, Biotechnologies, Production). In 5 societal challenges (axe 3; health, bio-economy, energy, transport, climate), 19 projects were funded.

These results only show a fraction of the European activity that takes place in the CNRS chemistry laboratories. Effectively, many of the projects financed by Europe involve lecturers from INC laboratories, but these are not considered here, as no statistical data is available.

The INC on the international stage

The CNRS Institute of Chemistry (INC) aims to conduct research in chemistry at the highest international level around extremely competitive topics, mainly related to energy, materials, health and the environment. To that end, it initiates different forms of collaborations with large academic institutions or emblematic industrial groups from certain countries.

An international presence around competitive themes

Both internationally and in France, the strongest and most competitive themes for the INC remain energy (Japan and Russia), materials (Canada, India, Japan, USA, Russia, etc.), health (India, China, Vietnam, Malaysia) and sustainable development (Singapore, Russia, Japan, Canada).

Until recently, the ICN's international activities focused mainly on the BRICS countries, especially Brazil, Russia, India and China. Now the Institute's efforts also focus on strengthening relationships with the USA, Canada, Japan and Korea.

These partnerships are carried out with Universities or foreign academic research organizations and/or with industrial chemical players such as the Solvay group in China in the field of catalysis and in the USA in the field of soft materials and polymers, or with Saint-Gobain in Japan in the field of materials.

The INC has established contractual relationships in Europe beyond its actions under the Horizon 2020 programme. These are with laboratories based in Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Slovenia and very recently in the Ukraine.

E2P2L, towards an alternative to oil

The INC joined Solvay in China thanks to its research in green chemistry and sustainable development. This is a long-standing partner that is already well-developed in China. In 2011, the two partners founded the "Eco-efficient products & process" UMI laboratory (E2P2L). This involved the East China normal university "Laboratory of green chemistry and chemical process," which is classed amongst the Chinese laboratories of excellence. E2P2L aims to deliver new products and processes that are eco-efficient and able to reduce dependency on oil. Fudan University joined this collaboration in 2013 and two mirror sites at Lyon ENS and Lille University participate actively in the research programmes.

Structured collaborations

The INC and its partners abroad (Universities, research organizations, industry) formalize their collaborations by giving them international visibility through structures of various legal forms.

LIA, GDRI, Pics and PRC

The Institute thus counts:

  • 33 International Associated Laboratories (LIA), which are "laboratories without walls." These associate a CNRS laboratory and a laboratory in another country around a jointly defined project,
  • 8 international research groups (GDRI) that federate networks of researchers around major themes (energy, biomass, etc.),
  • 44 international scientific cooperation projects (Pics) based on pre-existing joint research projects that have resulted in one or more joint publications,
  • 27 joint research projects (PRC) for collaborations between two teams whose projects are evaluated and selected by both the CNRS and the partner organization in a joint call.

International mixed units (UMI)

To these are added:

  • 3 UMIs in partnership with industry: in the USA with Solvay and the University of Pennsylvania, in China with Solvay, East China Normal University and Fudan University and in Japan with Saint-Gobain and the National Institute for Material Science;
  • 2 UMIs in academic partnerships: in the USA with the University of California San Diego and in Korea with Yonsei and Ewha Universities.

A UMI is similar to a laboratory, like those found at the national level (UMR) in Universities or research organizations. They are located on a single site, either in France or abroad and bring together researchers, students, post-docs and technicians belonging to the CNRS and those of the foreign partner institution.

Rise in power

The INC has been at the origin of many creations in the last two years:

  • 2017: 11 creations namely 9 LIAs with the Ukraine, Japan, China (2), the USA, India (2), Chile and Brazil; 1 GDRI in Canada; 1 UMI in Korea.
  • 2018: 4 creations i.e. 3 LIAs with the USA and Japan (2); 1 GDRI in China

Focus on LIAs

The INC has set up LIAs with prestigious partners, especially in China, India and Japan.

In China, an LIA was established with the Dalian State Key Laboratory for Catalysis, to study zeolites. These are crystalline structures naturally formed in alkaline waters or sediments, which are catalysts in many chemical reactions.

In India, an LIA was set up with the Pune National Chemical Laboratory, to convert fossil fuels and biomass, and to protect the environment.

In Japan, the INC is a partner of the Osaka and Kyoto Universities in the frame of an international associated laboratory studying the action of light on switchable molecular systems at the nanoscale.

In recent years, the INC has especially developed its partnerships with major research organizations in Germany (3 LIAs): with the Ludwig Maximilians-Universtät in organic and organometallic chemistry in the field of catalysis and new synthesis processes; with the Max Planck Institut für Kolloid in the field of nano-ions interacting with fluid interfaces; with the Leibniz Institut für Katalyse in the field of homogeneous catalysis in green chemistry.

CNRS Institute of Chemistry Lecture Tour

In 2019, the Institute of Chemistry (INC) has launched the "Lecture Tour" programme. This allows INC unit directors to invite prestigious scientists based abroad for a lecture tour within CNRS laboratories.

The ambassadors

Martina Stenzel - 27/11/2023 - 8/12/2023

27/11/2023 - 8/12/2023

  • Paris : Patrice Castignolles - Institut parisien de chimie moléculaire
  • Saclay : Julien Nicolas - Institut Galien Paris-Saclay
  • Lyon :  Muriel Lansalot - Laboratoire Catalyse, Polymérisation, Procédés et Matériaux (CP2M) et Julien Bernard, Laboratoire Ingénierie des Matériaux Polymères (IMP)
  • Marseille : Didier Gigmes - Institut de chimie radicalaire
  • Montpellier : Patrick Lacroix-Desmazes - Institut Charles Gerhardt Montpellier
  • Pau : Maud Save - Institut des sciences analytiques et de physico-chimie pour l'environnement et les matériaux
  • Toulouse : Mathias Destarac - laboratoire Softmat - Chimie des colloïdes, polymères & assemblages complexes
  • Bordeaux : Sébastien Lecommandoux - Laboratoire de chimie des polymères organiques
  • Paris : Renaud Nicoläy - laboratoire Chimie moléculaire, macromoléculaire, matériaux

Découvrez son portrait ici

Hiroko Yamada - 13/11/2023 - 23/11/2023

13/11/2023 - 23/11/2023

  • Paris : Institut parisien de chimie moléculaire (Anna Proust)
  • Nantes : Laboratoire « Chimie et interdisciplinarité, synthèse, analyse, modélisation (Fabrice Odobel)
  • Angers : Laboratoire MOLTECH-Anjou (Sébastien Goeb)
  • Bordeaux : Institut des sciences moléculaires (Dario Bassani)
  • Toulouse : Centre d’Élaboration de matériaux et d’études structurales (Claire Kammerer)
  • Marseille : Centre interdisciplinaire de nanoscience de Marseille (Olivier Siri)
  • Lyon : ENS (Christophe Bucher)
  • Strasbourg : Institut de chimie de Strasbourg (Jean Weiss)

Découvrez son portrait ici

Yoshiaki Nakao - 28/08/2023 - 04/09/2023

28/08/2023 - 04/09/2023

  • Toulouse : Didier Bourissou, Laboratoire hétérochimie fondamentale et appliquée
  • Saclay : Grégory Nocton, Laboratoire de chimie moléculaire ; Thierry Gacoin, Laboratoire de physique de la matière condensée
  • Paris : Guillaume Lefèvre, Institute of Chemistry for Life and Health Sciences
  • Rennes : Rafael Gramage-Doria, Institut des sciences chimiques de Rennes
  • Lyon : Abderrahmane Amgoune, Institut de chimie et de biochimie moléculaires et supramoléculaires

Découvrez son portrait ici

Richmond Sarpong - 13/06/2023 - 21/06/2023

13/06/2023 - 21/06/2023

  • Rouen : COBRA (CNRS / Institut des sciences appliquées de Rouen / Université de Rouen), Thomas Castanheiro et Hélène Beucher
  • Paris : IPCM (CNRS/ Sorbonne Université), Louis Fensterbank
  • Strasbourg : LIMA (CNRS / Université de Haute-Alsace / Université de Strasbourg), Frédéric Leroux
  • Marseille : (CNRS / Centrale Méditerranée / Université Aix-Marseille), Yoann Coquerel et Hervé Clavier
  • Bordeaux : ISM (CNRS / Institut polytechnique de Bordeaux / Université de Bordeaux), Yannick Landais

Découvrez son portrait ici

Armin Sorooshian - 8/06/2023 - 16/06/2023

8/06/2023 - 16/06/2023

  • Clermont-Ferrand : ICCF (CNRS / Université Clermont Auvergne), Barbara Ervens / LaMP(CNRS / Université Clermont Auvergne), Angelica Bienco
  • Toulouse : CNRM (CNRS / Météo France), Samuel Morin
  • Paris - Créteil : LISA (CNRS / Université Paris Cité / Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne), Bénédicte Picquet-Varrault
  • Marseille : LCE (CNRS/ Aix-Marseille Université), Anne Monod

Découvrez son portrait ici

Christopher Barner-Kowollik - 28/04/2023 - 05/05/2023

28/04/2023 - 05/05/2023

  • Paris : IPCM (CNRS / Sorbonne Université), Jutta Rieger
  • Bordeaux : LCPO (CNRS/ Institut polytechnique/Université Bordeaux), Sébastien Lecommandoux
  • Marseille : ICR (CNRS / Université d’Aix-Marseille), Didier Gigmes
  • Lyon : IMP (CNRS / INSA Lyon / Universités Claude Bernard et Jean Monnet), Jannick Duchet-Rumeau

Découvrez son portrait ici

Laura L. Kiessling - 18/04/2023 - 27/04/2023

18/04/2023 - 27/04/2023

  • Saclay : ICSN (CNRS / Université Paris-Saclay), Boris Vauzeilles
  • Paris : LBM (CNRS/ Ecole normale supérieure –PSL / Sorbonne université), Arnaud Gautier
  • Montpellier : IBMM (CNRS / Ecole nationale supérieure de chimie de Montpellier / Université de Montpellier), Jean-Jacques Vasseur
  • Grenoble : DCM (CNRS / Université Grenoble Alpes), Eric Defrancq
  • Lyon : EDELRIS, Jean-Yves Ortholand
  • Bordeaux : CBMN (CNRS / Institut polytechnique de Bordeaux / Université de Bordeaux), Gilles Guichard
  • Strasbourg : CAMB (CNRS / Université de Strasbourg), Alain Wagner

Découvrez son portrait ici

Eric N. Jacobsen - 21/02/2023 - 02/03/2023

21/02/2023 - 02/03/2023

  • Strasbourg : LIMA (CNRS/Université de Haute-Alsace/Université de Strasbourg), Frédéric Leroux
  • Paris : IPCM (CNRS/Sorbonne Université), Louis Fernsterbank
  • Rennes : ISCR (CNRS/Ecole nationale supérieure de chimie de Rennes/Université de Rennes), Marc Fourmigué
  • Marseille : ISM2 (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université/Ecole centrale de Marseille), Jean Rodriguez
  • Montpellier : ICGM (CNRS/Ecole nationale supérieure de chimie de Montpellier/Université de Montpellier), Eric Clot

Découvrez son portrait ici

Prof. Michael Tsapatsis - 12/07/2022 - 14/07/2022

12/07/2022 - 14/07/2022

  • Lille
  • Paris
  • Caen

Prof. Krzysztof Matyjaszewski - 21/04/2022 - 11/05/2022

21/04/2022 - 11/05/2022

  • Paris
  • Strasbourg
  • Lyon
  • Marseille
  • Montpellier
  • Toulouse
  • Bordeaux

Découvrez son portrait ici


Prof. Eunkyoung Kim

07/01/2020 - 13/01/2020

  • Angers
  • Rennes
  • Cachan
  • Montpellier
  • Marseille

Prof. Kiyoshi Shimamura

02/12/2019 - 06/12/2019

  • Bordeaux
  • Paris
  • Lyon
  • Grenoble

Prof. Oliver Wenger

01/12/2019 - 05/12/2019

  • Paris
  • Nancy
  • Grenoble

Prof. Ulrich Wiesner

02/10/2019 - 14/10/2019

  • Lyon
  • Strasbourg
  • Bordeaux
  • Paris
  • Thiais

Prof. Hiroshi Shinokubo

26/09/2019 - 09/10/2019

  • Strasbourg
  • Rennes
  • Marseille
  • Montpellier
  • Paris
  • Nice
  • Lyon

The Emergence@International Programme

The "Emergence@International" programme, launched by the CNRS Institute of Chemistry (INC) in 2019, finances the organization of conferences abroad for approximately thirty CNRS chemists working in breakthrough fields.


  • Damien Aureau from Institut Lavoisier de Versailles (CNRS/UVSQ)
    Surface sciences
  • Laurent Bouffier from Institut des sciences moléculaires (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux/Bordeaux INP)
    Bipolar electrochemistry
  • Xavier Bugaut from Institut des sciences moléculaires de Marseille (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université/École Centrale Marseille)
    Total synthesis of natural products
  • Gaëlle Delaizir from Institut de recherche sur les céramiques (CNRS/Université de Limoges)
    Nanoporous glass-ceramic
  • Nicolas Duguet from Institut de chimie et biochimie moléculaires et supramoléculaires (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard/Insa Lyon/CPE Lyon)
    Green chemistry process, agro-resources use
  • Marie-Aude Hiebel from Institut de chimie organique et analytique (CNRS/Université d'Orléans)
    Organic,  heterocyclic, health chemistry, fluorescent molecules
  • Lucie Norel from Institut des sciences chimiques de Rennes (CNRS/Université de Rennes/Insa Rennes/ENSC Rennes)
    Molecular magnetism, coordination chemistry
  • Luisa Ronga from Institut des sciences analytiques et de physico-chimie pour l'environnement et les matériaux (CNRS/Université Pau Pays de l'Adour)
    Analytical chemistry
  • Grégory Stoclet from Unité matériaux et transformations (CNRS/Inra/Université de Lille/ENSC Lille)
    Polymers plasticity, biopolymers
  • CédricTard from Laboratoire de chimie moléculaire (CNRS/École polytechnique)
    Molecular electrochemistry


  • Maria Rosa Axet-Marti from Laboratoire de chimie de coordination (CNRS)
    Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Jérome Canivet from IRCELYON (CNRS/Université de Lyon 1)
    Catalysis, materials
  • Fabien Durola from Centre de recherche Paul Pascal (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux)
    Organic synthesis
  • Marc Dussauze from Institut des sciences moléculaires (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux/Bordeaux INP)
    Bipolar electrochemistry
  • Xavier Guinchard from Institut de chimie des substances naturelles (CNRS)
    Biocatalysis, gold catalysis, domino reactions
  • Grégoire Herzog from Laboratoire de chimie physique et microbiologie pour les matériaux et l'environnement (CNRS/Université de Lorraine)
    Electrochemistry, stand-alone molecule
  • Stéphane Le Gac from Institut des sciences chimiques de Rennes (CNRS/Université de Rennes/Insa Rennes/ENSC Rennes)
    Organic synthesis
  • Hoang Phuong Nguyen from Laboratoire de biochimie théorique (CNRS)
    Theoretical biological chemistry
  • Céline Olivier from Institut des sciences moléculaires (CNRS/Université de Bordeaux/Bordeaux INP)
    Mumtifonctional materials
  • Joanna Wencel Delord from Laboratoire d'innovation moléculaire et applications (CNRS/Université de Strasbourg/Université de Haute-Alsace)
    CH bounds activation

Japan & Korea

  • Xavier Bantreil from Institut des biomolécules Max Mousseron (CNRS/Université de Montpellier/ENSC Montpellier)
    Catalysis, total synthesis, mechanochemistry
  • Christophe Bour from Institut de chimie moléculaire et des matériaux d'Orsay (CNRS/Université Paris-Sud, UPSaclay)
    3D metals chemistry, synthesis methods
  • Saioa Cobo from Département de chimie moléculaire (CNRS/Université Grenoble Alpes)
    Coordination chemistry, surface assembly, thin film deposition
  • Vincent Coeffard from CEISAM (CNRS/Université de Nantes)
    Asymmetric catalysis, organocatalysis, photooxygenation
  • Jean-Claude Crivello from Institut de chimie et des matériaux Paris-Est (CNRS/Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne)
    Nanomaterials, hydrogen storage, AI
  • Sébastien Livi from Ingénierie des matériaux polymères (CNRS/Université de Lyon/Insa Lyon)
  • Thanh Binh Nguyen from Institut de chimie des substances naturelles (CNRS)
    Green chemistry and synthesis
  • David Portehault from Laboratoire de chimie de la matière condensée de Paris (CNRS/Sorbonne Université)
  • Emmanuel Bertrand from Institut des matériaux Jean Rouxel (CNRS/Université de Nantes)
    Materials and metalworking