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The CEA: a key player in technological research


Published on 26 February 2019

The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is a key player in research, development and innovation in four main areas:

  • defence and security,
  • low carbon energies (nuclear and renewable energies),
  • technological research for industry,
  • fundamental research in the physical sciences and life sciences.

Drawing on its widely acknowledged expertise, the CEA actively participates in collaborative projects with a large number of academic and industrial partners.

The CEA is established in nine centers spread throughout France. It works in partnership with many other research bodies, local authorities and universities. Within this context, the CEA is a stakeholder in a series of national alliances set up to coordinate French research in energy (ANCRE), life sciences and health (AVIESAN), digital science and technology (ALLISTENE), environmental sciences (AllEnvi) and human and social sciences (ATHENA).

Widely acknowledged as an expert in its areas of skill, the CEA is actively involved in the European Research Area and its international presence is constantly growing.

In 2017, Thomson-Reuters / Clarivate identified the CEA as the most innovative public research organization in Europe.

CEA in figures (2016)

  • 9 research centres
  • 16 010 technicians, engineers, researchers and staff
  • 51 joint research units (UMR)
  • 55 framework agreements with universities and schools
  • 743 priority patents filed in 2016
  • 27 Equipex (facilities of excellence)
  • 33 Labex (Laboratories of excellence)
  • 3 Idex (Initiatives of excellence)
  • 195 start-ups since 1972 in the innovative technologies sector
  • 4,1 billion euros budget
  • 422 ongoing European projects in 2016

CEA centres