French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation’s Budget to Increase by over €700 Million in 2022

French government will allocate additional resources towards research, innovation and higher education next year.

The French Government has announced an increase in the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation’s (MESRI’s) budget by €706 million in 2022. The increase will be provided as part of the nation’s Plan de Relance (Recovery Plan) conducted by the ministry, which will see an investment of €7.8 billion for youth, training and research as part of the ‘relance’ mission.

With a budget of €24.6 billion in 2022, MESRI will have the fourth largest state budget (after the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Ecological Transition). This budget has had an increase of €2.4 billion since 2017, emphasising the country’s commitment to R&D and following on from the European Commission’s renewed call for member states to raise public and private R&D expenditure to 3% of GDP.

The increase will allow €472 million to be invested as part of the second step of the loi de programmation de la recherche (LPR) in 2022. €114 million will be allocated to increase the remuneration of researchers, enseignant-chercheurs and all scientific staff, and €16 million will be used to increase the number of PhD students funded by the state. This sum will also support the development of research infrastructures and increase the budget of the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (€131 million), universities and research organisations (€127 million).

To further support students, an additional €66 million will also be invested in 2022 for higher education institutions, in addition to the funds allocated to these organisations under the LPR. This funding will support the creation of additional university places, the continuation of the reformation of health studies and the ongoing development of the psychological support provided to students, which was previously initiated in 2021.

€179 million will also be invested to improve student life. For example, these funds will enable the continuation of major social policies initiated during the COVID-19 health crisis such as €1 meals for boursiers students and non-boursiers students who are in need of financial support. Around €49 million has been allocated for this policy to help families and students with the lowest incomes by giving them access to balanced and nutritious meal at an affordable price. These resources will also enable the implementation of free sanitary products and the freezing of rent.

Full details of the budget increase can be read at the MESRI website.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)