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Less Bureaucracy, Slightly More Fanfare

Thierry Mandon, France's research and higher education minister wants to make it easier for researchers there to navigate the bureaucracy while also promoting research excellence, Nature News reports.

In a Q&A, Mandon tells Nature News that he is implementing a series of 50 reforms, including measures to simplify grant proposals submitted to the National Research Agency (ANR) as well as to how they are evaluated. He also notes that President Francois Hollande has announced a plan to increase ANR's budget by 10 percent this year and 20 percent next year in a bid to restore it to its 2008 high of €800 million by 2018.

At the same time, he wants to better promote French science. Mandon points out that when an international team of researchers recently discovered gravitational waves, the press event in France was a "low-key event in a miniscule room at CNRS," while the US one was held at the National Press Club.

"I'm not saying that French researchers should become as excessive as the Americans can sometimes be in their capacity to sell their advances," he adds. "But in the modern world, we need to be a bit more promotional to make our excellence in research better known."