The INS2I has built strong connections with a network of laboratories from countries at the forefront of information science for a long while now. The Institute is forging strong links with research actors in emerging countries thus strengthening its position within today's globalized science.

The INS2I internationally

Thanks to the cooperation tools set up by the CNRS, the INS2I's researchers work in collaboration with information science laboratories on all continents.

Through its offices and its international research labs (IRL), the CNRS is one of the few research organizations in the world to have permanent representations and permanent research structures abroad. To support its international policy, the INS2I has several collaborative tools at its disposal. The Institute is thus involved in:

  • 6 International Research Labs (IRL) - Australia, Canada, India, Israel, Japan, Singapore
  • 10 International Research Programs (IRP) - Australia, Argentina, Cameroon, Canada, United States, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco
  • 2 International Research Networks (IRN) - Germany, Italy

Like the other CNRS institutes, the INS2I benefits from support from the European Research and International Cooperation Department (Derci) for its international development.

The Derci website

Encouraging scientists' mobility

In parallel with these structures, the INS2I encourages researchers and academics in its laboratories to spend medium- to long-term periods abroad. Each year, about ten members of the Institute are assigned to the international joint units for a period of six months to two years

Intensifying partnerships with emerging countries

The INS2I participates in the development of research and the training of young PhD students in countries with high levels of economic growth such as India, Mexico and Singapore.

The INS2I is also present in developing countries with the associated international laboratory Datanet for big data research in Morocco and the Web Sciences international research network in Brazil. Numerous international scientific cooperation projects and joint research projects also promote exchanges between universities and foreign laboratories.

Preparing for international cooperation or mobility

International cooperation

Depending on the maturity and history of the cooperation envisaged, various types of mechanisms are possible:

  • The International Research Laboratories (IRL) regroup in an identified location the significant and lasting presence of scientists from a limited number of French and foreign research institutions (only one foreign partner country).
  • International Research Projects (IRPs) are collaborative research projects between one or more CNRS laboratories and laboratories in one or two foreign countries. They help to consolidate already established collaborations through short-term or medium-term scientific exchanges.
  • The International Research Networks (IRN) bring together several French and foreign partners and focuses on a specific theme.

For these structures which are long term (IRL, IRP and IRN), there is no call for projects, their creation is discussed directly at INS2I level with the International cell.

Nevertheless, there are other types of actions promoting international cooperation through regular calls for proposals:

  • International Emerging Actions (IEA) also promote partnerships and the exploration of new fields of research. The 2022 call will take place at the end of June 2021.
  • There are also multiple international programmes, for example bilateral, relayed by the DERCI.

INS2I seeks to intensify partnerships with high-growth emerging countries by participating locally in the development of research and the training of young doctoral students. INS2I is also present in developing countries.

International mobility

Parallèlement à la mise en place de structures internationales telles que les IRL, IRP et IRN, l’INS2I encourage les chercheuses, chercheurs, enseignantes-chercheuses et enseignants-chercheurs de ses laboratoires à effectuer des séjours de moyenne ou de longue durée à l’étranger, typiquement dans des IRL. La mobilité peut, par exemple, reposer sur une demande d’Accueil en Délégation auprès du CNRS (dans le cadre de la campagne nationale annuelle).

Découvrez les témoignages de deux chercheurs ayant vécu une expérience de mobilité internationale :

Caroline Chaux : mobilité internationale au CNRS en période de pandémie

Yann Ponty : « Naviguer entre la France et le Canada a été extrêmement dynamisant »

Guillaume Chapuy : « S’expatrier est une autre forme de remise en question »

Horizon Europe for Beginners

This page intends to provide a reading of the Horizon Europe (HE) programme from a researcher perspective.


All official texts about HE are composed of fully cryptic jargon and acronyms. Here we try to introduce the main concepts without much of those, leaving an explanatory part on jargon to the end. As a consequence, the information provided here may not be always formally correct. For fully and formally correct descriptions of HE, good sources are the European Commission page of Horizon Europe and the same kind of page at the French Ministry, while the ultimate source is the European legislation that established the programme.

What is Horizon Europe?

Horizon Europe (HE) is a programme that funds research across the European Union and some other countries, known under different names, like Associated Countries and others. Think of the French ANR and its funds opportunities. In the case of HE, the funds are disbursed by the European Commission itself, or by a number of joint undertakings between the Commission, Member States, and Industrial partners (see Partnerships further down), or yet by a number of European agencies, depending on the part of the programme to which the project belongs. Don’t get inhibited by the many acronyms of such agencies, like REA, ERCEA, HADEA, etc., as these are just administrative bodies executing the budget.

What are the places of entry for researchers?

HE has several subprogrammes and each of them is designed to fund a specific type of research, according to their respective Work Programmes. Here are the main ones, listed by the type of research you may wish to develop at the European level.

  • You want to get training through mobility, as a Post-Doc or as a researcher in a sabbatical, for instance. Then the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) instrument Postdoctoral Fellowships is for you.
  • You want to do research at the highest excellence level on a subject of your own choice, leading your own team of PhD students and Post-Docs. Then you should look at the European Research Council (ERC) and its Grants.
  • You want to lead or to participate in a collaborative European project that increases capacity through training by research. This can be a project that trains a cohort of PhD students on a multidisciplinary subject or another one that exchanges staff between research institutions and industry. Then, again, the MSCA instruments Doctoral Networks (DN) or Staff Exchanges (SE) are for you, because MSCA is the part of HE that deals with all aspects of training through research and mobility.
  • You want to lead or to participate in a collaborative project that advances knowledge in a specific area. Then you have two main possibilities:
    • You are a researcher who wants to address a research problem so ambitious that it cannot be dealt with by you and your team alone. Then you may try the ERC Synergy Grants, where proposals may be in any research field and are evaluated on the sole criterion of scientific excellence.
    • You see your research as capable of being part of the solution of a societal or industrial question. Then HE proposes two main types of instruments to fund this kind of projects, namely Research and Innovation Actions (RIA) and Innovation Actions (IA). Some restrictions apply, though, because the areas of societal or industrial relevance are pre-selected in the programme.
  • You want to lead or to participate in a high-risk/high-gain technology driven interdisciplinary collaborative project, whose outcomes could result in business opportunities, that lay sometime in future (long or short) yet you know how to preliminarily describe them now. Then you should look at the European Innovation Council (EIC) instruments, mainly Pathfinder and Transition.
  • You want to lead or to participate in a project that doesn’t fund much of your research, but allows you to get together with researchers from different areas to discuss a subject of your choice (more or less like the GDRs do in France). Then you should try and propose/join a European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action.
  • You want to lead or participate in a project that increases capacity in the area of research infrastructures. Then there is a part of HE that deals exactly with that and uses instruments like the RIA described above, but also Coordination and Support Actions (CSA), meant to, well, coordinate and support the deployment of such infrastructures.

Work Programmes

Work Programmes are the official documents describing the call for proposals for each of the subprogrammes. They are usually published every two years. They are where you’ll find all the information you need in order to start your proposal.

Information about the Work Programmes can be found at the European Commission's funding portal, and all the calls for proposals can be found at calls.

A little of jargon

Now that you know more or less where to look for the funding opportunities that most suit your current research goals, let us tell you how to map the above introduction into the documents you’ll find about HE.

Horizon Europe is presented as three pillars and one transversal component, as follows.


In the first pillar the legislation that established HE put the ERC, MSCA, and the Research Infrastructures, and called it “Excellent Science”. This of course begs the question whether the other pillars are for ‘mediocre science’. The answer is not. They all focus on excellence. It’s just that the other pillars are also driven by other considerations, like industrial competitiveness or innovation.

It’s in the second pillar that we find the RIA/IA for boosting key technologies and solutions underpinning EU policies & Sustainable Development Goals on few selected areas, called ‘Clusters’. There you’ll also find something called Joint Research Centre (JRC, or CCR in French). Don’t bother. The JRC is just a department of the European Commission. It is not truly a subprogramme but appears in this pillar because it is funded by HE .

The third pillar is the one driven by “Innovation”. You’ll find the EIC there.

The COST Actions mentioned above belong in the “Widening” part of the transversal component.

Lastly, but not least, in Pillar 2, HE has also the notion of Partnerships, which are an integral part of the programme and bring together players from the economic world and the academic world, along with the European Commission, in order to help and/or implement the execution of the Work Programmes.

Technology Maturity

One last word on an important jargon. Above we mentioned ‘technology maturity’. Horizon Europe is very specific about that and call it Technology Readiness Level, known as TRL. Levels go from 1 to 9, depending on the distance the technology stemming from your research is from market deployment (9 is closest). The following definitions of TRLs are given by HE, recognising that there are important differences between technological fields:

  • TRL1 - basic principles observed
  • TRL2 - technology concept formulated
  • TRL3 - experimental proof of concept
  • TRL4 - technology validated in lab
  • TRL5 - technology validated in relevant environment
  • TRL6 - technology demonstrated in relevant environment
  • TRL7 - system prototype demonstration in operational environment
  • TRL8 - system complete and qualified
  • TRL9 - actual system proven in operational environment

A rough correspondence can be established between the HE Pillars and expected TRLs, with lower TRLs usually pertaining to Pillar 1 and higher TRLs usually pertaining to Pillar 3, with Pillar 2 usually expecting mid TRLs. However, exceptions to this rule-of-thumb abound and one cannot establish a clear rule regarding expected TRLs by sub-programme. For example, the EIC, in Pillar 3, aims to fund projects both in low TRLs (EIC Pathfinder) and high TRLs (EIC Transition and EIC Accelerator).

Correspondant Europe

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact your laboratory’s Correspondant Europe (each UMR CNRS has one such person).

We do hope that this information helps you finding your way in the HE jungle. If you see some way to improve this page, or any question, please send us an email.


INS2I's Europe unit

International Research Laboratory (IRL)

IRL are laboratories located in partner universities which bring together researchers, students, post-doctoral students, engineers and technicians from both the CNRS and partner institutions in other countries.

IRLs are international research structures in which joint research is carried out on shared scientific directions. They provide structure in a specific location for the significant and lasting presence of scientists from a limited number of research institutions from France and other countries (just one partner country).

IRLs include establishments which bring together scientists belonging to different units and international units - joint research units with partners abroad (UMI) and service and research units (USR) located abroad. They are set up when backing from a dedicated operational research structure (SOR) is required.

IRLs last for 5 years.

CROSSING in Australia

The IRL frenCh austRalian labOratory for humanS/ autonomouS agents teamING (CROSSING) aims at proposing solutions so that humans, artificial intelligences (AI) and autonomous systems collaborate together, effectively and ethically.

Established in Australia, and launched in early 2021, it associates the CNRS, the IMT Atlantic with three major Australian universities (Adelaide University, University of South Australia, University of Flinders) as well as Naval Group, European leader in naval defense.

A strong focus is on multidisciplinarity, in order to interact with industries such as health, defence and «Industry 4.0».

See also:

FILOFOCS in Israel


The IRL French-Israeli Laboratory on Foundations of Computer Science (FILOFOCS) is created for five years (2019-2023) and associates five French and Israeli partners in the field of fundamental computing. FILOFOCS brings together researchers from the Institut de Recherche en Informatique Fondamentale (IRIF - CNRS/Université Paris-Diderot), a joint laboratory of the CNRS and Université Paris Diderot working in the field of theoretical computing, and researchers from three of Israel’s leading scientific institutions in this field: Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Weizmann Institute of Science.

ILLS in Canada

The IRL International Laboratory on Learning Systems (ILLS) aims at developing mathematical tools to improve machine learning algorithms and secure their use. For example, these algorithms could be used for natural language and speech processing or for applications related to computer vision and signal processing. Established in Montreal and launched in April 2022, it associates the CNRS, McGill University, the École de technologie supérieure (ETS) de Montréal, the Institut Québécois d'intelligence artificielle (Mila), Université Paris-Saclay and CentraleSupélec.

Ipal in Singapore


The IRL Image & Pervasive Access Lab (Ipal) is interested in biomedical imaging, pervasive access, management and improvement of the living environment.

Ipal brings together the CNRS, CY Cergy-Paris University, Toulouse INP, Toulouse 3 University, the agency A*STAR and the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Keywords: biomedical imaging; pervasive access; management and improvement of the living environment; smart cities.

See also:

JFLI in Japan


Since 2012, the Japanese-French Laboratory for Informatics (JFLI) has been a hub for remote cooperation between France and Japan. This international research laboratory organizes regular workshops and welcomes researchers in the Japanese capital for short stays, as for longer visits.

The research conducted at JFLI covers a wide range of fields: next-generation networks and the Internet of the future, cryptography, high-performance computing, software, programming models and formal methods, virtual reality, multimedia, quantum computing, etc.

JFLI succeeds the Associated International Laboratory (LIA) of the same name, created in 2009. It associates the CNRS, Sorbonne University, and the Japanese side: the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology of the University of Tokyo, the National Institute of Informatics (NII) of Tokyo and the University of Keio.

ReLaX in India


The Research Lab in Computer Science (ReLaX), located in Chennai, the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu in South India, serves as a hub for Indo-French collaborations in theoretical computer science (algorithms, logic, combinatorics, models of computation, complexity, formal methods) and its direct applications like verification, distributed systems or data science.

Founded in 2017, after over fifteen years of joint projects between French and Indian research teams, this IRL is open to the  natural interactions between theoretical computer science and mathematics. It also supports industrial collaborations, with French and Indian companies.

ReLaX associates CNRS, École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, Université de Bordeaux, the Chennai Mathematical Institute (CMI) and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc).

International Research Projects (IRP)

An IRP is a collaborative research project set up by one or more CNRS laboratories and laboratories from one or two other countries.

These projects enable the consolidation of established collaborations through short- or medium-term scientific exchanges. Their aims are to organise work meetings or seminars, develop joint research activities including field research and finally to supervise students. Teams from France and other countries must have already proved they are able to collaborate together, for example through one or more joint publications. IRPs last for five years. The INS2I currently has 10 IRPs which correspond to strategic international collaborations.

AAURS in Australia

The goal of the creation of the IRP Advancing Autonomy for Unmanned Robotic Systems (AAURS) between the laboratory Informatique, Signaux et Systèmes de Sophia-Antipolis (I3S - CNRS/Université Côte d'Azur) and the Australian National University Research School of Engineering is to go beyond the state of the art in systems theory and control applied to unmanned robots. Many open theoretical problems with high impact in practical applications will be addressed to enable unmanned robotic systems to operate more reliably in complex dynamics. For example, attention is paid to environments encountered in real-world applications.

ADONIS in Lebanon

The Intelligent Systems Diagnostics and Control Approaches IRP (ADONIS), 2020-2025, focuses on intelligent systems diagnostics and control. It brings together researchers from four partner organizations: Compiègne University of Technology (UTC), Faculty of Engineering – Lebanese University (UL), CNRS France and CNRS Lebanon, with common interests and a willingness to collaborate in the areas of control, data analysis, control of uncertainties and this in several frameworks of studies, such as in particular biomedical systems and transport systems. Three UTC/CNRS research units are involved in this IRP: Heuristics laboratory and diagnosis of complex systems (Heudiasyc - CNRS/Université de technologie de Compiègne), Roberval laboratory - Mechanical, acoustic and materials research unit (Roberval - CNRS/Université de technologie de Compiègne) and the Biomechanics and Bioengineering Laboratory (BMBI - CNRS/Université de technologie de Compiègne).

After many years of collaboration between these institutions, and particularly between UTC and UL since 1997, this project aims to consolidate and sustain this collaboration, to broaden its scope to new research themes, and increase its attractiveness and visibility.

See also: "Sustain and amplify Franco-Lebanese scientific collaboration"

DATANET in Morocco

The research carried out within the framework of the IRP DATANET concerns data mining on the one hand, and the management of social network recommendations on the other hand, with applications in the field of the environment, health, energy management and language learning.

Created on 1 January 2015, DATANET brings together the CNRS and the University of Lorraine for the Lorraine Laboratory for Research in Informatics and its Applications (Loria - CNRS/Université de Lorraine/Inria), the Al Akhawayn University (AUI), the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique (CNRST), the École Nationale Supérieure d'informatique et Analyse des Systèmes (ENSIAS), the Faculty of Sciences et Techniques de Tanger (FST-Tanger), the Institut National des Postes et Télécommunications (INPT) and the International University of Rabat (UIR).

Keywords: data mining, knowledge discovery in large volumes of data, formal concept analysis, parallelization of knowledge discovery algorithms, large-scale networks, stochastic modeling and performance evaluation, smart grids, climate change and natural disasters, social networks with a more specific focus on the Arab world and its dialects, management of social network recommendations.

See also: "The first Franco-Moroccan International Associated Laboratories (LIA) in the field of Big Data" on the LORIA website

GeoGen3DHuman in Italy

The Geometric Deep Learning and Generative Models for 3D Human IRP (GeoGen3DHuman) between Centre de Recherche en Informatique, Signal et Automatique de Lille (CRIStAL - CNRS/Université de Lille/ Centrale Lille) and the Media Integration and Communication Center (MICC) is a joint research and collaboration in the area of Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence. The core of GeoGen3DHuman is on developing mathematically principled generative frameworks for deep learning on non-Euclidean domains such as graphs and 3D meshes. GeoGen3DHuman touches upon some of the most challenging problems in different fields such as computer vision and graphics, where generative models are very crucial. The research topic itself is very timely in terms of need and applicability of the systems targeted. This research also seeks to advance fundamental tools, that are not only of high relevance in terms of intellectual merit but also in broad impact.

Specifically, it develops techniques for geometric deep learning on 3D meshes, generative models in non-Euclidean domains and applications that use 3D models of the face and of the human body

Keywords: artificial intelligence, geometric deep learning, 3D/4D human.

INSIMIA in Italy

The IRP Integrity of Hardware- Software Embedded Systems 
in the age of Artificial Intelligence (INSIMIA) is the continuation of the project initiated with the Franco-Italian Laboratory for Research on Integrated Hardware-Software Systems (Lafisi) which allowed to establish the visibility of the LIRMM and the Politecnico di Torino in the field of testing and reliability integrated hardware-software systems, notably through consistent and high-quality scientific production. INSIMIA aims to boost the synergy between these two centres developing complementary research, to develop new research themes in the field of the integrity of integrated systems on chip, but in a research space centered on Artificial Intelligence. Particular attention shall be paid to the exploitation and technology transfer of the research results obtained under this IORP.

Created in 2020, INSIMIA brings together the CNRS, the University of Montpellier and the Politecnico di Torino.

JMSL in the USA

The Joint Montpellier Stanford Laboratory (JMSL) is a partnership between the Montpellier Laboratory of Computer Science, Robotics and Microelectronics (LIRMM - CNRS/Université de Montpellier) and Stanford University. Its objective for the coming years is based on collaborations based on the three main axes presented below: 
• underwater robotics, 
• medical robotics, 
• semantic web. 
Ultimately, this collaboration aims to expand to other topics such as human-robot interactions, biomedical applications, data science, etc.

MAKC in the USA

The Modern Approaches to Knowledge Compilation IRP (MAKC) is centered on knowledge compilation (KC) for problem solving. KC is a research area which aims to preprocess information to improve the time required to solve highly-demanding computational tasks (i.e., solving NP and Beyond NP problems). The main objective of MAKC is to conceive and evaluate KC tools of various kinds (mainly preprocessors, compilers and reasoners) and to apply them to solve problems from a large spectrum of areas, for instance product configuration, formal verification, probabilistic inference, machine learning, and databases.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, deep solving, knowledge compilation

MLNS2 in Cameroon

The IRP Machine Learning, Network, System and Security (MLNS2) is interested in cybersecurity, which is a crucial research topic both in Cameroon and in France. It's mainly interested in two problems: the proliferation of malware on smartphones and phone call fraud that several African countries suffer from.

Created in 2022, MLNS2 associates in France CNRS and several laboratories namely Laboratoire d'Informatique en Images et Systèmes d'Information (LIRIS - CNRS/INSA de Lyon/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), Laboratoire d’Informatique de Grenoble (LIG, CNRS/Université Grenoble Alpes), Institut de recherche en informatique et systèmes aléatoires (IRISA - CNRS/Université de Rennes 1), and in Cameroon the University of Yaoundé I and its computer science laboratories.

Keywords: security, operating system, machine learning, networks, privacy.

ROI-TML in Canada

The IRP Operational Research and Informatics in Transport, Mobility and Logistics (ROI-TML) is interested in optimization problems (discrete and/or continuous) resulting from modern and sustainable transport, combining the movement of goods and the mobility of people.

Created in 2016, ROI-TML brings together the CNRS and the University of Valenciennes Hainaut-Cambrésis for the Laboratory of Industrial and Human Automatic, Mechanical and Computer Science (LAMIH - CNRS/Université Valenciennes Hainaut-Cambrésis), and the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur les réseaux d'entreprise, la logistique et le transport (CIRRELT - Université de Montréal).

SINFIN in Argentina


The research carried out within the framework of the IRP Systems, Verification, Fundamental Training, LogIque, Statistics (SINFIN) focuses on the use of formal methods in the implementation of theories and automatic tools for modelling, verification and development of complex software.

Created in 2019, SINFIN succeeds the LIA Infinis which started in 2011. It associates the CNRS, the Université Paris Diderot, the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) and the University of Buenos Aires.

Keywords: fundamental computing, Logic, Languages, Verification and Systems

International Research Networks (IRN)

An International Research Network involves several partners from France and other countries and creates a beneficial forum for scientific exchanges on a given research theme.

An IRN brings together from one to three laboratories per country working under the supervision of a coordinating committee for a renewable 5-year period. The INS2I currently has 2 IRNs underway:

Alea Network

Created in 2015, the IRN Alea Network brings together researchers on discrete random structures from different fields: computer science, discrete mathematics, probability, statistical physics, bioinformatics . In this multidisciplinary context, the objective is to develop methods for quantifying hazards and analysing the statistical properties of fundamental combinatorial structures.

Alea associates:

  • In France: CNRS, Sorbonne Université, Université Paris 13, Université Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, Université de Bordeaux, Bordeaux INP
  • Austria: Technische Universität Wien
  • Sweden: Royal Institute of Technology
  • In Great Britain: University of Oxford
  • In Germany: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Linear logic

Created in 2015, the IRN Linear logic is a network aimed at organizing and coordinating research between France and Italy on many aspects of the semantics of programming languages and theory of evidence. Linear logic is now an essential tool in denotational semantics, in the theory of programming languages, competition, complexity, formal methods, etc.

Linear logic combines:

  • In France: CNRS, Université Paris-Diderot, Aix-Marseille University, École Centrale de Marseille, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard
  • In Italy: Instituto Nazionale di Alta Matematica, Università degli Studi “Roma Tre”, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna and Università degli Studi di Torino.

Keywords: linear logic, programming languages