The Science and Technology Ministry has signed an agreement to expand its cooperation with the French National Center for Scientific Research.

Science and Technology Minister Prof. Daniel Herschkowitz, chief scientist of the ministry and now director-general Prof. Ehud Gazit, French Ambassador Christophe Bigot and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) CNRS director-general Xavier Inglebert formalized the agreement on Monday.

The expansion of cooperation will make it possible for young researchers from Israel to travel to France for conferences and courses and carry out joint research with scientists in the center.

CNRS also runs research labs throughout France and finances a quarter of French public spending on civilian research. It has carried out joint projects with Israeli universities for years.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Committee for Israeli-French Technological and Scientific Research convened on Monday and selected cloud computing and graphene (a carbon conductor in one-atom-thick sheets of atoms densely packed in a honeycomb structure) as the research topics to be funded. A joint budget of $1 million will be allocated over two years.

Herschkowitz said that France is one of the leading research countries cooperating fruitfully with Israeli researchers and that the expansion is welcome and important. Bigot replied that the citizens of the two countries share values and are similar in their qualities of thinking and wisdom. Joint scientific research, he continued, “is one of the backbones of the countries’ relationship.”

The CNRS is a government- funded research organization, under the administrative authority of France’s Ministry of Research. Founded in 1939 by government degree, it evaluates and carries out research for advancing knowledge and bringing social, cultural and economic benefits for society; contributes to the application and promotion of research results; develops scientific information; supports research training; and analyzes the national and international scientific climate and its potential to develop a national policy.

Its institutes encompass biological sciences, chemistry, ecology and environment, humanities and social sciences, information sciences and technologies, engineering and systems sciences, physics, mathematical sciences, nuclear and particle physics and earth sciences and astronomy.

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