On December 6 and 7, the sixth Franco-American Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation was held in Washington, D.C., with a French delegation representing the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, and some of France's leading research institutes. Together with their American counterparts, the French participants recalled the dynamism of scientific cooperation and identified avenues for future collaboration between France and the United States, which were set out in a joint declaration published at the end of the session.
The Joint Committee is the result of an agreement dating back to 2008 between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. It aims at maintaining a scientific dialogue between France and the United States on a regular basis, by presenting prospective elements on a certain number of themes identified as strategic by both parties. For this session of the Joint Committee, three major themes were selected: health, emerging technologies and the environment.
The meeting was held at the Office for Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) of the White House. The session was opened by Frédérique Vidal, French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and Eric Lander, Director of OSTP and Science Advisor to the President.
The French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation made an official visit to the United States from December 3rd to 7th in the context of the Joint Committee. In addition to Washington, where she delivered the opening speech of the Joint Committee, the Minister completed her trip to the East Coast with a visit to New York (Dec. 3-5) and Boston (Dec. 6-7) in order to speak with the French scientific community, to meet the presidents of the major local universities and to visit some of the most prestigious laboratories.
The Joint Committee was the opportunity for both parties to recall the vitality of existing cooperation, to reaffirm the common will to strengthen Franco-American initiatives in the research themes under discussion and to identify avenues for future collaboration. A joint statement published on the website of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the U.S. Department of State summarises the main achievements of the Joint Committee and the next steps to be carried out jointly.