In 2001, CNRS' Chemistry department and the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) decided to instigate research cooperation through a joint French and German bilateral call focused on the most modern and high-quality aspects of chemistry. The projects chosen involved research teams from both countries.
A true bilateral initiative, the CNRS-DFG collaboration released joint calls for proposals and application forms, with common eligibility criteria and evaluation by jointly-selected international experts. A total of 102 proposals (representing 280 individual researchers) were received, far more than originally anticipated. Out of these, 29 (involving 37 German and 38 French teams) were selected by a joint Steering Committee, made up of 6 experts from both countries.
These projects were funded by CNRS and DFG over a three-year period, starting in Summer 2002, with an estimated budget of €7.5 million.
In April 2006, at the end of the funding period, the directors of all 29 projects reported on the activities of their teams at an evaluation workshop, attended by the steering committee and representatives from CNRS and the DFG. The two institutions were satisfied with this collaboration which produced high-quality collaborative publications for 90% of the projects selected. The success of this bilateral collaboration, which continues to bolster the European research network, should result in the launch of a new call for proposals and programs involving several partners.