This was Léon Blum’s great project: federate the energies of French research laboratories, after the double Nobel Prize of Irène Joliot-Curie and Frédéric Joliot-Curie. On October 19, 1939, the CNRS, National Center for Scientific Research, was officially created. But the German occupation will confiscate everything. Upon liberation, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, tall resistant, was appointed head of the CNRS before taking that of the CEA, for atomic energy.
General de Gaulle fervently believed in scientific research. At the pace of reorganizations, researchers are calling for budget increases. At the same time, the CNRS is getting closer to the business world. “Today, the CNRS creates around a hundred start-ups per year, based on the research results of its laboratories. We can cite Bio Inspir ‘which is developing a technology to clean up contaminated water using plants. In the energy sector, we can cite Tiamat which develops sodium-based batteries“, lists Johanna Michelin, CEO of CNRS innovation. The CNRS manages a portfolio of 6,000 patents.
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