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In a joint visit with French university and grandes écoles presidents to Germany in mid-May, French Minister for Higher Education and Research, Valérie Pécresse, revealed that she had been largely inspired by the German excellence initiatives in elaborating the French excellence enterprise as part of Nicolas Sarkozy’s “grand emprunt” (for background information see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, April 2010).
The first call under the French excellence initiative is expected to be launched this summer and to cover the acquisition of equipment and support for health projects. A total amount of EUR 2.55 billion will be distributed to successful applicant institutions. The Minister hopes the applicants will themselves become enthused by the German approach, hinting at elements that proved very valuable in the context ‘allemand’, such as the German “clusters”, the public-private partnerships, and the presentation of “innovative concepts”, which could be integrated within the framework of the “grand emprunt” as well.