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Investments for the future (PIA) - The Saclay Plant Sciences Graduate School of Research wins a grant

The grant for the LabEx SPS, which forms part of the SPS-GSR project, has been extended

Logo Université Paris-Saclay. © Université Paris-Saclay, Université Paris-Saclay

Plants are of crucial important to our societies: as biological models, sources of biodiversity, foundations for the food chain and the sustainable production of raw materials and molecules of interest to health, well-being, industry, agriculture and the environment.

At the heart of Université Paris-Saclay – of which INRA is a founder member – a community assembled around the plant sciences groups some 700 people from nine research establishments (INRA, CNRS, CEA) and educational institutions (Université Paris Saclay, AgroParisTech, Université Paris Sud, Université Paris 7, Université Evry Val d’Essonne, Université Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines) and manages courses for Master’s degrees, engineers and PhDs in the plant sciences.

In the context of the French government’s Investments for the Future programme (PIA), the call for projects for University Research Schools (EUR) was designed to fund in France the internationally recognised model of Graduate Schools, and to ensure that these projects would always associate research institutions with a strong international dimension, while as far as possible maintaining close links with industrial actors.

Excellency doubly rewarded

On Tuesday 24 October 2017, Frédérique Vidal, Minister for Higher Education, Research and Education, and Louis Schweitzer, General Commissioner for Investment, announced the list of the 29 winners of grants under the first wave of the University Research Schools call for projects, which included the Saclay Plant Sciences Graduate School of Research - SPS-GSR - operated by Université Paris Saclay.

SPS-GSR includes the Saclay Laboratory of Excellence on Plant Sciences (LabEx SPS), managed by Université Paris-Saclay and coordinated by Loic Lepiniec, INRA Research Director. In this context, the LabEx SPS, like the 13 other winning projects that include one or more laboratories of excellence, will see its grant extended for the duration of the EUR project (10 years).

A double reward that acknowledges both the results obtained by the LabEx SPS since it was set up, and the quality of the new Saclay Plant Sciences Graduate School of Research project.

Ambitious perspectives

Based on the strengths of both the scientific community at Université Paris-Saclay and the LabEx SPS, SPS-GSR aims to make Université Paris-Saclay one of the leading universities in the world in the plant sciences, combining fundamental and mission-oriented research, teaching and training through research, innovation and technology transfer.

SPS-GSR will provide a long-term framework for management and debate so that all activities can be adapted to changes in the academic, scientific and industrial contexts. SPS-GSR aims notably to enhance interactions between research and training and between the different actors concerned (universities, specialised schools and research establishments) as well as focusing on the internationalisation of training by ensuring that some courses will be taught in English, thus enhancing the attractiveness of Université Paris-Saclay.

In the longer term, SPS-GSR will be able to ensure the quality, relevance and visibility of research, training and innovation activities, and hence the impact and attractiveness of resources at Université Paris-Saclay in the plant sciences.

Scientific contact(s):

Associated Division(s):
Plant Biology and Breeding
Associated Centre(s):