The CNRS joins forces with universities through the principle of “associated laboratories”.
1966 saw the launch of an important reform. Created to compensate for the shortcomings of the university system in the interwar period, the CNRS initiated a fruitful collaboration with academia by developing the concept of “associated laboratories”. Under the supervision of several establishments, all contributing human and financial resources, these structures ensured cooperation among key research players. This reform initiated a trend that has been maintained ever since. Today, nearly 95% of all CNRS laboratories operate on this principle of cooperation with universities or other research bodies.
The following decade was characterised by the extension and expansion of these initiatives. In particular, 1975 was a significant year, marked by: the launch of interdisciplinary research programmes, the first of which was devoted to the development of solar energy; the recognition of the specific field of “science for engineers” with the creation of an ad hoc scientific department within the CNRS; and ever-tighter links with French industry, starting with the formation of clubs dedicated to industrial relations and extended through agreements signed between the CNRS and several large corporations. Ever-greater opening to society had become, and would remain, a guiding principle at the CNRS.