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The CEA: a key player in technological research

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Published on 4 June 2020

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 (2019)

  • 9 research centres
  • 20 181 employees
  • 39 joint research units (UMR)
  • 670 priority patents filed in 2019
  • 216 start-ups since 1972
  • 5 billion euros budget


CEA centres